Raising the Bar — Impacting Students
EIRs are highly experienced professionals who have worked in numerous startups and are looking to share that experience with MIT students. EIRs focus on educating, mentoring, and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs on the challenges surrounding startup life.
Elaine is a startup veteran, product strategy and innovation consultant, and author who has brought numerous hardware and software products to market. As Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, Elaine works with innovative teams to help them define and build new products and services with the speed and agility of a startup. Clients span diverse industries, including healthcare IT, industrial automation, robotics, consumer electronics, retail innovation, fintech, and more. She is the author of the book, “Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production.”
As the VP of engineering and product management at several startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote, and SensAble Technologies, Elaine has built, grown, and nurtured several technical organizations from the ground up. She is a co-inventor on 22 patents to date, and has managed IP portfolio strategies for numerous organizations. Elaine’s experience spans multiple industries, including consumer electronics, robotics, industrial automation, IoT, CAD/CAM, retail and supply chain software, and healthcare IT.
Elaine has been working with students at MIT since early 2011. She is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Senior Lecturer at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the MIT Sloan School of Management. She designs, develops, and teaches courses and programs in entrepreneurship and primary market research, coaches students on a one-on-one basis, and works tirelessly to scale up educational support for entrepreneurial students. She built the Trust Center’s First Time Founder Knowledge Base from the ground up. In June 2016, she received the Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring from Sloan in recognition of her contributions to foster entrepreneurship education at MIT. She was recently selected by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Lemelson Foundation to serve as one of eight Invention Ambassadors for 2017-2018 to inspire, inform, and influence thought leaders and the global community about innovation and invention via speaking engagements.
Elaine is a thought leader and has been featured in Xconomy, TechCrunch, Forbes and Fortune. She regularly blogs about topics in leadership, entrepreneurship, and corporate entrepreneurship. She is active in the community and a sought after speaker. She serves on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, a non-profit organization serving all entrepreneurs in the greater Boston area. Her most recent speaking engagements include a keynote address for the Tourism Innovation Conference 2nd Edition – International Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, a talk about passion at the AAAS, a talk about haptic inventions for the IBM Academy of Technology, and an executive workshop on entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship in Thailand for top business owners and government officials in CLMVT countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand).
Elaine holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Trish Cotter is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MIT and Director of MIT delta v, the Institute’s educational accelerator program run out of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship where she mentors students through the accelerator process for their start-up ventures. In addition, she is a lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management on topics related to entrepreneurship.
Prior to MIT, Trish was an executive at IBM after they acquired Netezza (a data analytics provider) in 2010 for $1.8B. She was the President Netezza LLC, SVP of Operations and a company officer at Netezza. Prior to Netezza, she was the VP of Manufacturing and a company officer at Visual Networks; a company she helped take public in 1998. Trish has a background in engineering, and has held various engineering and management positions at Honeywell, Computervision, Sun Microsystems and Stratus.
Trish has earned a BA in Business Administration from Boston College, an MBA from Northeastern University, an AMP from Harvard Business School, and a M.Ed. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing her doctorate in work-based learning at the University of Pennsylvania in 2014, she thought it might be interesting for the next chapter of her life to merge two of my passions – education and entrepreneurship – which have come together nicely at MIT.
Kit Hickey is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Kit is co-founder of Ministry of Supply, which is a pioneer in fashion’s performance-professional category. The company uses technology and advanced manufacturing to reinvent what people wear to work. Ministry of Supply has been featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, Wall Street Journal, and on the TODAY Show. While at the company, Kit led and build out numerous high performing teams, including Customer, Revenue, E-Commerce, and Retail. As Chief Retail Officer, Kit spearheaded the company’s expansion into retail, opened 10 stores, managed a team of 50, and conceptualized and developed the company’s revolutionary 3-D print-knit experience. In this innovative store experience, customers could design and create blazers on demand, which are then 3-D printed in the retail store, changing the conversation on traditional retail supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability, and customer experience.
Prior to Ministry of Supply, Kit started a nonprofit which helped entrepreneurs in emerging markets gain access to financing. The nonprofit merged with BiD Network, a Netherlands-based company with a similar mission. Before that, she worked in investment banking, where she advised early-stage companies raising Series A and Series B funding.
Kit teaches two to three entrepreneurship classes per year at MIT. She is the lead instructor for “Building an Entrepreneurial Venture: Advanced Tools and Techniques,” one of the most advanced classes offered for entrepreneurial teams. She also teaches “Dilemmas in Founding New Ventures,” which she designed in order to teach students who will start or join startups about the people issues and organizational challenges that innovative entrepreneurial ventures face.
