Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a conversation about The Engine supporting my company?

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 we can be helpful, we’ll reach out to have a more in-depth conversation with you.

Is The Engine exclusive to MIT teams and technologies?

No. We are agnostic to academic origins. Our mission is to support Tough Tech startups no matter the background. We have backed companies with no association with MIT.

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

Currently, The Engine is only investing in companies that are based in the Greater Boston region. 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 nearby. 

At what company stage should I come talk with The Engine?

Any stage! We’ve worked with founders pre-incorporation, in the seed phase, and early in market.

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 amounts will depend on the sector and the unique characteristics of each company. 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 prospective 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’s offices at 501 Massachusetts Ave.

Does it cost anything to be in The Engine?

There are costs associated with co-locating your company at 501 Massachusetts Ave (rent, various lab expenses, etc…).

Can I work out of The Engine’s building 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 get involved is to help the next generation of Tough Tech entrepreneurs. If you can offer mentorship, expertise, equipment, or other facilities, please contact us to get involved.