Our Team

  • Katie Rae

    Katie Rae

    CEO and Managing Partner

    Katie serves as the CEO and Managing General Partner of The Engine. She is also co-founder and Managing Director of Project 11 Ventures. She serves as a Board Member at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, Boston Metal, and Cellino. Katie brings over 20 years of experience as an investor and tech executive helping build Boston into a thriving tech hub. She has advised hundreds of founders and invested in nearly 100 companies at the earliest stages of formation. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion in 2018), Bevi, GrabCad, Synack, Zagster, NBD Nano, Neurala, and Amino.

    Katie has experience in managing startup accelerators and business-innovation programs — several of which she co-founded including Techstars Boston and Startup Institute. In addition to her extensive investing career, she has over 20 years of experience in product development, management & operations including holding management positions at Microsoft, Eons, AltaVista, RagingBull, Zip2, and Mirror Worlds. She holds an MBA from Yale University and a BA in Biology from Oberlin College.

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  • Reed Sturtevant

    Reed Sturtevant

    General Partner

    Reed is a General Partner on the investment team at The Engine. Reed was a founder and Managing Director at Project 11 Ventures and Techstars Boston. He attended MIT and has a background in software. He ran Microsoft Startup Labs in Cambridge and was VP of Technology at Idealab, Boston. Early in his career he created Freelance Graphics which was acquired by Lotus Development Corp. He has been a lecturer at MIT Sloan and is a frequent speaker at MIT entrepreneurship courses and programs.

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  • Ann DeWitt

    Ann DeWitt

    General Partner

    Ann is a General Partner on the investment team at The Engine. Ann was most recently at Sanofi where she held senior roles in business development and strategic venture investment. Prior to Sanofi, she was at Flagship Ventures. Ann started her career in R&D at 3M Company, working across fields of materials, biology, engineering. Ann holds an MBA from Harvard and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT. She serves on the Board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology and on the Life Science Council of Springboard Enterprises.

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  • Orin Hoffman

    Orin Hoffman

    Venture Partner

    Orin is a Venture Partner on the investment team at The Engine. Orin was most recently a senior government civilian at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental where he served in both investment and CTO roles. Prior to DIUx, Orin spun out and served as Chief Technologist at Endeavor Robotics, which was later acquired by FLIR systems. Orin started his career in R&D at iRobot, where he led the development and deployment of robotic systems to various disaster and conflict responses. Orin holds BA and MS degrees in physics and electrical computer engineering as well as several patents.

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  • Fran Barros

    Fran Barros

    Chief Design Officer

    Fran is The Engine Chief Design Officer. Fran is a formally trained designer with over 15 years of experience. Prior to joining, Fran spent five years at IDEO, where she was a project leader developing brand, strategy, and service design for startups and corporate ventures. At The Engine, she works on overall strategy, and directly with the founders. She holds a BA in Design from Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Chile and Graduate Degree in Entrepreneurship from Boston University. She serves on the Advisory Board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology.

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  • Bettina Metais

    Bettina Metais

    VP Investor Relations & Operations

    Bettina is the VP Investor Relations and Operations. She brings over a decade of venture fund operation experience to The Engine. Bettina was most recently with VC firm RockPort Capital, where she was responsible for investor relations, fund operations and marketing. Bettina received her BA and MBA from the Martin Luther University in Halle/Germany and attended the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota under the year-long German academic exchange program.

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  • Ally Yost

    Ally Yost

    Senior Associate

    Ally has a background in mechanical engineering and research and development. She brings expertise in materials and micro and nanotechnologies from her MIT graduate work, and research at NASA, Google[x], and MGH. Also while at MIT, she spent a significant amount of time learning within the entrepreneurial ecosystem as Managing Director of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and as Co-Director of MIT Hacking Medicine. Most recently, Ally led R&D and manufacturing at Accion Systems, Inc.—an MIT-spin out that creates high-quality, affordable ion propulsion technologies for increased access to space. Ally has an SM in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UNH.

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  • Geraldine Paulus

    Geraldine Paulus


    Geraldine is an Associate at The Engine where she brings over a decade of academic experience, with a strong focus on translational and cross-disciplinary research in chemical engineering and biology.
    She earned a PhD with Dr. Michael Strano at MIT for her work on photovoltaics, nano-electronics, and biosensors using graphene and carbon nanotubes. As a postdoctoral researcher, she worked in the lab of Dr. Ramnik Xavier at MGH and The Broad Institute, applying CRISPR technology to autophagy and immunology, towards the development of therapeutics. Geraldine has interned at the Partners Innovation Fund and consulted for an early stage Flagship Pioneering-backed company. She holds BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the KU Leuven (Belgium) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT.

