Ellen Chisa

About | Portfolio | Writing | Speaking & Teaching | Coffee

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Hello! You can find me around the internet or in real life, but this is my story so far.

Right now, I'm spending my summer at Blade. I love working again.

Speaking of work, I just made it through my first year at Harvard Business School! Phew. I wrote down one key lesson from each class. This Spring, I taught a seminar in Product Management at Olin College. I've made my syllabus and every lesson available. I'm interested in teaching it again: if you want it for your company or university, please email me.

I'm anxious to start my own company again. I have a few projects brewing, and right now I'm interested in: cheese, people moving, and why people don't hang up their art. At HBS I worked on an idea to connect amateur photographers and casual events.

I love reading. I spend a lot of time reading cases for HBS, but I still try to get a bunch of books in. Right now I'm reading The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner. Some other things I enjoy are writing, SCUBA Diving, and the Twilight Zone pinball machine. I've heard the Clover Labs in Central Square has one, and I'm always up for a game.

I used to work as a Product Manager at Kickstarter. I worked on a new set of Discovery tools amongst other things. A big part of working at Kickstarter is getting to see (and support!) creative projects. Here are a few projects I recently backed:

Typographic Postcards

Center for Lost Arts – a document

Cat Greeting Cards

I was a Dean and Trustee of the Awesome Foundation for three years. If you're interested in learning more about the it, you should check out this talk that I gave with Nikki Lee at Creative Mornings. The talk itself is 17 minutes, and the rest is Q&A.

I used to live in Seattle, where I was a Program Manager at Microsoft. I worked on Office for Windows Phone 8. I also worked on something that I still affectionately refer to as "The Oompa Loompas" and on PowerPoint Broadcast for Symbian. I wrote a longer essay on my time at Microsoft.

Before that, I graduated from Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering with a B.S. in Electrical & Computer Engineering. My senior capstone project at Olin was studying "transitioners" - people who were graduating from college and going to work for the first time. My team designed an application called Sundrop: Saving for a Sunny Day, meant to encourage impulse saving. One of my favorite parts of the application was the "Not Starbucks" feature.

At one point, I took a Leave of Absence from Olin. While on leave I co-founded Alight Learning with five of my friends. We attempted to design learning management software from pedagogical principles, rather than automating the existing student-teacher workflow.

I grew up in Michigan. I attended the International Academy for High School, which at the time was the only all-public all-International Baccalaurate school in North America. I'm still a huge fan of the IB curriculum. I was also a member of FIRST Robotics Team 469.

Since this is the internet, here is a video of my cat:

Still reading? I enjoy meeting new people! If you're in Boston, we have lots of options! If you aren't, I'm experimenting with taking phone calls on my walk to/from work (7:30-9am EST or 6-7:30PM EST). You can email me at ellen.chisa@gmail.com.






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