MassRobotics, a robotics facility for startups, located at 12 Channel Street in Boston’s Seaport Innovation District, opened this week. According to the official statement from the nonprofit, MassRobotics’ facility includes labs and expensive equipment that startups need for testing and prototyping, like industrial-grade oscilloscopes, 3D printers, aeroelectronics and an enclosure for indoor drone testing. Co-founder Joyce Sidopoulous said that MassRobotics isn’t just about providing an innovation space for robotics companies but also aligning with other efforts by Mass Technology Leadership Council to keep local talent and create jobs here in Boston. Here’s what else happened in the Boston startup community this week:
The previous CEO of a nonprofit in Austin, Texas and former president of Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, Kiki Mills Johnston was named the new managing director of Boston-based startup accelerator MassChallenge. Former Boston director Scott Bailey will change roles, becoming the executive director for North America, and lead the search for new opportunities for MassChallenge nationwide.
Boston-based metal 3D printing startup Desktop Metal has caught the eye of a few big name investors like BMW, Google and Lowe's, closing its Series C funding of $45 million. Desktop Metal has raised $97 million since launching in October 2015 and CEO and co-founder Ric Fulop predicts that “just as plastic has redefined rapid prototyping, metal 3D printing will make a profound impact on the way companies manufacture rapid prototypes and mass produce parts across all major industries.”
The Engine, MIT’s new venture fund and startup accelerator, hired Katie Rae as its president and CEO, as well as managing partner for its first fund. Rae previously served as managing director of Techstars Boston. The Engine’s first fund will be $150M, with MIT committing $25M of its own working capital, and it will target early-stage companies that are working on scientific and technological innovations aimed at transformative societal change.
Fuze, Cambridge-based provider of phone, videoconference and messaging software, raised $104 million led by Wellington Management Co. The funding comes about a year after Fuze raised $112 million from private investors. The company has more than 1,500 corporate customers, 700 employees and is laying the groundwork for a potential IPO in the near-future. Steve Kokinos, CEO of Fuze, told the Boston Globe, “This fully funds our plan and puts us in a great position. It’s up to us. We’re not going to be in a rush to do anything.”
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