Desh Deshpande’s XSITE Keynote: Making an Impact Through Entrepreneurship Driven by Technological and Social Innovation

5/24/11Follow @bbuderi

It is less than a month until XSITE 2011—the Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, our annual full-day innovation extravaganza that will take place this year on June 16 at Babson College. We have already announced most of the keynoters and many other speakers, which you can find here, along with the registration information.

Now we’d like to share a brief note from one of the main keynoters, Desh Deshpande, about what he plans to talk about—both to you and with you, as he has let us know he plans to take a lot of question.

Desh, of course, is co-founder of Sycamore Networks, chairman of A123Systems, progenitor of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT, and one of New England’s most prominent super angels. He is active not just in the U.S., but also in his native India. And his interests go far beyond making money, into nurturing ecosystems, improving health and education, and mentoring new generations of entrepreneurs . He has created a social entrepreneurship center in northern Karnataka, India. And just in the past six months or so his foundation committed $5 million over the next five years to support the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, a new innovation center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell that, as Greg wrote earlier this year, “will work together with local colleges and nonprofits to boost entrepreneurship among students and professionals, and to develop local leadership through mentoring and seed funding programs.”

It is absolutely fantastic that Desh will share his ideas and insights at XSITE. Here is what he sent us about what he has in mind:

“Innovation is about coming up with new ideas, and entrepreneurship is about making the new idea a reality. I will discuss how entrepreneurs and innovators can join together to come up with technological innovations that have a higher probability of impact, resulting in new companies and economic activity. If we connect innovators with relevance as they innovate, they are more likely to come with innovations that are targeted at burning problems in the world.

“Social innovation, on the other hand, starts with a deep understanding of the relevance, and bringing innovation to relevance to solve a problem. I will use the example of the Merrimack Valley Sandbox to discuss how social innovations have a potential to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to have big social impact.”

Once again, Desh says he plans to spend a lot of time taking your questions. So please have them ready and join us at XSITE. Register here, and we hope to see you on June 16.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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