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VC Firm Grows Cambridge Footprint With New 155K SF Headquarters

The inside of The Engine's new headquarters at 750 Main St. in Cambridge.

Venture capital firm The Engine is accelerating its growth with a new Cambridge headquarters that more than triples its footprint in the area. 

The firm, which was founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is independently operated, announced Thursday it opened a new 155K SF headquarters at 750 Main St. 

The building, owned by MIT, was constructed in 1910 and was formerly home to the Polaroid Corp., but it has been vacant for nearly two decades. MIT this year completed a redevelopment of the property, which also includes the adjacent 730 Main St. 

The Engine is shifting employees from two locations, a 30K SF space at 501 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge and a 42K SF space at 10-12 Tyler St. in Somerville, but it plans to maintain those spaces after the move, the Boston Globe reported.

The new space, branded as Engine at 750 Main, is an independently operated facility designed to provide space for startups that The Engine invests in. It has enough room for between 80 and 100 companies.

The space will be a resource for startups developing what the firm calls "Tough Tech," a term encompassing a wide range of technologies that work to solve issues in human health, climate change, and advanced systems and infrastructure. 

“The Engine at 750 Main is a physical manifestation of what we’ve learned over five years of cultivating and investing in the Tough Tech ecosystem,” The Engine CEO Katie Rae said in a press release. 

It will include lab space that will be available to rent by bench, engineering spaces, and traditional office and meeting room space. There will also be an open theater to host events for up to 350 people. 

The firm was initially interested in moving into the space in 2017 but decided it needed more time, according to the Globe. The building was designed by Gensler and Jacobs

The Engine was founded in 2016 and has invested in 44 companies that are studying and creating within the Tough Tech realm. The Engine has over $670M in assets across its funds. 

This new space's occupants include Kytopen, Cellino, Atlantic Quantum, Axoft, Osmoses, Mantel, Resonant Link, ISEE, Copernic Catalysts, C2Sense, Foray Bioscience and Foundation Alloy.