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 and corporate innovation and entrepreneurship consultant who has brought numerous high tech products to market. She grew up in Hong Kong, and moved to the US to study engineering at MIT – eventually building a career as a technology entrepreneur. She has served at the VP level at 5 startups, including Rethink Robotics, Zeo, Zeemote and SensAble Technologies. She holds 22 patents.
As Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, Elaine works with executives and leaders in established businesses to help them develop entrepreneurial skills, craft new innovation processes, and set up and run new ventures 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”.
Elaine has been working with students at MIT since early 2011. She is a Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. She designs, develops, and teaches courses and programs in entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship, coaches students on a one-on-one basis, and develops systems and processes to scale up the support to entrepreneurial students. She built the Trust Center’s First Time Founder Knowledge Base from the ground up. She also serves on the Board of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. In June 2016, Elaine received the Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurship Mentoring from MIT. In 2017, she was selected by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science and the Lemelson Foundation to serve as one of eight Invention Ambassadors for 2017-2018.
Elaine is a thought leader, author and keynote speaker who has been featured in Xconomy, TechCrunch, Huffington Post, Forbes and Fortune. She covers topics spanning innovation, entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship, technology trends and more. Her most recent speaking engagements include speaking about innovation at a conference on Public-Private Partnership hosted by the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; delivering a keynote address for an Employment Conference at MIT; and delivering a keynote address for an International Tourism Innovation Conference in Portugal. She has extensive international experience, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area.
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.
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