FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
mHUB Cuts Ribbon at New Chicago Headquarters and Celebrates Public-Private Collaborations to Accelerate the Commercialization of Transformative Tech for the Physical World
mHUB commemorates the official opening of its innovation center at 1623 W. Fulton Street. Governor JB Pritzker, with business and civic leaders, cuts ribbon and announces $9.6M of funding from the State of Illinois.
(CHICAGO December 12, 2023) – Today, mHUB held an official grand opening ceremony to open its 80,000SF innovation center for physical product development and entrepreneurship at 1623 W. Fulton Street. The event welcomed public officials and leaders of industry as well as stakeholders from Chicago’s broad innovation ecosystem. It marks the culmination of a two-year long effort to relocate mHUB and expand Illinois’ capacity for driving early-stage products towards commercialization, particularly in areas such as clean energy and sustainable manufacturing.
During remarks, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced $9.6M of funding for mHUB to continue driving advanced technology solutions for a clean tech economy through energy infrastructure, grid modernization, and long-energy storage.
“To make Illinois a leader in the clean energy revolution, we need institutions like mHUB that convene public and private sector interests towards a common goal: protecting the future health and economy of our state by developing new solutions to combat the climate crisis,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The State is proud to recognize mHUB for the work it’s doing to scale the early-stage technologies needed to modernize, decarbonize, and incentivize industry, all while protecting our most vulnerable communities.”
“We’ve seen incredible interest since opening the doors to mHUB’s new headquarters,” said Haven Allen, chief executive officer and co-founder of mHUB. “Stakeholders across the state recognize the promise, and necessity, of deep technologies to improve our physical world. The impact of what’s developed at mHUB is profound, from supporting local economic activity to commercializing tech with global impact. People want to be a part of rebuilding the Chicago and US manufacturing legacy and propelling it into the future.”
mHUB opened the doors of 1623 W. Fulton Street in October after acquiring the building in April, marking the end of its tenure at 965 W. Chicago Ave. Since opening, mHUB has kicked-off new collaborations with Grainger, Dell, Constellation, and KPMG. Marmon has expanded its footprint at mHUB, and Ingredion, Siemens, Gilero, and over 20 new startups have all taken space at the building, making over 275 active companies now scaling manufacturing-based ventures at mHUB.
“I’ve been part of the Chicago innovation ecosystem for many years and have watched mHUB grow from an incubator to an institution,” said Kevin Willer, partner at Chicago Ventures and mHUB Board of Directors chair. “The incredible facility and mHUB’s broad network of partners has turned Chicago into a destination for hardtech innovators from around the world. It’s been fascinating to watch more early-stage physical product innovators get their start and attract their first capital from right here in Chicago.”
mHUB is part of many collaborations aimed at aligning the State’s rich assets such as its universities and research institutions with commercial opportunities. In September, mHUB announced $778k of funding from the Economic Development Administration Department of Commerce to expand clean energy innovation in Illinois and $150k from the U.S. Small Business Administration to build strategic partnerships alongside the Heartland Climate Tech Partnership, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and Illinois Manufacturers’ Alliance.
In November, mHUB, University of Chicago, World Business Chicago, Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC), and Hire360 were awarded a Phase 1 MAKE IT Prize to establish a roadmap for Chicago to increase manufacturing capacity around clean energy technologies, particularly related to grid modernization.
“mHUB has been an important connector between industry and early-stage ideas, a necessary pairing for bringing novel technology to market with the ability to scale quickly,” said Michael Fassnacht, president and CEO of World Business Chicago and chief marketing officer for the City of Chicago. “Having supported numerous manufacturers in R&D, early-stage investment, and talent acquisition, it will be exciting to watch mHUB grow its industry network as more players recognize the potential of tapping into a pool of entrepreneurial experts for problem-solving.”
“mHUB has been critical in ensuring a strong manufacturing future for the State of Illinois,” said Mark Denzler, president & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Innovators at mHUB are building the physical products of tomorrow and tapping into local suppliers and contract manufacturers during the early stages of business creation. This growth potential and new investment into the manufacturing sector will create jobs and economic opportunity for years to come.”
The new facility boasts nearly 50% more usable space than mHUB’s former location. Its prototyping labs house more specialized equipment and have significantly increased footprints for wet labs, electronics, and testing.
In addition to increased capacity for product innovation, the new location will provide more equitable access to Chicago’s south and west sides. This will further facilitate mHUB’s Catalyze Initiative that works with community-based organizations and ties non-dilutive capital and hands-on support to underrepresented founders seeking to launch and scale products. Catalyze programs will welcome two new cohorts in January 2024.
mHUB acquired 1623 W. Fulton Avenue, situated on a 2-acre site in the Near Westside Opportunity Zone and Kinzie Planned Manufacturing District, through a $50M financial package that includes $17.55M in TIF funding from the City of Chicago; a $15.52M tax exempt bond issued by the Illinois Finance Authority, organized by Cabrera Investments and purchased by Nuveen Investments; $9.4M in new market tax credits, a $1.1M contribution from mHUB, and, now, the $9.6M from the State of Illinois.
mHUB seeks to build further connectivity with industry, private sector stakeholders, and venture capital looking to be at the forefront of Industry 4.0. Whether that be through access to talent, a pipeline of compelling technology, investment opportunities, philanthropic involvement with inclusive economic development, or office space, the momentum mHUB has built is generating unparalleled opportunity up and down the value chain.
To learn more about the story behind mHUB’s relocation, read: From Expanded Labs to Opportunity Zones: Decoding the Relocation of 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 $1.14B in revenue, launched more than 1,502 products, hired more than 5,193 employees, awarded, 535 patens, and raised over $1.49B in capital. The mHUB Product Impact Fund is a $15.1M venture fund that invests in seed and early-stage physical product companies from around the world who participate in mHUB’s 6-month long, hands-on accelerator programs. To date, mHUB has invested in 46 startups across smart and sustainable manufacturing, climate and energy tech and medtech.