Elaine Chen

Senior Lecturer


Elaine Chen

Elaine Chen is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Elaine is a seasoned startup executive and consultant with a unique background spanning product development and product management.  She teaches entrepreneurship, leadership, primary market research and product development to engineering, MBA, and EMBA students.  Specific areas of focus include: disciplined entrepreneurship, startup fundamentals, leadership and team development in a startup setting, 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 coinventor on 17 issued patents to date, and has managed IP portfolio strategies for several startups.

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 managing director of ConceptSpring, a strategic engineering and product development consulting firm that helps CEOs and executives build great teams and develop great products and services.  

Elaine holds a BS and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT.



Contact Information

Research Center(s)

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