CAMBRIDGE, MA– MIT’s new startup accelerator The Engine has closed its first investment fund for over $150 million, which will support startups developing breakthrough scientific and technological innovations with potential for societal impact, MIT announced. The Engine is now focusing on selecting its first group of investments this year.
Announced at a launch event last October, The Engine combines an accelerator, an open network of technical facilities, and a fund, which together will provide stable financial support and access to costly resources for startups. Focus will be given to startups developing “tough” technologies — breakthrough ideas that require time to commercialize — in a range of sectors including robotics, manufacturing, health tech, biotechnology, and energy.
“From the beginning, our vision for The Engine has been to foster the success of ‘tough-tech’ startups with great potential for positive impact for humanity,” MIT President L. Rafael Reif says. “By enabling crucial investments in The Engine’s first portfolio of companies, the funds announced today will also strengthen the local innovation ecosystem and the regional economy.”
Of the total capital raised for the fund — officially named The Engine Accelerator Fund I, L.P. — MIT invested $25 million. The remainder came from a small group of investors aligned with the fund’s mission.
In February, The Engine named Katie Rae, a veteran tech entrepreneur and investor, as its president and CEO and as managing partner of its first investment fund. In that announcement, The Engine also announced membership of its Board of Directors and Investment Advisory Committee, which includes MIT and business leaders, seasoned entrepreneurs, and experienced venture capitalists.
“Now that we have the funding in place and our space is opening, we can begin to select our first startups. I can’t wait to get started working with the entrepreneurs,” says Rae. “Helping entrepreneurs achieve their visions is what I’m most passionate about, and we’re going to create a community where founders help each other succeed.”