Our Team

  • Katie Rae

    Katie Rae

    CEO and Managing Partner

    Katie serves as the CEO & Managing Partner of The Engine, a venture capital fund built by MIT, that invests in early-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering and leadership. She serves as a Board Member at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, Form Energy, Via Separations, and Lilac Solutions.

    Katie has advised hundreds of founders and invested in over 100 companies. Key investments include Pillpack (acquired by Amazon for $1 billion), Bevi, GrabCad, Synack, Zagster, NBD Nano, Neurala and Amino.

    She holds an MBA from Yale and 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 at The Engine. She serves as a board member for The Engine portfolio companies BioBot, Cellino, E25Bio, Kytopen, Lucy Therapeutics, Mori, Quaise, Syzygy, and Vaxess.

    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 Pioneering. Ann started her career in R&D at 3M Company, working across fields of materials, biology and engineering. Ann holds an MBA from Harvard and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT. She served on the Board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology and is on the Life Science Council of Springboard Enterprises.

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  • Fran Barros

    Fran Barros

    Operating Partner & 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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  • 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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  • Phil Inagaki

    Phil Inagaki

    Operating Partner

    Phil has held Co-Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman roles at venture backed start-ups in a variety of Tough Tech fields, including advanced materials, semiconductors, nanotechnology, micro-electronics, energy, 3D printing, robotics and AI. His longest tenure was as Co-Founder and CEO of Polyera, where he took a novel semiconductor technology from Northwestern University to successful commercialization with multiple fab partners in Asia. Phil has raised over $100mm in funding across five start-ups and has 15 years of experience as a tech entrepreneur and executive. Phil holds an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University magna cum laude and 12 US patents.

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  • Theresa Tribble

    Theresa Tribble

    Operating Partner

    Theresa is a serial entrepreneur and early-stage start-up executive whose focus spans from life sciences to consumer health. Theresa co-founded BigHat Bio and Landsdowne Labs. She helped build and grow EverlyWell, SynapDx and several other companies as either an executive or advisor. Theresa started her career as a consultant at Putnam Associates. She holds an MBA from Harvard, where she was a Blavatnik Fellow in Life Science Entrepreneurship, and earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College.

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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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  • Lis Rhodes

    Lis Rhodes

    VP of Finance

    Lis is the VP of Finance and has over 17 years of experience as a finance professional across a broad range of commercial industries and non-profit organizations. Her previous role was implementing and overseeing the financial operations for a tech start-up from Seed to Series B. Lis is an internationally qualified accountant (ACCA) holds a BSc. in Business Studies from Cass Business School in London and an MBA from Oxford Brookes University.

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  • Ally Yost

    Ally Yost


    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, where she was also captain of the Women's Soccer Team.

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  • Michael Kearney

    Michael Kearney

    Senior Associate

    Mike is a Senior 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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  • Monique Guimond

    Monique Guimond

    Chief of Staff

    Monique received her MBA from MIT Sloan in the Spring of 2017, where she was involved with the entrepreneurial ecosystem as the Managing Director of the MIT $100K Competition. Prior to Sloan, she was one of the first employees at a social enterprise specializing in healthcare design, MASS Design Group, where she built out operations and expanded the business model abroad.

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  • Emily Knight

    Emily Knight

    VP 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, where she was also captain of the Women's Soccer Team.

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  • Kerry Walker

    Kerry Walker

    Head of Communications

    Kerry has more than 20 years of experience working with startups and established brands on strategic planning, media and analyst relations, customer and partner activities, event planning, and content creation.

    Prior to founding Walker Communications, she spent 11 years at The OutCast Agency, most recently as Executive Vice President and a member of its management team overseeing client service. Her prior agency time was spent at Porter Novelli and Bridgeman Communications and she did an in-house stint at Abt Associates. She advises budding entrepreneurs during Specialist Office Hours at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

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  • Dulcie Madden

    Dulcie Madden

    Head of Partnerships

    Dulcie is Head of Partnerships. Prior to joining The Engine, Dulcie was a co-founder and the CEO of Rest Devices, a startup that used sensors, hardware, and data-driven software to help families sleep better. Prior to Rest, she also worked on the ground in India for five years, developing and scaling programs supporting maternal health and women's livelihood development. She has a BS in Biology from Georgetown University, an MPH from Boston University, and half of an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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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

    Operations Manager

    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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  • Bela Bogdanović

    Bela Bogdanović

    Executive Coordinator

    Prior to her time at The Engine, Bela had various roles in research, operations, and fundraising. She holds a BA in Global Studies and Chinese from the University of Vermont and received her MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton, UK.

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  • Tyson White

    Tyson White

    Capital Stack

    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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