Donna Levin is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a Senior Lecturer in Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategy at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
In Donna’s role as a Senior Lecturer, she oversees the Entrepreneurship and Innovation track at Sloan, and teaches courses designed to introduce students to technological entrepreneurship and help build scalable ventures. As an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Trust Center, Donna mentors MIT students across all the schools on campus. Donna is an active part of the MIT entrepreneurship ecosystem and has served as part of the teaching and coaching team for the Trust Center’s two accelerator programs, MIT fuse over IAP and delta v, MIT’s capstone accelerator program.
Donna had an 18-year career as a social entrepreneur. She is co-founder of Care.com, the world’s leading online destination for helping families find and manage family care with over 23 million members across 18 countries. During Donna’s tenure at Care.com, she played key roles in building and leading high performing teams, and scaling the company through five rounds of funding to IPO.
Previously VP of Operations at Upromise, an online service that helps families save for college, she has also held several leadership positions across a broad range of technology and start up organizations including Furniture.com, Turning Point Software (acquired by Metamore Worldwide), and Thomson Financial.
Donna is an advisor to several early stage startups and has mentored teams at MassChallenge, TechStars, SmarterInTheCity, and Project Entrepreneur. Donna serves on the Board of Directors of WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, and Zero to Three.
Nick Meyer is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Lecturer at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. His passion lies in pushing learning to be fun and hands on, smashing disciplines together, and supporting founders who believe the world can be better.
A serial co-founder, Nick has been product or engineering lead for software companies in industries as diverse as gaming, video, travel, music, social, and consumer products. While still in high school, he co-founded the MMOG (multi-player massive online game) Kings of Chaos, one of the first browser-based viral casual games. At peak, KoC attracted hundreds of thousands of daily active players and is still running 15 years later.
While an undergraduate student at MIT, Nick founded Reble.FM, a peer-to-peer streaming music service. Nick left MIT in 2006 to participate in Y Combinator, and then moved to San Francisco after raising seed capital from Tandem Entrepreneurs. Reble.FM was acquired by Playlist.com. After running Product at Playlist.com, Nick co-founded SocialShield, a subscription service for parents to protect their children from online bullying and cyber-stalking. SocialShield was later acquired by Avira.
In 2009, Nick moved to New York and joined Vinay Pulim, an old MIT buddy and co-founder of Reble.FM, in founding MileWise. Frequent travelers are demanding, and MileWise saved time and money by optimizing reward travel spend. As an engineer and designer, Nick wore every hat you could wear, until the company’s acquisition by Yahoo! in 2013. MileWise’s investors included General Catalyst, Founder Collective, Atlas, Mitch Kapor, Naval Ravikant, and Keith Rabois.
His most recent company was Sup, a mobile video app funded by Khosla Ventures. In a surprise twist, the company turned into Wim Yogurt, producing a kitchen appliance making healthy frozen yogurt right on your countertop.
As a lecturer, Nick teaches classes and workshops across the engineering and business schools. His current classes include “Building an Entrepreneurial Venture,” “Intro to Making,” and “Digital Product Management.” Last year Nick taught “Open Source Entrepreneurship” with Professor Saman Amarasinghe, a software lab that applied the Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework to Open Source Software projects. During MIT’s Independent Activities Period in January, Nick runs MIT fuse, an intense three-week program he jokingly calls “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Founders.
When not teaching, Nick loves sports and music. He is an IASI-certified alpine ski instructor and PADI-certified scuba diver, loves rock climbing, and is trying very hard at squash and golf. On Mondays, you’ll find him in the 9-ball tournament at Flat Top Johnny’s, and Wednesdays at the Plough and Stars working on his blues harmonica.
Will is a scrappy and agile entrepreneur driven by the ability of technology-powered innovation to create impact at the scale of civilization. He has extensive experience founding, leading, and operating boot-strapped and venture-backed technology ventures. Will has deep domain knowledge in topics such as complex product development, team-building, deal structuring, financing, intellectual property strategy and portfolio management, licensing, government grants and contracts, joint development agreements, and contract negotiations.
In 2010, Will co-founded CoolChip Technologies, an MIT spinout commercializing proprietary electronics cooling technologies. As CEO, Will was responsible for overall operations across the U.S., China, Japan, and Taiwan, including supply chain management, business and corporate development, research & development, and strategic partnerships. CoolChip was a Techstars and Highway1 alum, and Massachusetts Clean Energy and Founders Fund portfolio company.
Prior to CoolChip, Will was a researcher and teaching instructor at MIT. While at MIT, Will co-founded Vecarius, Inc., a startup aiming to address energy efficiency in various commercial and military applications. He has also held positions at Telefonica and the CIA.
Will earned B.Sc., M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees from MIT, and lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.
Co-Founder and CEO, Ecovent