CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Engine, the MIT spin-off venture capital firm that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies that solve the world’s most pressing problems, announced that Milo Werner has joined the company in as general partner. It will have a wide range of investments in promising potential deals and will support founders of existing portfolios in the areas of climate, human health and advanced systems and infrastructure.
Werner brings more than 15 years of operational, entrepreneurial and venture capital investment experience to The Engine and will work closely with CEO and Managing Partner, Katie Rae, and General Partners, Reed Sturtevant and Ann DeWitt. She will assist the company’s Tough Tech portfolio companies with their operational strategy, with a particular focus on supporting companies tackling climate change and those advancing mobility, robotics and computing.
“As an MIT alumnus and native of Brookline, Massachusetts, I have been drawn to The Engine since its inception – its mission, leadership, diversity of investments, and hands-on approach reflect my own values and style of leadership,” Werner said. “I have been impressed with the fund’s milestones and portfolio accomplishments since attending the first Tough Tech Summit. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the team and work side-by-side with Katie, Reed and Ann to support these phenomenal Tough Tech founders as they scale strategically, build 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 X model.
Werner was most recently a partner at venture capital firm Ajax Strategies, where she led mid-term investments in companies in the energy, transport, agriculture and manufacturing sectors. She was also an operating partner at Khosla Ventures, supporting founders working on cutting-edge technologies with commercial contracts, sourcing strategies, and vendor relationship development.
Additionally, Werner previously held leadership roles in engineering, manufacturing, and product development for microgrid company Off.Grid: Electronics and Zola, a startup focused on clean solar solutions. and smart storage. She served as Director of Product Introductions at health and wellness apparel company FitBit (now part of Google). During her 18 months there, she launched four factories in eastern China to expand the company’s supply chain and shift it to fully automated manufacturing.
Werner received a BS in geology and civil and environmental engineering from the University of Vermont, as well as a master’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 such as the US Department of Energy, ARPA-E, MIT and UC Berkeley.
“Milo has a deep understanding of the challenges founders must overcome when bringing complex technologies to market and an impressive track record of rebuilding the global supply chain with investments in truly platform-changing technologies within the company. ‘autotech, energy storage and cooling chain,” said Katie Rae, CEO and Managing Partner of The Engine. “His proven ability to industrialize the most challenging technologies will be key to our current portfolio as it evolves.”
Werner sits on the board of AxelHire, Infinitum Electric and Lime. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Vermont and is a Past President of the MIT Leaders for Global Operations Alumni Association. She currently resides in San Francisco, CA and will move with her family to the Boston area in 2022.
The Engine is currently investing from a $302 million Fund II. Its total capital commitments to the funds are over $672 million. The engine’s portfolio includes 37 companies that harness cutting-edge science and technology, often from leading research institutions, to solve important global challenges related to climate change, human health and advanced systems and infrastructure. .
About the engine
The Engine is a venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was designed and created by MIT in 2016 to address the unmet need for sustainable support for startups with the potential to solve complex existential challenges and have a material, positive impact on society. The engine provides access to long-term capital, knowledge, connections, and the infrastructure these Tough Tech companies need to thrive. For more information, visit www.engine.xyz.