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Equity in Innovation Scholarship

The Equity in Innovation Scholarship Program exists to lower the barriers to access at mHUB for Hardtech founders who are historically underrepresented in tech.

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Access the Resources to Accelerate Your Progress

If you are a founder who is historically underrepresented in tech and you have identified a problem that is solved with a physical product, you can apply for the mHUB Equity in Innovation Scholarship. Scholarship program participants will get access to a designated professional from mHUB's Member Success team for goal setting and monthly check ins, where 1-on-1 support and connections to needed resources are provided to help you meet milestones. 

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Join mHUB through Underwritten Membership 

3-month scholarships to join the nation’s largest Hardtech innovation community at mHUB for new members and 6-month scholarships to extend access for founders graduating from mHUB programs that meet the criteria. All scholarships cover 1 Shared Workspace membership per company.  

Apply for the Equity in Innovation Scholarship
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(Coming soon) 
Apply for Grant Funds to Underwrite Some Product Development Costs 

Grants to underwrite some early product development costs. Founders also receive exclusive access to resident Engineer or Product Management of their choosing from mHUB’s bench of experts in residence to act as a resource in the product development process. Additional criteria will apply. 

*Launching Q4 2023 and only available to mHUB members

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This program is supported by the Small Business Administration.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can current mHUB members apply?

Existing members can apply, with a few stipulations:  

  • Are you a member graduating from the mPOWER Program or the mHUB Landis Family Hardtech Development program? You are eligible to apply for up to 6-months of additional sponsored membership under the Equity in Innovation Scholarship program.  

  • Are you a member with a shared workspace? Apply and we’ll discuss the challenges you’re facing to make a determination.  

  • Are you a member with a reserved desk?  You are not eligible for membership scholarships.   

  • Are you a portfolio company of mHUB’s accelerator program/product impact fund? You are not eligible for membership scholarships under this program.   

  • Are you an office holder? You are not eligible for membership scholarships.     

Sponsored membership has a lifetime cap at 18-months for each individual member, for all members who qualify.  

What can program participants expect during their 3 or 6-months?

All participants in the Equity in Innovation Scholarship program receiving sponsored membership can expect access to full membership benefits underneath mHUB’s Shared Workspace level (valued at $350/month). Additionally, participants can expect:   

  • An introductory meeting with mHUB member success staff to set goals for the scholarship period.  
  • Monthly check-in meetings with an assigned member success team member to discuss challenges, track goal progress, and identify additional connections if needed.
  • Founders must be consistently active for a minimum of 8 hours a month over the course of the scholarship (including classes or EIR sessions, staff / shop office hours or training, mentor meetings, product development / shop work.) 

Any innovator new to the mHUB community will be eligible for a 3-month scholarship (with an option to extend), while members graduating from Catalyze Initiative programs (including the mPOWER Program and mHUB Landis Family Hardtech Development Fellowship) will be eligible to apply for up to 6-months. Accelerator portfolio companies are not eligible.  

Will mHUB develop a prototype for participants?

mHUB will not build your product for you; however, we pride ourselves on creating a supportive ecosystem that will provide you all the tools and resources necessary to accomplish your goals. However, the mHUB shop does offer fabrication services for a fee and larger-scale projects can be discussed with the HardTech Development Services Team.  

What product development support is included?

Shop equipment & tech support   
mHUB's prototyping shop is the product developer's dream. With more than $6M in prototyping equipment and technical staff onsite, mHUB supports new and seasoned innovators in any stage of product development. mHUB has a covered dock for large shipments and an always-evolving micro-factory for onsite low-volume production runs.  

Access to regional supplier network   
Located in the most diversified manufacturing economy in the U.S., mHUB provides direct connections to local manufacturers and suppliers in the Midwest and nationally. This growing supplier network supports America’s position in the Fourth Industrial Revolution while making it easy for members to rapidly prototype and scale.  

Virtual & In-Real-Life (IRL) curriculum   
mHUB helps founders navigate the stages of development (regardless of where they are starting from) to answer questions around product market fit, product design, development, launch, fundraising, and scaling. From detailed courses to tailored roadmaps, mHUB arms entrepreneurs with the fundamentals of developing a hardware product and turning that product into a sustainable hardware business.  

mHUB will also be launching grants to underwrite product development for eligible founders. More information will be released in the coming weeks.   

