The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship provides the expertise, support, and connections needed for MIT students to become effective entrepreneurs. It is a resource for students in all majors – engineering, science and management alike.


The Trust Center is a cross-campus resource with a mission to support entrepreneurship activities for everyone. However, in 2010 the Trust Center was being leveraged mostly by students from the Sloan School of Management. Students from other departments, particularly engineering and the sciences, have low awareness of this tremendous resource. The Trust Center’s website had a lot of legacy content and did not clearly speak to the target constituency. They wanted to revamp this site and adjust their messaging to speak to all students, not just MBA students.

Our Approach

We worked with Bill Aulet, the Managing Director, to clarify the target personas that we wanted the web site to speak to. We engaged with the program manager and project team, providing them with tools and templates and helped structure a persona research project. We helped them develop the screening questionnaire and discussion guide. We also provided templates for the positioning statement and unique value proposition and gave some suggestions on the relevant content.


The team performed primary research to clarify the needs and wants of each user persona, and defined a content strategy for the web site that caters to their needs. Through this user-centric approach, the new site presented information in a very clear and engaging manner that directly addresses the information needs of the target personas.


“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.”

– Bill Aulet, Senior Lecturer and Managing Director, Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, Author, 24 Steps to Entrepreneurship

  • Company: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Project: Persona development