Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation
As Executive Director at the Deshpande Foundation, Raj develops overall strategy, and channels the Foundation’s efforts to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. He helped launch the Pond Deshpande Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick in Canada and has driven overall direction for the Merrimack Valley Sandbox initiative at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Previously as Principal at Ambient Engines, he provided marketing and strategy consulting to emerging social entrepreneurs. He founded the annual Forum for Social Entrepreneurs, organized and moderated numerous panels and workshops on social entrepreneurship, and mentored several startups focused on addressing key social issues.
Raj has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including Vice President, Product Management at two MIT spinoffs - nTAG Interactive and mobile software company Vaultus (now part of Antenna Software); Sr. Director, Product Management at e-commerce company Be Free Inc (now Valueclick).; and launched Internet products at Electronic Book Technologies (later acquired by Inso). His early career included working at Microsoft, Digital Equipment Corporation, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
He is an active member of TiE Boston and co-founded the TIE Social Entrepreneurship Group. Raj has a Doctor of Science in engineering from MIT; Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and from MIT’s Sloan School; and a Bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.