December 10, 2021

The Engine Expands into Former Artisan’s Asylum Space

Tough Tech leader leases fabrication space to support industrial R&D and deepens its collaboration with Greentown Labs

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & SOMERVILLE, Mass., December 10, 2021 — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Today, The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies solving the world’s most urgent problems, expanded its physical footprint to the building formerly home to Artisan’s Asylum. The Engine signed a two-year lease on 42,000 square feet of fabrication space at 10-12 Tyler Street, Somerville, MA. This expansion will enable The Engine to deepen its collaborations with neighboring Greentown Labs and demonstrate their shared commitment to supporting Tough Tech startups’ growth.

“We learned from our growing network of Tough Tech founders that this type of large, industrial space was extremely difficult to find, access and afford. Yet suitable infrastructure is critical to manufacturing and materials sciences startups as they develop technology and new processes that will take us into the next century and beyond,” said The Engine’s CEO and Managing Partner Katie Rae. “When the former Artisan’s Asylum space became available, we knew it would be a great fit for The Engine’s expansion — it offers us the ability to solve the infrastructure challenge for our network and also brings us even closer to Greentown Labs so we can continue our close partnership on our shared mission of climate tech support.”

The Engine joins its portfolio company, Form Energy, as well as Greentown Labs, Aeronaut Brewery, and Brooklyn Boulders in the SOMERNOVA complex. The factory and warehouse space, with high ceilings and its own loading dock, is well suited for industrial research and development and prototyping work. The space is available for lease through The Engine for Tough Tech teams that need access to key infrastructure. Tenants of The Engine’s new space that are developing climate tech solutions will be encouraged to apply for Greentown Labs membership. The Engine’s space opened on December 1 and the firm is currently accepting tenants.

“We are thrilled to welcome The Engine to SOMERNOVA – adding incredible synergy to the current innovation ecosystem on campus,” said Baillie Yip, Managing Partner, Rafi Properties. “From job creation and education, culture and climate solutions, tough-tech entrepreneurs’ impact is felt locally and globally. We look forward to co-creating a greener and brighter future alongside all on board.”

Greentown Labs, the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America, is headquartered at 444 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA, and provides its community of startups with lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more.

“Greentown Labs and The Engine have together supported a number of industry-leading climate tech startups including Form Energy, Via Separations, Mori, Sublime Systems, and Syzygy Plasmonics. These companies are making significant advancements across the major greenhouse gas emitting sectors and will help us move toward our decarbonized future,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs.

“We each bring complementary strengths and resources to accelerate climate tech startup growth and deployment of their solutions. We look forward to working more closely with Katie and The Engine team to support the next generation of promising climate tech startups.”

Since 2017, The Engine has been headquartered at 501 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square, Cambridge, MA. This 28,000 square foot location offers founders both office and lab space, with access to specialized equipment and currently has 25 resident companies. In 2019, The Engine began development of 750 Main Street, to transform the former Polaroid Building and its 200,000 square feet of space into a Tough Tech Hub for the region. Expected to open in the Fall of 2022, the space will offer lab, fabrication, and office space to nearly 100 companies and 1,000 entrepreneurs. The move to the former Artisan’s Asylum in Somerville complements existing locations and increases the number of square feet of fabrication space available through The Engine.

To inquire about leasing opportunities, email:

About The Engine

The Engine is a Cambridge, MA-based venture capital firm. It was conceived and created by MIT in 2016 to address the unmet need for sustained support for startups with the potential to solve complex, existential challenges and make a material, positive impact on society. The Engine provides the long-term capital, knowledge, connections, as well as the specialized equipment, space, and labs these transformative startups need to thrive. The Engine has $667M AUM, and has invested in 37 Tough Tech startups since 2017. For more information, visit

About Greentown Labs

As the largest climate tech startup incubator in North America, Greentown Labs brings together startups, corporates, investors, policymakers, and many others with a focus on scaling climate solutions. Driven by the mission of providing startups the resources, knowledge, connections, and equipment they need to thrive, Greentown Labs offers lab space, shared office space, a machine shop, an electronics lab, software and business resources, and a large network of corporate customers, investors, and more. With its headquarters in Somerville, Mass. and a recently opened incubator in Houston, Texas, Greentown Labs is home to more than 180 startups and has supported more than 400 startups since the incubator’s founding in 2011. These startups have collectively created more than 8,400 direct jobs and have raised more than $2.2 billion in funding. For more information, visit or Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


Deeply rooted in the neighborhood vibe of Somerville’s Union Square, SOMERNOVA (Somerville’s Innovation Hub) is a 7.4 acre campus for innovation and community. Its mission is to help entrepreneurs and companies iterate and grow faster. SOMERNOVA’s culture is crafted by an eclectic tenant mix from beer to bioengineering, urban rock climbing, climate solutions and more. While their work spans vast industry sectors, the tenants share in their collective commitment to making the world a better place for everyone. SOMERNOVA is owned and operated by Rafi Properties. For more information, visit

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