Elaine Chen

Senior Lecturer

Biography | Selected Publications

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, lean startup, customer development, leadership and team development in a startup setting, 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 retail POS systems, 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 19 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
Business plans; Entrepreneurial management; Entrepreneurship; Hi technology companies; Hi-technology / Hi-tech; Innovation; Innovation management; Innovative thinking; Intellectual property; Intellectual property; Leadership; Leadership; Management of technology; Manufacturing management; Market research; New venture development; New ventures; Open innovation; Patents; Positioning; Product design; Product development; Product innovation; Research and development; Robotics; Robots; Software engineering; Startups / Start-ups; Technological innovation; Technological innovation; Technology; Technology strategy