“Elaine has been a tremendous contributor to the success of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. Her intelligent and systematic approach to innovation-driven entrepreneurship has been not only valued by myself and other faculty but also by our very demanding student body at MIT. She has been able to combine her extremely strong technical capability (which gives her instant credibility) with a mind set and ability to get things done that will create a great product and ultimately business. She is a shining example of the MIT motto of Mens et Manus (Mind and Hands). Her leadership to get the very successful Entrepreneurial Product Development and Marketing Class off the ground but she has also done much more. She regularly lectures and mentors in other key programs at the center such as the executive education Entrepreneurial Development Program (EDP) and the student summer Global Founders Skills Accelerator (GFSA). Her skill set, intellect and ability to get things done efficiently and effectively with minimal management oversight make her an incredibly valuable asset to our program.”
Bill Aulet, Senior Lecturer and Managing Director, Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Author, 24 Steps to Entrepreneurship
– Cambridge, MA
“I worked closely with Elaine in creating the very first MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. This program is a unique bridge between the online and campus worlds of MIT. We selected some of the best students from the 55,000+ who took MIT’s first entrepreneurship course offered online on edX – “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?” taught by Bill Aulet – and brought them to MIT for a drinking-from-the-firehose week of team-based action-learning, the staple of the MIT experience.
The Bootcamp was a stunning success and a life-changing experience for most of us who were part of it – both the students and the course team. Many at MIT, edX and beyond see the Bootcamp as a model of the future.
I can say with complete confidence that there’s no way the success happens without Elaine. She took the many valuable, yet often disparate, parts of the MIT entrepreneurship experience – people, content, culture, mentoring, action learning, rigor, expectations – and fused them into a stimulating, coherent, intense one-week curriculum that just worked. Very very very hard to do.
What’s more, Elaine dedication to the students was just off the charts. Throughout the Bootcamp she was with the students dawn to dusk, mentoring them in teams and individually, pressure-testing their ideas, offering avenues for improvement, connecting them to other people and resources, offering encouragement, and just having fun. We don’t see that often.
I cannot wait to work with Elaine on future Bootcamps and other cool things we got cooking now.”
Erdin Beshimov, Executive in Residence, MITx
– Cambridge, MA
“I recently had the pleasure of working with Elaine Chen on a MIT Sloan executive education program focused on innovation and entrepreneurship for EMBA students of Sabanci U. (Turkey). Elaine was masterful in restructuring the team focused processes of the program’s objectives such as coaching sessions, facilitating project work and preparing the teams for final presentations.
After only one week, under Elaine’s capable leadership, the students, most employed by large organizations, delivered impressive business plan presentations for viable new ventures. The work Elaine did with the students during the week was not only impressive, it was meticulously organized, executed and reported on for use in future executive programs with focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.
As a leader who gets the work done, I highly recommend Elaine.”
Maria Sterk, Associate Director, MIT Sloan School of Management
– Cambridge, MA
“Elaine worked with my product team intensively over a three month period, during which she helped take an idea from concept to a defined MVP with a clear execution plan. Elaine is a creative, focussed and high-energy consultant who brings a wealth of start-up expertise to the table. She understands what is needed to get the job done within tight financial and time constraints. Elaine was a real asset and I would hire her again without hesitation.”
Jonathan Hakim, CEO, Cignifi
– Cambridge, MA
“When OrderWithMe started working with Elaine, the ShopWithMe concept was still an idea. Elaine helped us define the product, design the system architecture, and identify an excellent product design partner to bring our vision to life. Elaine’s deep experience in product development with integrated hardware and software was invaluable in helping us make the right decisions, coordinate work, and get the job done on an unbelievably aggressive schedule. She was the glue between geographically distributed groups, making sure we communicated regularly and solved problems holistically. She acts with high integrity and is a trusted advisor to the whole team. I very much enjoy working with Elaine, and highly recommend her to any team creating disruptive new products for the first time.”
