Elaine Chen

Senior Lecturer

Elaine Chen

Elaine Chen is a Senior Lecturer in the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Elaine is a seasoned product development executive and consultant with a unique background spanning product development and product management.  She brings practical techniques for entrepreneurial product development and marketing to engineering, MBA, and EMBA students. Specific areas of focus include:  lean startup, customer development, user and buyer persona development, and the application of ethnographic techniques for planning and conducting primary market research.

Elaine is deeply passionate about all aspects of bringing a product to market, from market sizing and analysis through customer research, ideation, user experience, design, development and release to product life cycle management and planned obsolescence. She has brought over 20 hardware and software products to market, in industries spanning robotics, haptics, CAD, consumer electronics, web, mobile platforms and more.  She has built and grown several technical organizations from the ground up.  She is a co-inventor on 17 issued patents to date, and has managed IP portfolio strategies for several startups.

Elaine has spent her entire career in startups and small companies.  She really appreciates the speed, innovation, and breadth of experiences that this type of environment has to offer.  She loves the idea that you never get pigeonholed; that you are free to wear as many hats as you are comfortable wearing, and that you can contribute to your maximum personal potential.

Elaine has served at the VP level in engineering and product management at several startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote, and SensAble Technologies.  She is also the founder and president at ConceptSpring, where she provides strategic engineering and product development consulting services to help CEOs and leaders of product teams build great teams and develop disruptive products with hardware and software components.

Elaine is an active member of the MIT community, and is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

She holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.

General Expertise: Entrepreneurship; Focusing on Disciplined Entrepreneurship, startup fundamentals, leadership and team development, lean startup, customer development, user and buyer persona development, primary market research, and hardware / software product development


For more background on this faculty member's research and academic initiatives, please visit the MIT Sloan faculty directory.

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