Entrepreneurial Coaches

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at DEC

Elaine Chen

Cummings Family Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship; Director, Derby Entrepreneurship Center

Elaine is the Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship and the Director of the Derby Entrepreneurship Center. She is also the Founder and Managing Director of ConceptSpring, a corporate innovation and entrepreneurship consulting company.

Elaine has served at the VP level 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.  Elaine has been teaching startup and corporate entrepreneurship in higher education since 2011 at MIT and Tufts University. At ConceptSpring, Elaine leverages her rich entrepreneurial experience to help clients make their organizations more entrepreneurial via innovation consulting services and custom training programs.

Elaine holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from MIT.


Entrepreneurship, Corporate Innovation, Consumer Electronics, Consumer Health and Wellness, Higher Education, Non-profits, Healthcare, Robotics, Industrial Automation

Idicula Mathew

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Derby Entrepreneurship Center; Cofounder & CEO, Hera Health Solutions

Idicula is the co-founder and CEO of Hera Health Solutions, a pharmaceutical device company that specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of long-acting therapeutics through their proprietary Bioerodible drug delivery implants.

Idicula is an entrepreneur with over eight years of experience in scaling startups, entrepreneurship, accelerator coaching, venture capital, medical device/pharmaceutical, and SAAS innovations. He has led startups to raise millions of dollars in venture capital funding. Idicula has received numerous entrepreneurship awards, including being named a 30 Under 30 Global Sustainable Business Leader, named to many 40 Under 40 Business Journal lists, Forbes YEC council, and was invited to the United Nations World summit being recognized as a global leader in startup leadership.

Idicula regularly presents his companies and about scaling startups in notable global conferences like South Summit Madrid, UNESCO Seoul, GES (Global Entrepreneurship Summit), Startup of the Year, and MedTech West Ireland. Idicula holds a degree in biomedical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Medical Devices, Healthcare ventures, SaaS ventures, startup entrepreneurship, customer discovery, venture capital, pitching

Alumni volunteer mentors

Karen Donoghue

Karen Donoghue, Interaction Architect, Principal at HumanLogic

Karen is a Principal Interaction Architect who solves challenging interaction design issues for her clients that include Google, VMware, T-Mobile, SecurityScorecard, Imprivata, and many startups. Karen’s client work focuses on enterprise product design in the areas of Enterprise IT, cybersecurity and device management.
Karen is also an Advisor to Turivius (Sao Paolo), SecurityScorecard (NYC) and recently served for one year as an External Advisor to the Tufts University Department of Computer Science.

Karen has deep experience in platform product design for connected devices. She has led user experience design for globally released mobile platforms including SavaJe OS, Motorola (Razr2), VMware Switch and a (confidential) neurorehabilitation robotics platform. Between 2018-2020, Karen completed two successful consulting engagements for Google Chrome OS Product Management on platform UX.

Karen also releases her own mobile products, most recently Local Haze, an iPhone app for monitoring local air quality that crowdsources sensor data for over 26,000 sensors worldwide and maintains a 4.5 star rating.

Karen is an inventor on over a dozen software patents related to software user experiences. In 2002, she authored the first book linking business strategy to online user experience, published by McGraw-Hill in New York.

Karen holds an MS from the MIT Media Laboratory and a BS in Computer Science from Tufts University. In 2004, Karen helped establish the David W. Krumme Fund for Experimental Computer Science as the initial donor, a fund which has supported students majoring in Computer Science at Tufts University.

New product planning and design for founders, user experience strategy and design, user research, remediation for user experience challenges, hiring and organization design.

Melissa Pickering

Senior Director of Product Management, Willow Innovation Inc.

Melissa is an award winning innovator and entrepreneur and a TEDx speaker. She currently leads the Product Management team at Willow, a growth stage startup of products to make moms’ lives easier. Prior to Willow, Melissa led a product innovation team at LEGO Education to drive new business growth for the LEGO Group in the K12 education sector.

Before the transition into the femtech space, Melissa built her career innovating products for kids. Her experience ranges from innovating theme parks as a Disney rollercoaster engineer to founding & selling her own startup in education technology. She’s a Tufts alum (BSME ’05) and stayed connected to her alma matter, ultimately founding her startup in 2010 with IP licensed from the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO).

In her tenure at LEGO, she led the launch of several franchises that use technology to re-engage kids in physical play. Her guiding star in leading change through product innovation for kids was to stay grounded in the physical world, even with the increasing reliance on digital. In 2019 she took that message to the TED stage with her talk, ‘How Tech should be Designed for Kids.’ She’s looking forward to working with other entrepreneurs that aim to leverage technology for a meaningful impact.

FemTech, Edtech, Entrepreneurship, Toy Industry, IP Licensing, Channel Partnership and Distribution, Product Management, Experience Design