Former Tesla, FitBit and Khosla Ventures executive brings climate, supply chain, and operational expertise to the Tough Tech venture firm
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies that are solving the world’s most urgent problems, announced Milo Werner joined the firm as General Partner. She will have a broad purview of investing in promising prospective deals and supporting existing portfolio founders across climate, human health, and advanced systems and infrastructure.
Werner brings more than 15 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture investment experience to The Engine and will work closely with CEO & Managing Partner, Katie Rae, and General Partners, Reed Sturtevant and Ann DeWitt. She will assist the firm’s Tough Tech portfolio companies with operational strategy with particular emphasis on supporting companies addressing climate change and those advancing mobility, robotics and computing.
“As an MIT alum and native of Brookline, Massachusetts, I was drawn to The Engine since it was conceived – its mission, leadership, diversity of investments, and hands-on approach mirror my own values and leadership style,” said Werner. “I have been impressed with the fund milestones and portfolio achievements ever since I participated in the inaugural Tough Tech Summit. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to join the team and work side-by-side with Katie, Reed and Ann in support of these phenomenal Tough Tech founders as they scale strategically, establish sustainable supply chains and contribute to economic and societal growth.”
Werner spent more than eight years at Tesla Motors, industrializing the company’s technology and launching new products including the Roadster; Model S powertrain, battery, and dual motor; the first iteration of Tesla’s autopilot; and the Model X.
Werner was most recently a Partner at venture capital firm Ajax Strategies, where she led mid-stage investments in companies across the energy, transportation, agriculture, and manufacturing sectors. She was also an Operating Partner at Khosla Ventures, supporting founders working on breakthrough technologies with commercial contracts, sourcing strategies, and supplier relationship development.
Additionally, Werner previously held senior roles across engineering, manufacturing, and product development for micro-grid company Off.Grid: Electronics and Zola, a startup focused on clean solar and smart storage solutions. She was the Director of Product Introductions at health and wellness wearable company FitBit (now part of Google). In her 18 months there, she launched four factories in East China to expand the company’s supply chain and transitioned it to fully automated manufacturing.
Werner earned a B.S. in geology and civil & environmental engineering from the University of Vermont, as well as a M.S. in civil engineering and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has spoken frequently about the process of scaling new technologies to audiences including the U.S. Department of Energy, ARPA-E, MIT, and UC Berkeley.
“Milo has a deep understanding of the challenges founders need to overcome when commercializing complex technologies and an impressive track record of rebuilding the global supply chain with investments in truly platform-shifting technologies within autotech, energy storage and cool chain,” said Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner of The Engine. “Her proven ability to industrialize the toughest technologies will be instrumental for our current portfolio as it scales.”
Werner holds board roles for AxelHire, Infinitum Electric and Lime. She also sits on the board of the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and is a former president of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations Alumni association. She currently resides in San Francisco, CA and will relocate with her family to the Boston area in 2022.
The Engine is currently investing from a $302 million Fund II. Its total capital commitments across the funds are more than $672 million. The Engine’s portfolio includes 37 companies that harness breakthrough science and technology, often from top research institutions, to solve important, global challenges across climate change, human health, and advanced systems & infrastructure.
About The Engine
The Engine is a Cambridge, MA-based venture capital firm. It was conceived and created by MIT in 2016 to address the unmet need for sustained support for startups with the potential to solve complex, existential challenges and make a material, positive impact on society. The Engine provides access to long-term capital, knowledge, connections, as well as the infrastructure these Tough Tech companies need to thrive. For more information, visit www.engine.xyz.
Head of Communications