The engine races | MIT Technology Review


As a result, many bold concepts – the kind that could make a serious difference to sustainable energy, climate change, or human health – got stuck in the lab because there was no good system to support it. their development to the market. . Turning brand-new science into breakthrough technology that’s optimized, tested, and ready to be manufactured at scale can take more than a decade, longer than venture capitalists can reasonably expect.

We call ideas like these “difficult technologies”. And in 2016, we decided it was essential to launch a new startup support model that nurtures high-impact ideas and accelerates them around the world, while helping our regional innovation ecosystem thrive and grow. . With this guiding concept, we set out to build The Engine, just a few blocks from campus.

From humble beginnings in a single space in Central Square, The Engine is now helping 44 startups – and counting – go from prototype to scale through its distinctive set of “patient capital”, d affordable local space, access to highly specialized equipment, streamlined legal and business services, technical expertise and community. Demand is growing so rapidly that The Engine will open additional space nearby this fall, doubling its footprint and potential.

What sets The Engine apart is MIT’s heavy emphasis on impact: when evaluating candidate companies, it prioritizes breakthrough answers to big problems over initial profit. From the startup that pioneered a way to detect covid surges by testing municipal wastewater to a serious strategy for delivering carbon-free fusion power, The Engine is home to a portfolio of potential that essentially feels MIT.

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