About GDC

The Tree: 

The tree in the picture symbolizes our mission in GDC. When one plants the sapling one does not know how tall and strong it will become. But we plant it anyway, the tree will outlive most of us. Similarly at GDC we plant seeds of innovation and entrepreneurship, knowing that one day the seed will become a tree whose roots are so strong and whose spread is so wide that all those who come under it benefit from it.


The Gopalakrishnan Deshpande Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (GDC) has been established at IIT Madras in August 2017 to provide the necessary thought leadership and networking impetus to help in building the systems and processes that enable innovative and entrepreneurial thinking across the Institute at all levels.

GDC aims to nurture and evangelise innovation so that it pervades a wide swathe of activities in the Institute, ranging from teaching to research to product development and policy making.

GDC will help crystallise out-of-the-box solutions that emerge from the Institute’s labs, faculty and research scholars, as well as from fertile young minds which in turn will create significant economic and social impact at a national and eventually at a global level.

Story of Logo

The stone axe was invented millions of years ago. But it was made by just one man. He made the entire stone axe and only he knew how to make it. It was born out of individual effort. The story of the computer mouse is different. Thousands of people make a mouse; no single person can make it. A mouse requires knowledge of oil, plastic, electronics, mechanics, computer science and a myriad other things. It requires collaborative effort by people from all over the world. Therefore they seem to be two completely different objects. But there is also a striking similarity, Both of them fit into the palm of one's hand.

At GDC we want to tell the world of this similarity and this difference: That innovation lies deep rooted in the mind of mankind. The basic need and urge to invent never changes. It is the discovery of the new that changes what we make. And that innovation requires both individual genius and collective effort.

This story was mentioned in a TED talk by Matt Ridley. We firmly believe in the story behind the logo. The logo must carry with it our philosophy and our identity.

GDC Initiatives

Systems approach to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing 'patterns of change' rather than static snapshots - Peter Senge

The above lines describe the philosophy of our work in GDC. By seeing the whole and by looking for connections in all our activities we can confidently say that all of our work will help to change the world, albeit in a small way.

Our Initiatives.

  1. Curate research ideas of faculty into successful business ventures.
  2. Set up  a central prototyping facility .
  3. Help companies share their business problems with students and faculty and looking for innovative solutions.
  4. Help students and faculty participate in competitions across the world including The Grand Challenges .
  5. Restructure the design of research projects in IIT in a manner that will enable better innovation and entrepreneurship.
  6. Research in innovation and entrepreneurship
  7. Manage special projects on innovation with a socially relevant theme.
  8. Network with other institutions within the Deshpande Foundation.
  9. Hold seminars and symposiums on innovation and entrepreneurship.
  10. Evangelising innovation and entrepreneurship.

Contact us:

Gopalakrishnan-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

IC & SR Building, II Floor - Annexe, IIT Madras, Chennai - 600 036

Sheeba Grace

+91 044 22578433