Today, The Engine, the venture firm spun out of MIT that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies that are solving the world’s most urgent problems, announced the appointment of Susan (Sue) E. Siegel as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors. With more than three decades of senior executive experience across corporate, entrepreneurial and venture capital, Siegel will assume the role from Israel Ruiz, former EVP and Treasurer of MIT, who is stepping down from his position as founding chairman to launch a startup venture.
Ruiz was instrumental in the conception and creation of The Engine, which was formed in 2016 to address an unmet need for patient capital and access to specialized infrastructure and expertise for startup founders tackling societal challenges such as climate change, human health and advanced computing. Ruiz recruited Katie Rae, The Engine’s CEO and Managing Partner, and helped bring in significant commitments for its inaugural $205M fund, which has invested in 27 early-stage companies to date.
Siegel has served on The Engine’s board since its inception. With vast experience across industries, including life sciences and healthcare, she has been on the forefront of supporting startups and helping companies large and small identify opportunities for growth. Currently, she is a lecturer for the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and serves on the boards of Illumina Inc.; Align Technology Inc.; the Kaiser Family Foundation; and the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub at UC Berkeley. Previously, Siegel was GE’s Chief Innovation Officer and CEO of GE Ventures. Prior to GE, Siegel was a General Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures, leading digital health and personalized medicine investments. She has held senior executive and board positions at Affymetrix, Pacific Biosciences, Bio-Rad, DuPont and Amersham.
“Sue was a natural choice as Israel’s successor,” said Rae. “She has brought enormous insights and perspective to the Board since day one and we are honored to have her take over as Chairman. As we continue to support founders bringing research out of the lab and into commercial ventures, Sue’s unique blend of entrepreneurial and venture background positions her well to continue to make valuable contributions to The Engine’s successful growth.”
In addition to her board roles, Siegel co-chairs Stanford University’s School of Medicine’s Board of Fellows and serves on advisory boards for Mass General Brigham’s Innovation Growth Board; RAND Health Care; UC Regents Working Group on Innovation & Entrepreneurship; and USC Marshall School of Business’ Board of Leaders. Her previous non-profit board appointments include National Venture Capital Association and The Tech Interactive, formerly Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum of Innovation. She was a member of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group and is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.
“It is an honor and a privilege to become the Chair of The Engine Board of Directors,” said Siegel. “As a long-time practitioner in Tough Tech, I’m excited for the opportunity to grow the ecosystem for transformative technology and help solve urgent challenges through the convergence of science, engineering and leadership as we add value to The Engine’s stakeholders.”
Siegel’s appointment was passed unanimously by the board, effective October 1, 2020. The Engine will host its third annual Tough Tech Summit virtually on October 27 – 28.
About The Engine
Launched by MIT in 2016, The Engine is a Cambridge, MA-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage Tough Tech companies primarily in the Boston area. It provides the long-term capital, knowledge, connections, as well as the specialized equipment, space, and labs these transformative startups need to thrive. For more information, visit www.engine.xyz