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.

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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.