Frequently Asked Questions

How does my startup become part of The Engine?

Start the conversation by letting us know a bit about your team, the company, milestones reached, your short-term goals, and how you think The Engine can help you reach them. If we think you might be a good match for our program, you’ll have a more in-depth conversation with you.

Is The Engine only for MIT teams and technologies?

No. Our mission is to supporting tough tech startups no matter the background. We have supported companies with no association with MIT and we will continue to do so.

Will I have to be located in Boston/Cambridge to work with The Engine?

Given the nature of the types of companies The Engine invests into and the challenges they face, we believe we can be most helpful to companies that are situated here in the Greater Boston region. As such, for this time being, The Engine will only be investing into companies getting built locally.

Do Engine participants need to be U.S. citizens?

No, we support teams with transformative ideas regardless of the nationality of the founders. However, you must be eligible to work in the U.S.

Do you have to be an established company to apply? Can individuals apply?

You will need to be incorporated in order to receive funding from The Engine, but if we select your idea/team for the program, we can help get you set up.

We’ve already taken some funding. Can I still apply for support?

Absolutely. The Engine is generally the first investor in a company, but we understand that the road of building a company is long and unique. If you’ve taken in some initial funding, it might still make sense for you and your company to join The Engine community.

How much does The Engine invest? What equity stake will The Engine take?

Investment levels will depend on the sector and the unique characteristics of each venture. As such, the associated equity stake will be different for each company.

Will The Engine sign an NDA to protect my idea?

No. Funding sources like The Engine are pitched too many ideas to enter into NDAs with applicants or portfolio companies.

What if I need maker or lab space? Are these facilities available?

Yes. Program participants have access to The Engine Room, a network of equipment, and labs in Greater Boston. We also have a maker space, a bio lab, and a chem lab, plus associated equipment at The Engine headquarters.

How long can companies stay at The Engine? What if I need more time?

There is no fixed amount of time a company can be at The Engine. Each company has its own development timeline, and we will determine the length of time individually.

Does it cost selected startups anything to be in The Engine?

Cost will vary depending upon whether you choose to be in residence with us and the size of your team and needs of your company. All accepted companies will have the option of using office/work space at The Engine at free or reduced rates. Companies may also use space they have acquired outside, however, we prefer that you are located close by so that you can participate in program offerings and network with other startups.

Can I work out of The Engine if I’m not a selected startup?

We want to build a collaborative community of tough tech companies so our space is not limited to only the companies selected for investment. If you have more than two full-time employees working on your idea or company in a tough tech field and are interested in working out of our space, please contact us to start the conversation.

We’re an established company past the startup stage, but we love what you’re doing here. How can we get involved?

Awesome to hear it! The best way for you to be involved is to help the new companies starting their entrepreneurship journeys. If you can offer expertise, equipment, or other facilities, please contact us to get involved.

What is The Engine Room?

The Engine Room is a network of mission-critical resources, curated for companies working on deep scientific breakthroughs. The aim of The Engine Room is to reduce time to access resources and low the cost for startups using expensive equipment.

Who gets access to The Engine Room?

At first, The Engine Room will be limited to companies selected to participate in The Engine. Over time, we plan to open up membership to a wider audience across the region.

Do startups have to pay to use The Engine Room?

There is a cost to use some specialized equipment and labs. In many cases we have arranged startup rates.

Do you have to take training classes or have a certification to use The Engine Room?

Yes, most facilities require equipment specific training.

How do I make my equipment, space, and labs available through The Engine Room?

If you have something to share, please contact us.

 Do companies that share equipment, space, and expertise through The Engine Room get paid?

Yes, companies can charge for the use of the equipment, space, and expertise they share.