MIT Press Release: Launches New Venture Capital Fund
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has spawned a dazzling array of innovation in its 155 years of history which is from disposable razors to wind tunnels, to radar.
Last Wednesday, the school said that it was raising a $150 million for a new venture capital fund called "The Engine."
The Engine is designed to response to a frustrations we heard repeatedly from faculty, student and alumni entrepreneurs as well as corporate leaders
MIT's mission statement directs us not only to "advance knowledge" and "educate students," but also to bring "knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges." If we hope to deliver serious technological solutions to urgent global challenges - like clean water, climate change, sustainable energy, cancer, Alzheimer's, infectious disease, and more - we need to make sure the innovators working on those problems see a realistic pathway to the marketplace. The Engine can provide that pathway by prioritizing breakthrough ideas over early profit, helping to shorten the time it takes these ventures to become "VC-ready," providing local space and comprehensive support in the meantime, and creating an enthusiastic community of inventors and supporters focused on delivering new science-based innovation to make a better world.
Structurally, The Engine will be a separate entity, giving it the freedom to work with innovators from inside and outside MIT whose technologies hold the greatest promise for solving important societal problems.
Jeff Bussgang, a venture capitalist at Boston's Flybridge Capital Partners, said the new MIT program would be a complementary addition to the region's investment industry.
Like many large universities, MIT is an investor in private equity funds through its $13.2 billion endowment. But the $25 million in the new Engine investment fund will come directly from the school, not its endowment, Ruiz said.
The University of California is the most prominent example: in December, it pledged $250 million to become the "anchor investor" in a new fund aimed at bankrolling innovations emerging from the public university system's 10 campuses.