State of Entrepreneurship: New TEC Director Shares Insights to Year Ahead

Addressing Tufts’ entrepreneurial community, TEC Director Elaine Chen discussed her vision and new developments.

In a virtual meeting hosted by Tufts Entrepreneurial Network (TEN) and Tufts Alumni Association, Elaine Chen – Cummings Family Professor of the Practice in Entrepreneurship and Director of Tufts Entrepreneurship Center (TEC) – discussed the state of entrepreneurship and what community members can expect in the coming months following her appointment at the end of August. 

“I’m super excited to join Tufts and help lead the charge of bringing entrepreneurship education to everybody across the Tufts community through partnerships with other schools as well as through working with TEN,” said Elaine. 

Last year, over 100 students completed the Entrepreneurship minor and over 600 students were enrolled in TEC’s elective courses, making it the most popular minor at the university. “What we have is a fantastic base of academic offerings and programs,” Elaine remarked while noting TEC’s competitions and enrichment opportunities offered in addition to the classroom experience.

“We’re going to demonstrate the entrepreneurial method and spirit this year by running a lot of experiments,” said Elaine. “We’re going to brainstorm a lot of new potential offerings. What you can count on is that we will be talking to you, our students, alumni, everyone.”

Kicking off a new semester, Elaine highlighted that the presidents of Women Entrepreneurs at Tufts (WE@T) and the Entrepreneurship Association at Tufts (EAT) will headline the first Jumbo Café on September 16 and discuss ways that students can get involved. 

With a student-centric focus, Elaine said, “Entrepreneurship education is not just about teaching students how to start a West Coast start up. It’s not about just starting Spotify. It’s so much more to me. It’s a state of mind. It’s a way of thinking. It’s how you think about yourself, how you think about building ventures, how you think about doing new creative things in your personal life, and your work everywhere in your life.” 

She added, “I think that to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset means that we are being adaptable. We’re being flexible. We take risks. We do experiments. We’re wrong a lot and it’s okay because every time we’re wrong about something, every time we fail, we learn and iterate.”

The event concluded with themed breakout sessions where attendees had an opportunity to network with each other. With the new academic year underway, students can look forward to exciting entrepreneurial developments and happenings alongside continued partnership with a wide network of alumni entrepreneurs. 

Join Tufts Entreprenurial Network on Monday, Sept. 21 as they host, "What Does It Take to Start (and run) an E-Commerce Business?" featuring Rachel Blumenthal, A02, Lia Winograd, A12, and, Mugs Buckley, J85. The speakers will discuss their start-up journeys, how to acquire customers, approach to hiring top talent, and how to stand out in a crowded field. RSVP and learn more here.