Edward Roberts and Deshpande Center Executive Director Leon Sandler
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 1, 2012—The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation and its leadership team were the recipients of the 8th Annual Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurial Mentoring presented at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship at MIT on April 19, 2012.
“This year’s prize honors the MIT Deshpande Center and its generous donor and splendid entrepreneurship mentor, Gururaj "Desh" Deshpande, along with Professor Charles Cooney, the faculty chair of the Center since its launch, and Leon Sandler, its executive director,” said MIT Sloan Professor and Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship Chair Edward B. Roberts, who presented the award.
The Deshpande Center was established at the MIT School of Engineering in 2002 to increase the impact of MIT technologies in the marketplace. Since its first request for proposals, the Deshpande Center has reviewed more than 500 proposals, funded 90-plus projects with over $11 million dollars in grants, supported more than 300 MIT faculty and their students from a diverse array of departments across campus, engaged 100-plus volunteers from the venture and entrepreneur community, and witnessed the creation of 26 companies that have raised over $350 million in funding and have employed more than 400 people. The Deshpande Center supports a wide range of emerging technologies including biotechnology, biomedical devices, information technology, new materials, tiny tech, and energy innovations.
Adolf “Sonny” Monosson, MIT Class of 1948, was a serial entrepreneur and founder and CEO of 10 businesses in the finance, publishing, computer and leasing industries. He was deeply committed to investing time and capital to help other would-be entrepreneurs, providing advice, counsel and inspiration to classmates, clients, competitors, students, and friends. Monosson is memorialized in this prize by the initiative and generous funding provided by his long-time partner and friends Bill Grinker, MIT Class of 1956, and Ilene Grinker, joined by Monosson’s family and friends.
“Sonny was known for his irrepressible personality and his ever-present bow tie, which has been immortalized on the logo for this award,” said Bill Aulet, an MIT Sloan senior lecturer and managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship was established in 1990, initially as the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, to develop entrepreneurial leaders who will create innovative technology-based firms that will impact society.