MIT spin-out The Engine taps Metcalf as CFO and COO

Lara Metcalf joins The Engine, a venture firm spun out of MIT focused on tough tech companies, as chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Lara Metcalf joins The Engine, a venture firm spun out of MIT focused on tough tech companies, as chief financial officer and chief operating officer. She was previously managing director at The Social Entrepreneur’s Fund.


CAMBRIDGE, MA. — 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 that Lara Metcalf joined the firm as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Metcalf brings her extensive experience to the newly created role, which oversees organizational and fund operations and financial aspects of The Engine and its infrastructure projects, including the creation of the focal point of its innovation ecosystem and expansion of its physical space. The Engine is converting a 200,000 sq. ft. building in Cambridge, MA with the capacity to accommodate 100 companies and 800 entrepreneurs. The building is set to open in 2022. Additionally, Metcalf will work closely with fund investors, The Engine’s Board of Directors, and assist the firm’s Tough Tech portfolio companies with financial strategy, exits and M&A.

Metcalf was most recently Managing Director of The Social Entrepreneurs’ Fund (TSEF), an early stage impact VC fund, where she led investments and acted as CFO for TSEF’s three funds, and the related Maycomb Community Outcomes Fund.

Previously, she played a leadership role building the Pay for Success field, an outcomes-focused public-private partnership finance approach, at innovative 501c3 social enterprise, Social Finance, where she acted as CFO and COO and led Social Investments as Managing Director. Before Social Finance, Lara was the CFO, Chief Administrative Officer, and Senior Associate Dean for Operations at the Harvard Kennedy School. This followed an eighteen year career on Wall Street focused on fixed income credit markets at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse, where she was a Managing Director.

“What I find most compelling about The Engine is its emphasis on leveraging science to drive positive change in the world,” said Metcalf. “My career has been spent at the intersection of finance and impact, finding ways to use capital markets in innovative ways to solve big challenges. I’m thrilled to lend my experience to help The Engine’s founders gain access to the financial tools they need to commercialize breakthrough technology and make progress on important problems like climate change, address urgent health challenges like the current pandemic and move forward quantum computing and other advanced systems.”

The combination of Metcalf’s global investment banking and social enterprise expertise, gives her a deep understanding of capital markets dynamics and regulatory and compliance requirements.