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Marking a Unique Moment

Perspectives, Press & Announcements

As we mark the closing of The Engine Fund III, with $398M in commitments, we strongly believe that in the coming decades, the tech giants of tomorrow will come from effectively translating science and technology out of research. This latest fund comes 7 years after our official launch of Fund I, and brings us over $1 billion dollars under management, with 56 unique companies to date and astonishing progress across our portfolio as these companies scale their solutions globally. Together, these companies are building the world we want our future generations to live in and creating enormous value along the way.

Since the launch of The Engine by MIT in 2016, The Engine Ventures has been committed to empowering visionary founders who dare to explore the edges of possibility. Our approach is deeply rooted in the belief that backing ventures aiming to solve some of the planet’s most pressing problems is not just an opportunity but a responsibility. Through our system of identifying breakthrough research and nurturing this community of innovators, The Engine Ventures catalyzes progress toward a future where technology and humanity converge to overcome challenges and unlock new frontiers. Working together with The Engine Accelerator, we have worked to reduce the barriers to translating these companies through lab and infrastructure space, specialized programs and early stage capital. Together, we will propel our economies forward, create a more sustainable and equitable future, and generate outsized financial returns.

With this new capital, we will continue to back the brightest minds across Tough Tech as they translate their research out of the lab and into their new ventures on the path to commercialization. We have already gotten to work, with several investments and a strong pipeline across advanced systems, climate, and human health.

Today, more than ever, there is a real opportunity to solve humanity’s greatest challenges and shape a better future. The unprecedented convergence of talent, capital, and computing power makes us highly optimistic about the future. Next-generation semiconductors and advanced computing power will transform industries and economies; new energy technologies will meet the demands of progress while providing effective climate solutions; and the new tools applied to biology will cure previously incurable diseases, radically expand the food supply to feed a planet of 10 billion people, and make previously scarce resources widely available.

There is so much inspiration and proof across the portfolio that these companies are moving faster than ever before, thanks to the sheer drive of the founders and executive teams. Commonwealth Fusion Systems, which we first backed in 2018, is on track to demonstrate net positive fusion energy at its pilot plant in Devens, MA within a decade of translating out of the lab. Cellino Biotech is enabling the democratization of personalized stem cell therapies through their machine learning manufacturing approach, automating what has been a highly manual and thus cost-prohibitive solution and enabling a future of regenerative medicines. And Celestial AI promises to dramatically reduce the power demands of advanced computing data centers by optically interconnecting memory and compute.

Around the world, policy frameworks are unlocking new markets for strategically critical technologies and pulling forward their path to commercialization. In the United States, the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the CHIPS Act have crowded in record investments in clean energy and unleashed the largest construction manufacturing boom since World War II. Tough Tech companies are at the forefront of this surge: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected Boston Metal to establish a new manufacturing plant for the decarbonization of steelmaking, and announced major awards to both Sublime Systems and Via Separations to support the scaleup of first and second generation plants. As startups onshore production of the next generation of critical climate technologies, they are bringing along communities that have been left behind by previous transitions: Form Energy’s first battery plant, for example, will create hundreds of jobs in Weirton, West Virginia. The result is an energy transition that will be politically and economically resilient.

It has been inspiring and rewarding to see the growth of private capital in these sectors, in our own funds and portfolio, and for the sector at large. We launched our first fund, The Engine Fund I, with the backing of MIT and a group of extremely bold partners who believed without evidence that we could leverage the breakthroughs of Tough Tech to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges while also creating large financial returns. We are still supported by our original investors and have welcomed many new partners who will continue to grow with us into the next phase. Seeing the incredible progress across our portfolio and the addition of new pension funds and endowments alongside those early backers gives me so much confidence that the model is beginning to work and that we will succeed in our mission to repower the world, to decarbonize the grid, to retool our supply chains, to accelerate our advanced systems infrastructure, and to grow enough food and manufacture enough drugs for the world's population. There are many layers below the logic, each posing new challenges we must overcome together.

I tell everyone that I have the best job in the world. The Engine Ventures team wakes up every day because of the people we get to work with and the sheer optimism we all share toward the future.

We look forward to working together as we continue on this transformative journey. It’s time to go.