CHICAGO (October 18, 2016) - mHUB has secured private sector commitments of $6.3 million to support Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product developers and manufacturers. The financial contributions will support mHUB’s mission to connect the manufacturing sector with the vibrant technology entrepreneurial community and ensure that Chicago’s manufacturing legacy remains strong. The hub, which was announced in July, is on track to officially launch in early 2017.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel refers to mHUB as the “final piece of the manufacturing puzzle,” one that will drive growth thanks to applications in product development and manufacturing. mHUB will galvanize the manufacturing ecosystem by bringing innovative ideas to life, attracting world-class talent and driving greater productivity and profit.
mHUB’s strategic partners include leaders from across the manufacturing and product development ecosystem. mHUB will connect these partners with entrepreneurs, engineers and designers to share insights and knowledge, making it easier and more efficient for startups to get their products to market.
mHUB’s initial financial partners include JP Morgan Chase, Marmon Holdings, Inc., GE Ventures, the Technology & Manufacturing Association, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Motorola Mobility, Minimal, Ask Power, Wiegel Tool Works, Comcast, Jones Lang LaSalle, Autodesk, Arrow Electronics, and Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp.
“Developing and manufacturing physical products is a big challenge for startups. It’s a capital intensive process and involves a steep learning curve,” said Haven Allen, mHUB co-founder and executive director. “Our industry partners will help fund crucial physical assets for mHUB -- like our labs, workshops and other resources -- that our early-stage innovators need to improve their odds of getting to market faster.”
“Product innovation and technological advancement are vital to manufacturing’s future,” said Frank Ptak, Chairman and CEO of Marmon Holdings, Inc. “With manufacturing operations in diverse industries worldwide, we at Marmon recognize the importance of bringing new ideas to successful commercialization. We view mHUB as a promising and creative approach to meeting this critical need and are proud to support it from the outset.”
Located at 965 W Chicago Avenue in River West, mHUB is a 63,000 square foot facility of which roughly 12,000 square feet will be devoted to fabrication labs including electronics, rapid prototyping, testing and a microfactory. In addition to physical resources, mHUB will also offer manufacturing mentors, educational programming for the community, and industry events, as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), and STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) programs for youth.
mHUB has been operating in beta mode since the beginning of September with early members from mHUB founding partner, Catalyze. It is scheduled to officially launch in early 2017 and is accepting membership applications here.
mHUB is Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. mHUB is a co-working community of product designers and developers, entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturers, a network of manufacturing mentors, industry experts and investors, and a source of intellectual and economic capital. mHUB is home to ten shops and labs, including electronics, plastic fabrication, metals and rapid prototyping as well as a microfactory for small production runs.