The Engine, founded by MIT in 2016 to focus on tough tech innovations, has announced it has raised an updated total of $200 million for its first investment fund with which the firm will continue making new investments into tough tech startups.
“Tough tech companies have historically been underserved and underfunded, leaving many breakthrough inventions stuck in the lab,” said Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner of The Engine. “By building a first-of-its-kind organization with a mission to focus exclusively on founders working on tough tech, The Engine aims to transform the status quo venture ecosystem and to make Boston the heart of tough tech innovations.”
The Engine bridges the gap between discovery and commercialization by empowering startups developing “tough” tech — breakthrough ideas that require time to commercialize — with the long-term capital, entrepreneurial knowledge, connections, specialized equipment and labs they need to thrive. The Engine provides a combination of long-term investment, resources, and services that include The Engine Fund, The Engine Room, The Engine Program, and The Engine Network.
“Within months of announcing The Engine’s first investment fund, we received more than 500 pitches from startups. What was surprising yet unsurprising was that nearly all 500 startups focused on tough tech, underscoring the real abundance of opportunities for tough tech innovations, as well as the real need for a tough tech ecosystem we knew was lacking,” Rae added. “Today’s group of startups have massive ambitions and are working on transformative innovations poised to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges.”
All based in the Boston area, today’s seven startups span a range of tough tech sectors that include aerospace, advanced materials, biotech, genetic engineering, renewable energy and others Analytical Space, developing systems that provide no-delay, high-speed data from space to address global challenges such as precision agriculture, climate monitoring and city planning.