What business development support is included?

Part of a founder community   

From member ideation sessions to pitch practice workshops, leverage mHUB’s community of over 1,057 engineers, developers, manufacturers, mentors, and entrepreneurs. Learn about the mHUB ecosystem.  

Virtual & In-Real-Life (IRL) curriculum   
mHUB helps founders navigate the stages of development (regardless of where they are starting from) to answer questions around product market fit, product design, development, launch, fundraising, and scaling. From detailed courses to tailored roadmaps, mHUB arms entrepreneurs with the fundamentals of developing a hardware product and turning that product into a sustainable hardware business.  

Insight from mentor network   
The mHUB mentorship program connects entrepreneurs with business and industry leaders that have extensive experience in manufacturing innovation and cutting-edge technologies in addition to business development, sales, marketing, legal, and finance. Mentors help fill skillset gaps and are available for one-on-one meetings. 

Will mHUB connect participants to investors or outside funding?

Part of the value of engaging in the mHUB community as a member is the connection to the broader network of mentors and investors in Hardtech. mHUB's goal is to support founders in building scalable businesses and telling that story effectively to capital providers.  

How does mHUB connect you? 

  • mHUB may also make direct connections, but only when founders are ready to have discussions and have reached critical business milestones (like developing a financial model, developing a minimum viable product, and passing customer discovery metrics).   

What is required of participants?

Participants will be required to set goals for their membership duration and meet with a member of the member success team for a monthly check in to discuss challenges, track goal progress, and identify additional connections if appropriate 

Will mentors be assigned to participants?

mHUB does not assign individual members to mentors. But, all members have access to mHUB’s mentor directory of business and industry leaders that have extensive experience in manufacturing innovation and cutting-edge technologies in addition to business development, sales, marketing, legal, and finance. Mentors help fill skillset gaps and are available for one-on-one meetings. 

Senior members of mHUB staff are also open for monthly office hours available to all members. 

Who is the mHUB member success team? What is their role in accelerating startups?

Members of the mHUB team come from a range of backgrounds and share a passion for supporting physical product entrepreneurs and manufacturers in the HardTech innovation ecosystem. Learn more about our larger team here 

 

Specific members of the team that Equity in Innovation Scholarship Program and general members will interact with may include:  

mHUB also has a deep team of Prototyping Technicians to train on equipment and support members with fabrication questions and learning. Learn more about our Prototyping Lab 

Senior members of mHUB staff are also open for monthly office hours available to all members.  

What is the cash value of mHUB membership?

The Equity in Innovation Scholarship Program sponsors membership at the Shared Workspace level, which has a cash value of $350/month. For those new to the community awarded a 3-month scholarship, the total value is $1,050. For members graduating from Catalyze Initiative programs, the 6-month value is $2,100 for a full value of $4,200 when coupled with the initial membership value included in those programs. 

Do I have to be a mHUB member to apply for the product development grant?

Yes.

Does the product development grant limited to utilizing mHUB contractors and services?

More information on criteria and value of prototyping grants will be released in the coming weeks.  

Can I re-apply to covered membership? How many times can I apply for covered membership?

Sponsored membership has a maximum of 12 consecutive months of any covered membership and a lifetime cap at 18-months for each individual member, for all members who qualify.  This is all subject to availability of funding, as this program is wholly supported by partnerships, grants, and donations. 

Existing members can apply, with a few stipulations:  

  • Are you a member graduating from the mPOWER Program or the mHUB Landis Family Hardtech Development program? You are eligible to apply for up to 6-months of additional sponsored membership under the Equity in Innovation Scholarship program.   

  • Are you a member with a shared workspace? Apply and we’ll discuss the challenges you’re facing to make a determination.  

  • Are you a member with a reserved desk? You are not eligible for membership scholarships.   

  • Are you a portfolio company of mHUB’s accelerator program/product impact fund? You are not eligible for membership scholarships under this program.   

  • Are you an office holder? You are not eligible for membership scholarships.