ME seminar: Discovery to innovation

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March 6, 2023
11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Engineering, College of #1200
5050 Anthony Wayne
Detroit, MI 48202
Event category: Seminar


Dr. Rathindra (Babu) DasGupta, Innovation Corps (I-Corps) outreach specialist for the Great Lakes Region Hub


Programs to boost innovation, entrepreneurship, and help start new science-based ventures currently exist in many public and private institutions. A common theme among these programs is “customer discovery”. This is considered a customer-centric, scientific process that puts evidence behind an assumed product-market fit1. If you are a researcher interested in translating your cutting-edge research into commercial success, or learning more your technology’s industry, our Jumpstart I-Corps programs can help you extend your focus from the laboratory to the marketplace. In these programs, we teach the Lean LaunchPad approach (also called Lean Startup), a process to help you systematically test (validate/invalidate) key assumptions about your technology and the customer problems it might be able to solve. We test these assumptions by talking to potential customers (real people), partners and competitors.

Participating in these programs can help you:

  • Gain valuable market insight to inform the next steps in your research and/or technologydevelopment.
  • Become eligible for the NSF I-Corps National Teams program and $50,000 grant forqualifying technologies and teams.
  • Gain valuable insights that can help you apply for future commercialization funding andgrants (STTR/SBIR).
  • Develop network connections and receive mentoring from experienced industry experts andentrepreneurs.
  • Develop the entrepreneurial mindset and toolset needed for a career in academia, industry,startups, or government.


Dr. Rathindra (Babu) DasGupta is an independent consultant and a part-time Innovation Corps (I-Corps) outreach specialist for the Great Lakes Region Hub led by the University of Michigan. As an independent consultant, DasGupta worked closely with Tubitak, Turkey, Technology Development Foundation of Turkey (TTGV) and VentureWell (2016-2017) to increase the awareness of the Lean Start-up Methodology, and that of the University/Industry Partnerships. DasGupta also collaborated with VentureWell on the Innovate Egypt program (2017) to offer the Lean Start-up Methodology curriculum. In August – October 2018, DasGupta was one of the lean start-up instructors conducting entrepreneurship development at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Prior to his current role, DasGupta served as the senior scientist (part time) for the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2018-2022), program director from June 2006 through April 2016 for various programs (SBIR, I/UCRC, GOALI and I-Corps) in the division of industrial innovation and partnerships at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Before joining NSF, DasGupta was the chief scientist for the CONTECH division of the SPX Corporation. Prior to joining the industry, DasGupta held various professorships at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and Western Michigan University.

DasGupta has received multiple awards and honors including the Raymond D. Peters Endowed Professorship in Materials Science at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (1987-1990), the Inland Steel-Ryerson outstanding undergraduate teacher award at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (1985), the Innovation Award at CONTECH (1997), the Herman H. Doehler Award from the North American Die Casting Association (2000), and a Certificate of Commendation from the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in recognition of outstanding contributions to the community through Technology Commercialization of Public Research Achievements—given from the minister of science and ICT (2020) . He had the honor of being the ASM-IIM visiting lecturer to India in 2000 and has been granted the title of NAI Fellow (2013). In the summer of 1985, DasGupta was also invited as a visiting scientist to China Steel Corporation in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

DasGupta has published numerous papers and presented at various international and domestic conferences, and he has five patents to his credit.


Location: Engineering, College of 1200- Friedman Room (Map)


Lisa Rapicano


March 2023