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Raj Melville Recognized With Innovation In Social And Economic Impact Award

Press Release

Get Konnected!, Boston's premier urban business networking event  celebrated its 7th anniversary at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Tuesday, March 24th by honoring  a diverse group of business and social innovators from the fields of Technology, Life Sciences, Philanthropy, Economic Development, Investment and Spirituality.

Each year to celebrate its anniversary, Get Konnected! honors individuals and corporations in both the private and public sectors whose commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplary or whose philanthropic efforts have contributed to making Boston and/or Massachusetts  better for all its citizens. This year's 2015 anniversary theme, Boston's Rainbow of Innovators celebrates a culturally diverse group of business and social innovators who are contributing to advancing Boston's global reputation as an epicenter and hub for innovation, technology, education and philanthropy.

The 2015 Innovation Honorees include:
Raj Melville, Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation for Innovation in Social and Economic Impact and Gilad Rosenzweig, President, Smarter in the City; Joseph Chung, Managing Director, Redstar Ventures for Innovation in Investment; Susan Windham Bannister, President, Mass Life Science Center for Process and Service Innovation; Vanessa Kirsch, Founder & CEO, New Profit Inc and Paul Grogan, President, The Boston Foundation for Philanthropic Innovation; Carlos Arredondo, Peace Activist, Advocate for Military families and Immigrants and Boston Marathon Bombing Good Samaritan for Inspiration Innovation; and 17-year-old Toni Oloko, Founder, PracticeGigs for Emerging Teen Entrepreneur.

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, Raj Melville 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 currently mentors several startups focused on addressing key social issues.

Raj has over 25 years of product management, marketing and consulting experience including managing overall product strategy and features as Vice President, Product Management for nTAG Interactive, a spin off from the MIT Media Lab. As V.P. Product Management and Marketing, and later V.P Client Services, at mobile software vendor Vaultus, another MIT spinoff, (now part of Antenna Software) he provided marketing, product management and client services direction. Prior to that he was Sr. Director, Product Management at Be Free Inc. (now Valueclick), a market leading affiliate marketing ad server and e-commerce solution. Earlier he managed the launch of two high-end Internet server products at Electronic Book Technologies (later acquired by Inso). His early career included working at Microsoft Corp., Digital Equipment Corporation, and Booz Allen & Hamilton.

He is an active member of TiE Boston and the India Society of Worcester and co-founded the TIE Social Entrepreneurship Group. He has been a mentor and judge for several entrepreneurial competitions such as MassChallenge, MIT 100K, and the MIT IDEAS competition. Raj has a Doctor of Science in engineering from MIT focusing on optimizing the operation of computerized manufacturing systems; a Master’s from MIT’s Sloan School; and a Bachelor’s from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

"We are delighted to honor this diverse group of trailblazers and pioneers who are finding unique and innovative ways to solve both business and social problems and who are contributing to making Boston and the Commonwealth a vibrant hub and epicenter for innovation," said Colette Phillips, President and CEO of CPC Global and the founder of Get Konnected!. "Each honoree is a great role model and inspiration for our community."

Founded in 2008 Get Konnected! (WCVB TV 5 Chronicle) is the first event of its kind that brings together professionals, business executives and entrepreneurs of all cultures for the purpose of networking. In the past seven years, Get Konnected! has become Boston's premier urban business networking event that brings together urban and international professionals, business executives and entrepreneurs of diverse cultures and industry sectors.  Named Boston's Best Multicultural Networking Event, Get Konnected! has been recognized by the Massachusetts State Legislature, the Boston City Council and Boston Latino TV for advancing business and career opportunities for Greater Boston's culturally diverse communities.

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