Jonathan Jenkins, Co-Founder and CEO, Order With Me
– Las Vegas, NV
“Elaine is a tremendously talented VP of Engineering. She took the Baxter robot from an early concept to mature hardware and second-generation software which paved the way for the success we are seeing with Baxter in the marketplace today. During her tenure she doubled the size of the engineering team and drove a culture shift from an R&D oriented mentality to a scalable and high-performance product development team. Elaine is blazingly intelligent, works exceptionally hard, and is a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working with her again someday.”
Scott Eckert, CEO, Rethink Robotics Inc.
– Boston, MA
“Elaine knows how to get a reliable solid product out the door. The Baxter robot is an immensely complex product and in a new category. It would not have been surprising to have had teething problems out in the field. But instead the robots we shipped have been solid and reliable from day one. We would not have been there without Elaine’s commitment to quality, her meticulous tracking of issues, and leadership of the team to pursue quality at every step. If you want a quality product, Elaine is your leader.”
Rodney Brooks, Founder and CTO, Rethink Robotics, Inc.
– Boston, MA
“When Elaine got involved with Playrific, we had an idea that was looking for a market opportunity and a monetization methodology. Though a customer-centric approach, Elaine helped us figure out the minimum viable product for iOS, and helped us get something created which we were able to test and iterate with kids right away. Many aspects of the MVP she defined and documented for the V1 release are still core to the feature set today years after. Features in the roadmap are still relevant.
In addition to product strategy, Elaine also brought an ethos of MVP and continuous usability testing into the company which has become part of the company culture. We now do usability studies with customers on a consistent basis, which has helped us stay very close to the end users, creating a user experience that kids love.”
Beth Marcus, Founder and CEO, Playrific Inc.
– Billerica, MA
“Elaine has a rare combination of skills. Add together her engineering expertise, her business acumen, her management skills, and her marketing sense, and you get one extremely potent force. Elaine is someone who you can rely on for strategic input and product execution. Moreover, she can get more work done in an given time period than almost anyone I’ve met in my over two decades in software. Add to all of that the fact that Elaine is a most personable and easy to get along with person, and you find someone who I’d be pleased to recommend, hire, work with or for, without reservation.”
Fred Giufridda, Director of Software
– Billerica, MA
“We worked with Elaine on a new cloud-based service in the dental industry. Elaine helped us from the very early stages of product definition, all the way through to building the development team, finding outside specialists, early trials, and on to the launch of the beta product.
Elaine works fast; meetings and follow-up happen quickly. She is able to drive an internal team hard while maintaining strong personal relationships, which is unusual from an outside consultant.
Elaine was very focused on getting us to a minimal viable product, and defining exactly what that product would look like. Elaine is just as comfortable defining the softer “persona” attributes of the product’s target customer, as delivering the harder technical details of the product itself.”
Marcus Lovell Smith, CEO, DentsAble Inc.
– Wilmington, MA
“Elaine is one of the brightest and most productive people I’ve ever worked with. She wears many hats in the technical and business arenas from product design and patents to marketing functions. She is also both creative and analytic and always finds a way to get the job done. Having her on the team helps keep everyone focused and organized.”
Beth Marcus, Founder and CEO, Zeemote Inc.
– Bedford, MA
“Elaine did a great job for us at Axon Labs. Her extensive knowledge of technology combined with superior organizational efficiency and professionalism make for extremely valuable strategic and technical contributions. Elaine would be a welcome contributor to many businesses who are interested in real growth and superior solutions.”
Dave Dickinson, CEO, Zeo Inc. (f.k.a. Axon Labs)
– Newton, MA
“Elaine astounded me with her work. She brings an astute sense of organization and drive to any project – the result is speedy and insightful results and new tools to approach future problems. I highly recommend her work and would be lucky to be able to collaborate with her in the future.”
Ben Rubin, Founder and CTO, Zeo Inc. (f.k.a. Axon Labs)
– Newton, MA
“Elaine was instrumental in bringing a customer focus into every aspect of our business. She uses an integrated approach that leads to smart decisions. Her skills, tools, and insights are incomparable.”
John Shambroom, VP Scientific Affairs, Executive Director of the Zeo Sleep Research Center
– Newton, MA