Translating Breakthroughs from Lab to Market, The Engine Ventures Scales its Pioneering Tough Tech Investment Model

At $398M, Fund III is the firm’s largest to date and a testament to the critical need for investing in scientific and engineering-based solutions to global problems.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Engine Ventures, a venture firm that invests in early-stage founders solving critical global challenges, today announced it raised a $398 million Fund III, bringing the firm’s total assets under management to more than $1 billion. Formed in 2016 as The Engine built by MIT, the firm’s mission is to unlock commercialization in Tough Tech, a new asset class that translates breakthrough science and engineering from lab to market. The investment fund, now branded as The Engine Ventures, has backed 56 transformational companies. With Fund III, The Engine Ventures is further scaling its investment model to help bridge the gap from discovery to commercialization for climate, human health, and advanced systems technology.

Market Tailwinds Drive Momentum

Corporate urgency to combat climate change, federal and state support for clean energy (as demonstrated by the Inflation Reduction Act), and advances in software and simulation that accelerate R&D processes rapidly drive demand for deep tech. Investment leaders are increasingly recognizing the potential of returns and long-term resiliency of these companies, which is attracting more institutional investors, pensions, and individual managers to the asset class.

Engine Ventures maintains an unwavering focus on identifying early-stage founders and working hand-in-hand to help them solve massive societal problems, starting at first check and with board appointments. By providing extensive operational expertise and unprecedented access to a powerful academic, commercial, and governmental network, the firm is uniquely capable of helping early-stage companies retire risk and hit meaningful commercial milestones that unlock access to the capital required to make a global impact.

Engine Ventures’ unique approach, combined with timely market drivers, has resulted in significant portfolio company momentum, for example:

Tapping into corporate urgency to combat climate change, Commonwealth Fusion Systems completed the first year of its collaboration with global energy giant ENIi to advance the commercialization of fusion energy. At its new facility in Holyoke, Massachusetts, Sublime Systems is producing emissions-free cement blends on an R&D-scale pilot line, with initial tests showing that the company’s cement meets industry performance standards at a lower CO2 intensity compared to incumbents. This summer, VEIR completed and energized a 100-foot overhead superconductor power line with a novel cooling approach that could help meet the global need for new power transmission.

Harnessing the power of the Inflation Reduction Act, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected Boston Metal to negotiate federal funding to establish a new manufacturing plant in Weirton, WV. The metals processing platform decarbonizing steelmaking and how materials are made received TIME’s top 100 innovations of 2024. Additionally, Form Energy constructed its first American battery manufacturing plant in Weirton, WV, creating hundreds of jobs. The energy storage technology and manufacturing company was also named one of TIME’s top 200 innovations of 2023 and will launch its first pilot project this year. Both initiatives contribute towards transforming the nation’s advanced manufacturing sector and revitalizing former U.S. coal communities.

Leveraging technological advances that accelerate R&D, Cellino Biotech is enabling scaled regenerative medicines and is engaged in national-level discussions on automated manufacturing, quality, and regulatory standards for these therapies. Droplet Biosciences released data indicating that lymph liquid biopsy provides superior, faster detection of residual, local cancer post-surgery compared to current blood testing. Atlantic Quantum Computing is demonstrating scalable control of single-qubit and two-qubit systems, having recently established its new quantum computing lab outside of MIT. Vaxess Technologies announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca to advance its novel patch delivery technology for RNA-based vaccines.

“We need Tough Tech founders’ vision and ability to devise creative solutions to the world’s biggest problems now more than ever,” said Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner of The Engine Ventures. “Building a company that will result in real, societal impact and creating the industries of tomorrow is no easy feat, but already The Engine Ventures’ portfolio companies have achieved remarkable progress and contributed meaningfully to combating climate, improving human health, and developing advanced systems and infrastructure. These companies have the potential to yield massive returns. With Fund III, we have an incredible opportunity to scale our pioneering investment model and back more game-changing companies with our capital, operational knowledge and academic expertise.”

About The Engine Ventures

Launched as an experimental spin out from MIT in 2016, The Engine built by MIT rebranded the investment fund as The Engine Ventures in 2023 after reaching a level of success and scale that required expanding its original structure into two entities with a shared mission. Cambridge, MA-based Engine Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in the next generation of Tough Tech founders, providing capital, operational expertise, and a powerful academic, commercial, and governmental network to build and scale companies, unlocking massive opportunities in climate, human health, and advanced systems. The Engine Ventures continues to collaborate closely with The Engine Accelerator, an incubator offering space and programming. The two co-host the Tough Tech Summit annual gathering of the Tough Tech ecosystem. For more information, visit


Kerry Walker