Feb 14, 2017

MIT's Engine Room launches "hard tech" fund

AP Photo/Stanley Hu

The Engine, an MIT-affiliated startup accelerator focused on "tough tech," yesterday named Katie Rae as president, CEO and managing partner of a new $150 million investment fund. Some notes:

Who: Rae is a former TechStars and Microsoft exec who most recently was a partner with seed-stage firm Project 11. She plans to continue managing her portfolio responsibilities for Project 11, but the Boston-based shop is not expected to raise a successor to its $30 million debut fund. No word yet on the future plans of her fellow Project 11 partners Reed Sturtevant and Bob Mason. Rae also says she plans to add at least two general partners to work with her on the fund, but that none have yet been hired.

What: MIT is the fund's cornerstone LP, but not its only one. All startups backed by the fund will be admitted into the accelerator. Expect the sector focus to be on things like AI, robotics and non-pharma biotech.

Why: Rae says The Engine's mission is to make it more cost-effective for harder-tech startups to get off the ground, almost like what AWS and Azure have done for software startups.

Go deeper

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as South Korean cases surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

The MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.