Pawan Deshpande, Son of Desh Deshpande, Launches Software for Automating Corporate Blogging

6/21/10Follow @xconomy

Having your son follow in your footsteps seems like a pretty good Father’s Day present. Pawan Deshpande, son of well-known Boston-area entrepreneur Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, is announcing the formal launch of his Cambridge-based startup HiveFire‘s software product today.

The younger Deshpande’s technology and market differ greatly from his father’s ventures (which include optical switch maker Sycamore Networks and Cascade Communications, a provider of wide area network switches), but Pawan says he’s learned plenty of entrepreneurial lessons over the years from both of his parents. “In a startup, entrepreneurs always have a full plate with limited resources,” Pawan says. “My father has a great ability to prioritize intelligently and make decisions quickly.”

HiveFire’s software platform, Curata, scans the Internet for content related to a company’s product or market, aggregates it, and sorts it by relevance. The Curata platform allows customers to curate the content and publish it on their own customized website. The technology takes the idea of a corporate blog in a different direction, and purports to help companies build a more authoritative voice on a particular topic or market, without having to create loads of original content.

Pawan Deshpande headshotPawan Deshpande started his company in 2007, as a way to bring the artificial intelligence technology that he learned in his undergraduate and graduate-level computer science programs at MIT to the masses. His original vision was to use his system of machine learning and natural language processing to enable Internet users to build personal websites on subjects they are passionate about. “I thought it’d be great if I could empower the everyday user,” he says. “We’re putting all the technology under the hood.”

The technology later evolved to serve as a media-monitoring tool for businesses to gather and analyze the information on the Web about their companies and products, but he discovered through market research that other existing products already did this. Pawan later followed a customer’s suggestion to hone the technology for business-to-business providers as a way to reach a target audience.

The enterprise, business-to-business customers that HiveFire is pursuing are difficult targets for the first-time entrepreneur, Pawan says, but it’s an area of expertise that he’s been able to harness from his father, who sits on the board at HiveFire. “His experience and background have been really been helpful,” Pawan says of his father, who also founded MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation with his wife Jaishree.

Today’s formal launch announcement is … Next Page »

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