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mHUB Wins Two U.S Department of Energy Prizes to Lower Barriers for Manufacturing-Based Innovation


Press Contact:
Kim Blomquist 


mHUB Wins Two U.S Department of Energy Prizes to Lower Barriers for Manufacturing-Based Innovation  

To advance impact around climate and energy commercialization, mHUB programs have been awarded $250,000 in prize money from two U.S. Department of Energy programs: American-Made Community Energy Innovation Prize and EPIC Round 3


(CHICAGO April, 8 2024) – The mHUB innovation center for hardtech and manufacturing continues to deepen its resources to scale climate and energy technologies and lower barriers for underrepresented founders. In the span of two weeks, the organization received two prizes from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund programs for inclusive entrepreneurship and job creation in cleantech and to bridge the gap between prototype and market readiness.   

These prizes mark another milestone in the Clean Technology Economy Coalition’s multi-year strategy to make Illinois and the Midwest a leader in clean energy technologies. CTEC, led by mHUB in partnership with University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, is driving progress in the region to expand innovation and entrepreneurship, increase production capacity, and ensure equitable deployment of energy infrastructure and resources. Both prizes will support the expansion of innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce resources in the region. 

On Tuesday, March 26, 2024 the DOE announced 23 teams that won the CONCEPT stage of its Community Energy Innovation Prize within the Clean Energy Ecosystem and Manufacturing Ecosystem tracks. Each team was awarded $100,000, including mHUB, in partnership with the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce (GECC). Together, mHUB and GECC will create the Clean Tech Innovation Network (CTIN). It will support manufacturing-based innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation in cleantech with a specific focus on energy infrastructure for grid modernization.  

"Under CTIN and with support from DOE, GECC is excited to launch our Clean Energy Incubator program to provide returning citizens in our community with specialized training, coaching and mentoring to prepare for clean energy careers.” said Felicia Young, GECC executive director. “Through our partnership with mHUB we hope to build a diverse workforce ready to catalyze creation of new businesses, products, and job opportunities.” 

The goal of CTIN is to further reduce barriers to clean energy entrepreneurship and manufacturing pathways to create new intellectual property and jobs while growing domestic manufacturing and a diverse skilled workforce. Together, mHUB and GECC will recruit and support aspiring entrepreneurs and skilled workers seeking a career change and provide them with the workforce and business training to launch careers in the clean energy manufacturing sector. 

“It’s imperative that all of our nation’s innovators have the resources they need to scale critical technologies that address climate concerns globally while growing manufacturing-based economies here in the U.S,” said Haven Allen, mHUB CEO and co-founder. “mHUB is honored that the U.S. Department of Energy continues to recognize mHUB and its CTEC partners for their commitment to growing a clean energy economy.” 

On Tuesday, April 2, 2024, the DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions announced Phase 1 winners of its Energy Program for Innovation Clusters (EPIC) Round 3 award, a $4 million competitive funding program for incubators supporting energy innovation clusters. mHUB will receive $150,000 to develop the Climate & Energy Pilot Launchpad Program to provide targeted support to pilot-ready climate and energy hardtech startups and SMEs.  

The Pilot Launchpad program will bring together committed industry partners, expert-led technical assistance, and funding opportunities to accelerate lab-developed technologies from prototype to market. This will help bridge the critical gap in Chicago’s lab-to-market pipeline to ensure climate and energy startups have the tools they need to scale in the region.   

“Collaborations between industry and early-stage startups are critical to bringing new technologies to the forefront of the clean energy revolution,” said Meena Beyers, vice president of Business and Community Development for Nicor Gas. “mHUB has been a strategic partner for Nicor Gas in identifying and incubating these technologies and we are excited to deepen our partnership with them to drive toward a more affordable and resilient clean energy economy in Illinois and beyond.” 

To read the March 26 Community Energy Innovation prize announcement, visit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/us-department-energy-announces-first-round-community-energy-innovation-prize-winners 

To read the April 2 EPIC Round 3 Phase 1 announcement, visit:  https://www.energy.gov/technologytransitions/articles/doe-awards-3m-incubators-and-accelerators-support-clean-energy-tech 


About mHUB 

mHUB is a leading independent hardtech and manufacturing innovation center that exists to convene the entrepreneurial ecosystem around physical product innovation to ensure that the manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow, and thrive. The mHUB community includes over 500 active and alumni startups and small businesses supported by a deep talent pool of product designers and developers, entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturers, corporate leaders, industry experts, mentors, and investors. mHUB provides a hyper-resourced environment to entrepreneurs with the goal of commercializing new hardtech innovation that will lead to new businesses, intellectual property, investment, revenue, and job creation. Since launching in 2017, the mHUB community has generated more than $1.57B in revenue, launched more than 1,600 products, hired more than 5,500 employees, and raised over $1.89B in capital. To date, mHUB has invested in 46 startups across sustainable manufacturing, climate and energytech, and medtech. 

About the Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions  

The Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) is one of the largest supporters of technology commercialization in the federal government. Founded in 2015, OTT bolsters the technology industry's market skills and enables clean energy technologies to progress through research, development, demonstration, and to deployment into the private sector to meet our nation’s climate goals. Visit us at energy.gov/technology transitions to learn more, and subscribe to receive our latest opportunities and accomplishments via email. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.