Elaine Chen

Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts
Courses:  ENT101.03 Entrepreneurship and Business Planning; ENT193.01 Introduction to Making

Elaine is the Cummings Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts. Elaine is the Academic Director for the popular undergraduate Entrepreneurship Minor, where she also teaches multiple courses. She oversees all co-curricular programming, including 1×1 coaching, workshops, a summer accelerator and more. Under her leadership, the Center has grown rapidly and now attracts students with diverse professional interests and career plans, including historically underrepresented groups. 

Prior to joining Tufts, Elaine served as Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence for nearly a decade at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, teaching entrepreneurship in startup, corporate, non-profit and government settings. Elaine founded and led the implementation of multiple academic and co-curricular offerings at MIT. She coached hundreds of students every year, and spearheaded the development of digital infrastructure that used technology to scale up equitable access to entrepreneurship education – on and off campus.  

Elaine plays an active role in entrepreneurship enablement in the community. She received the MIT Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring in recognition of her impact on entrepreneurship education. She was selected by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and Lemelson Foundation to serve as an Invention Ambassador. She also served on the board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge (now known as the eForum). She is currently a Board Director at the Center for Open Science. 

Elaine brings a wealth of experience to Tufts, having served as an engineering and product management VP at six companies, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies. She has brought numerous hardware and software products to market and holds 22 patents. As Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, a corporate innovation and entrepreneurship consulting company, Elaine helps corporate leaders build entrepreneurial organizations via innovation consulting in companies spanning healthcare, industrial automation, FinTech, non-profits, government agencies and more. 

As a thought leader, keynote speaker and author, Elaine has been featured in Xconomy, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Forbes and Fortune. She is author of Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production. She has extensive international experience with particular expertise in the Asia-Pacific area. 

Elaine received her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.