(By Curt Woodward, Boston Globe, 26/10/2016)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has spawned a dazzling array of innovations in its 155-year history, from disposable razors to wind tunnels to radar. Now, the university wants to open up its checkbook to turn the next generation of big ideas into businesses.
On Wednesday, the school said it was raising $150 million for a new venture capital fund called the Engine, dedicated to bankrolling startup companies in robotics, clean energy, biotechnology, and other research-heavy sectors.
The university is the lead investor in the new fund, contributing $25 million while it seeks additional investors. It’s also opening an incubator space in Cambridge and will offer startups access to MIT’s research facilities along with the labs of other schools and hospitals expected to participate in the program.Startups don’t need an MIT connection to participate. The school hopes to open the space in the spring, and is researching possible investments and recruiting a director in the meantime.