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  • Michael Kearney

    Michael Kearney


    Mike is an Associate at the Engine, where he brings over a decade of operational and research experience in commercializing energy technology. Mike's background combines training in economics and systems engineering with expertise in energy technology, market development and operational experience as an entrepreneur. Mike holds a Ph.D. from MIT Sloan School of Management, where his research focused on frictions in the commercialization of science, regulatory barriers to innovation and entrepreneurial strategy. Previously, he was the 1st employee at a clean-tech start-up called Ambri, where he led business development efforts for 5 years, working with customers across the U.S. Mike received an M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT and a B.A. from Williams College where he was also captain of the Men’s basketball team.

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  • Olesya Levsh

    Olesya Levsh


    Olesya brings broad expertise in biology and biochemistry to her position as an Associate. Her graduate work in the lab of Dr. Jing-Ke Weng at MIT focused on fundamental plant metabolism research, with the translational goal of enabling biomanufacturing of specific plant natural products. While at MIT, she also spent time at Sloan learning about venture creation and biotech strategy. Olesya has worked on diligence projects with local venture funds, consulted on program development and implementation for a national pharmacy corporation, and interned at The Engine for a year before joining the team full time. She holds a BS in Biochemistry from Stony Brook University and a PhD in Biology from MIT.

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  • Emily Knight

    Emily Knight

    Head of Operations

    Emily oversees the operations and expansion of The Engine, including our Engine Room initiative. She focuses on providing our portfolio companies with resources including space and a network of shared resources. Prior to joining the team, she spent three years overseeing general operations, strategy and product management at Workbar coworking spaces. She has spent the last few years working with startups, and connecting them to resources in the innovation ecosystem. Emily holds a BS from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

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  • Nathaniel Brewster

    Nathaniel Brewster

    Director of Content

    Nathaniel brings over a decade of experience in writing and brand development to his job as Director of Content at The Engine. In partnership with design, he helps The Engine and its portfolio companies shape compelling and accessible stories. Prior to The Engine, Nathaniel was Director of Content at Tank Design, a design and branding firm in Cambridge, MA, where he led a team that wrote and developed brand identities for clients across the country. Nathaniel holds an honors degree in Creative Writing from Hamilton College.

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  • Cesar Guerrero

    Cesar Guerrero

    Engineering Associate

    Cesar will be focused on building out and maintaining the machine shop space at The Engine. In managing the space, Cesar is able to provide both engineering support as well as machine assistance for all of the companies that call The Engine home.Cesar has a background in mechanical engineering and is particularly interested in product development and design for manufacturing. Leveraging his expertise, companies are able to quickly and effectively go from idea to working prototype. Cesar holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University.

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  • Ashley Banks

    Ashley Banks

    Laboratory Operations Manager

    Ashley oversees the daily operations of the biology and chemistry laboratories at The Engine, with a focus on supporting residents with material and equipment needs. She coordinates the safety programs and compliance of the lab spaces and works closely with the researchers to continuously develop laboratory best practices. Ashley holds a BS in Biology from Boston University and has experience as a bench and field scientist as well as experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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  •  Kara L'Italien

    Kara L'Italien

    Community Operations Associate

    Kara attended the University of Vermont where she studied political science and French. After graduating, she moved to France to teach English to high school students with the year-long TAPIF program. Once she returned to the US, she began working as a Community Manager at a local coworking space, helping build a community of members and running the day-to-day operations of the space. She has taken on a similar role at The Engine, focusing on community-building, organization, and process improvement.

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  • Casra Salehomoum

    Casra Salehomoum

    Community Operations Associate

    Casra recently graduated from Boston University and started his first role here at the Engine. He studied business administration with a concentration in information systems and sustainable energy. He experienced the co-working lifestyle at a previous internship and grew a strong interest in the operations, process improvement, and organizational development of co-working organizations.

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  • Rachel Wallace

    Rachel Wallace

    Executive Assistant

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  • Tyson White

    Tyson White


    Tyson White is a Consultant to The Engine leading the Capital Stack Project. In his role, Tyson works with The Engine team to engage and connect capital providers at all stages with Tough Tech companies. Prior to working with The Engine, Tyson spent 15 years on Wall Street as a Director in Equities at Barclays investment bank and as a Vice President at Goldman, Sachs & Co. He has also built, owns and currently operates 2 high-end barber shops in Boston. Tyson graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in Politics and was the Captain of the Heavyweight Men's Crew Team. He is currently a visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

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  • Julie Andriolo

    Julie Andriolo

    Finance Manager

    Julie manages all things finance and HR at The Engine. Julie has 15+ years of experience and has been building and scaling finance teams and processes for rapid growth startups, most recently Litmus Software and Applause. Julie has her own business, the RevGroup, and contracts for the Engine and its portfolio companies. She is a CPA and holds a BS in Accounting/Finance from Merrimack College.

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