Yesterday, MIT launched The Engine ( to tackle “tough tech” challenges that will have widespread global impact. The Engine is bringing together funding, specialized equipment, affordable workspace, and startup expertise to further the institute’s goal of bringing “knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges.”

Raptor Maps CEO addresses the importance of closing the loop in agriculture

President Rafael Reif spoke of the importance of “patient capital” in moving ideas from laboratories (or dorm rooms) and into the marketplace. MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito led a panel consisting of: Phil Sharp, MIT Institute Professor, Nobel laureate, and co-founder of Biogen; Guru Banavar, VP of IBM Research; Jay Bradner, President of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; Antonio Rodriguez, General Partner at Matrix Partners; Leslie Dewan, co-founder and CEO of Transatomic Power; Sue Siegel, CEO of GE Ventures.

Raptor Maps’ “experience pod” at The Engine unveiling

After the panel discussion, Raptor Maps was one of 6 startups invited to present to the audience, where we shared our vision of closing the loop between drone data and yield (including quality metrics) to help growers cut input costs. We showcased one of our drones used for rapid deployment of custom-built sensors.  At Raptor Maps, we’re proud of our MIT heritage and are excited that MIT is committing significant resources to solving meaningful problems.

Check out the launch video for The Engine: