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mHUB 2023 Annual Report

Building and Bridging

Dear Friends and Supporters,

2023 marked an incredible milestone for our organization, solidifying mHUB’s role as a national economic development institution. In April we completed a $50.2 million transaction to acquire, renovate, and relocate our headquarters at 1623 West Fulton Street for generations to come. This transaction included support from the City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and private entities and gave mHUB the opportunity to market our mission and impact to a larger, national audience. Other milestones this year include securing federal funding from the EDA, SBA, and DOE; grants from the State of Illinois; and private and philanthropic partnerships to support the mHUB accelerator, incubator, and its Catalyze programs.


Last year, the mHUB community generated $425M in revenue, raised $392M in capital, hired over 1,200 employees, and launched over 100 products. Since 2023, mHUB has awarded over $440,000 in non-dilutive dollars and more than $155,000 in sponsored access through the mHUB Catalyze Initiative, and we’ve seen the diversity of the community grow to 53% of startups having one or more underrepresented founder.


mHUB orchestrated unique convenings to celebrate the collective success of the industry, starting with the combined HardTech Summit and Fourth Revolution Awards in March, our groundbreaking in May, final Summer BBQ at 965 W. Chicago in July, a MedTech Demo Day in September, and our first major events at the new facility –  Women in Manufacturing and Grand Opening in December. mHUB attracted over 4,500 attendees through its major brand and partnered events, was host to over 50 third-party events, and welcomed over 8,000 general visitors over the course of the year.


In 2023, we continued to scale investment activities and made 20 additional pre-seed investments. mHUB became the most active investor in climate and energy startups in Chicago with a total of 21 climate and energy tech investments since 2022. To date, mHUB has invested in 46 startups through its Product Impact Fund I, where 39% of portfolio companies have at least one underrepresented management team member and 35% have a women founder, greatly outpacing the market.


Last year, mHUB joined several important coalitions helping shape Chicago’s innovation economy, including a supply chain partnership with Illinois Manufacturers' Association, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and the Heartland Climate Tech Partnership; Great Lakes reNEW, led by Current; and The Bloch Tech Hub, led by Chicago Quantum Exchange.


We continue to make strides to provide more targeted and 1:1 support to startups. Our new location in an Opportunity Zone, HUBZone, and Planned Manufacturing District provides unique opportunities and proximity to the Pink and Green lines will continue to increase accessibility. We’ve added specialized equipment in our wet labs, testing labs, and electronics labs and expanded our experts-in-residence and mentorship programs. Yet, with this expansion of resources, mHUB was able to reduce its price of co-working by 15% to be one of the most affordable options in Chicago.


There is great opportunity for mHUB in 2024 as we take significant next steps in expanding our impact and mission in Chicago and across the country. mHUB will continue to be a regional leader and convener for technology and manufacturing-based economic development, while breaking down barriers for diverse startups and founders to bring innovative technologies to market to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges.


Thank you to our partners, startups, manufacturers, investors, supporters, and team for your contributions to the impact.


Haven Allen, CEO


Kevin Willer, Chair of the Board

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Meredith O'Connor, Vice Chair of the Board

Meredith OConnor Signature

Impact of the mHUB Community

Snapshot of the mHUB community and its impact in 2023




Revenue Generated




Capital Raised




Patents Awarded




Employees Hired




Products Launched




Spent on Domestic Manufacturing




Domestic Spend in the Midwest

Tech Concentration by Industry


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TechByCluster-right 500w

Diversity of Leadership





Relocating the mHUB Innovation Center

The acquisition and build-out of 1623 W. Fulton Street

An anchor of the entire 2023 calendar year, the mHUB acquisition and build out of 1623 W. Fulton Street accelerated the organization’s mission to lead in the commercialization of hardtech solutions and become a global beacon for the brightest minds solving challenges in the physical world.

mHUB announced the acquisition of 1623 W. Fulton St. in April, 2023 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; $9.6M from the State of Illinois; and a $1.1M contribution from mHUB. The building is situated on a 2-acre site in the Near West Side Opportunity Zone and Kinzie Planned Manufacturing District in Chicago.

Timeline of the mHUB relocation and expansion

Timeline #1 - TIFF copy

JANUARY: City of Chicago approves TIFF funding for acquisition and renovation and initial financial package finalized

Timeline #2 - announcement

APRIL: mHUB closes on 1623 W. Fulton St. and announces $50M acquisition and build out.

Timeline #3 - groundbreaking

MAY: mHUB and project partners break ground on construction.

Timeline #4 - labs close

AUGUST: mHUB labs close for a phased move to the new facility.

Timeline #5 members pack

SEPTEMBER: mHUB members pack their belongings in preparation for the move.

Timeline #6 first day

OCTOBER: the mHUB community celebrates its first day at 1623 W. Fulton St.

Timeline #7 grand opening

DECEMBER: mHUB hosts a Grand Opening celebration where Governor JB Pritzker cuts ribbon and announces $9.6M State of Illinois contribution to the project.


Ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration

On December 12, 2023,  mHUB held an official grand opening ceremony that welcomed public officials and leaders of industry, as well as stakeholders from Chicago’s broad innovation ecosystem. The event celebrated the history of mHUB since its founding in 2017 and its quick acceleration to becoming an institution to drive city, state, and regional opportunity and align public and private sector interests around innovation in areas such as climate, energy, smart manufacturing, and healthcare.

mHUB's expected impact over the next five years includes supporting over 450 new startups and existing manufacturers in creating 4,500+ direct jobs, generating over $2.1B in revenue, securing over 550 patents, and attracting $1.95B in investment. This economic activity is estimated to drive a cumulative impact of $49M in state income tax, $228M in federal income tax, and $13M in sales tax.

Speakers at the mHUB Grand Opening included: Kevin Willer, Partner, Chicago Ventures and Co-Chair, mHUB Board of Directors; Governor of Illinois JB Pritzker; Alderman Walter Burnett; Illinois State Representative Jawaharial Omar Williams; Michael Fassnacht, Chief Growth Officer & President, CLAYCO; Ciere Boatright, Acting Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development; Vickie Lakes-Battle, Executive Director, IFF; Martin Cabrera, CEO, Cabrera Capital Markets; Brad Henderson, CEO, P33; and Alex Ocampo, Founder and CEO, Ganance.

The mHUB relocation makes headlines

Thank you project partners


Located for New Partnership and Member Growth

At the intersection of Chicago's tech and manufacturing districts

In addition to being the most resourced innovation center for physical product creators, from its prototyping labs to its mentor network, the physical location of the building itself comes with a unique set of tools for startups. Situated at the intersection of the Fulton Market tech scene and the Kinzie Industrial Corridor, within an Opportunity Zone, HUBZone, and Planned Manufacturing District, the new physical location of mHUB provides unique benefits to its members, partners, and investors.

Opportunity Zone:

With its move to 1623 W. Fulton, startups incubating within mHUB may be eligible to be recognized as Opportunity Zone businesses and can leverage Opportunity Zone venture capital through Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds (QOZF). This requires a certain percentage of their operations and revenues to be conducted within the Opportunity Zone itself. 


As an incubator for early-stage startups, companies utilizing the mHUB innovation center as its headquarters can meet the requirements of becoming a designated HUBZone business and qualify for preferential consideration in submitting for federal contracts.

Planned Manufacturing District

PMDs are designated areas set aside for industrial use. Location within the Kinzie Industrial Corridor provides manufacturing-based businesses with accessibility and affordability to Chicago’s growing West Loop and Near West tech center. 

Anchoring innovation and manufacturing in Chicago's Near West neighborhood 


Attracting startups and building roots with industry:

In 2023, mHUB started new collaborations with Grainger Foundation, Dell, Constellation, and KPMG. Marmon expanded its footprint, and Ingredion, Siemens, Gilero, and many new startups took space in the new building, making over 275 active companies now scaling manufacturing-based ventures at mHUB.

Startups and entrepreneurs that joined the general mHUB ecosystem during this pivotal year include: Azumo; GeoAutonomy; Madison Scientific; Otto Engineering; reOrbital; Rise Gardens, and Winnemac Labs, to name just a handful.

mHUB HardTech Development Services, for outsourced research and development collaborations, facilitated over 33 projects and brainstorms in 2023, supporting mHUB's growing network of corporate and manufacturing partners seeking to tap into its rich talent base of engineers, industrial designers, material scientists, and design for manufacturing experts. To date, these services have generated nearly $4M of revenue for mHUB members. Prominent clients beginning new relationships with mHUB HardTech Development Services in 2023 included Moshun, Astellas, and Signode.

Scaling Venture Activity

Deploying capital and accelerator programs

In October 2023, mHUB welcomed 10 startups into its 2024 Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator program and Product Impact Fund portfolio, which has now supported five cohorts since 2021. This most recent cohort made mHUB the climate and energy sector’s most active investor in Chicagoland with a total of 21 climate and energy tech investments since 2022.

The mHUB Product Impact Fund has invested in a total of 46 companies to-date that have gone on to raise an additional $34M in dilutive and non-dilutive funding. Portfolio companies that made notable progress in 2023 include:

  • Aeternal Upcycling: had a pilot plant demonstration selected for a $1.5M project from the REMADE Institute.
  • Ascent Integrated Tech: closed their Seed Round led by 11 Tribes Ventures. This comes on the back of the closing of $6.4M in contracts with 150+ major fire departments and $4.5M in development contracts with the US Air Force. 
  • Blip Energy: secured its first federal funding grant, selected for the Department of Energy’s EERE BENEFIT 22-23 Program and were awarded $1.1M in non-dilutive funding. 
  • Hago Energetics: successfully conducted an installation at Harris Feeding Lot (CA) and SUNY Morrisville Wastewater Treatment Plant (NY) and started four other projects in Q4 2023.
  • InfiniRel: signed its first commercial term sheet with a global project developer for a paid pilot. 
  • Kwema: signed a contract with Molson Coors, a Fortune 500 customer helping Kwema extend outside its original healthcare focus

Diversity of portfolio


Of current mHUB portfolio companies, 39% have underrepresented founders, 30% have Black or Latino founders, and 35% have women founders. This greatly outpaces the national average of 18.4% of pre-seed and 13.7% of seed investments going to underrepresented founders. This show's mHUB's programmatic, marketing, and investment strategies working together to attract the most promising early-stage technologies across critical industries and reaching all founders, resulting in diverse and deep perspectives for solving the world's most pressing challenges.

Attracting startups from around the world

In addition to reaching and attracting founders from diverse backgrounds, the mHUB Product Impact Fund I, and related accelerator programs, have been attracting global talent. The Fund has representation from 12 different states, including several U.S. based founders that have chosen to permanently move to Chicago following an mHUB accelerator program. With a growing ecosystem to support physical product development and a growing investor base, Chicago is building capacity and resources to draw top innovators working on physical solutions. 


Hear from mHUB portfolio companies


“Through our experience in the mHUB Accelerator, we have gained insight into what it takes to be successful as entrepreneurs; from conducting early-stage sales to deepening the understanding of our business's financial model.”


"I was thrilled and honored to present our medical device prototype at mHUB's Demo Day in Chicago, surrounded by colleagues and investors. This significant milestone marks a crucial step on our journey to transform the childbirth experience for women and enhance maternal outcomes."

Roni Cantor-Balan

Roni Cantor-Balan

Ciconia Medical


“Having a community that’s going through entrepreneurship with you is what I’ll miss the most. I look forward to staying connected with entrepreneurs from across the globe.”

Darren headshot

Darren Riley

JustAir Solutions


Did you miss the 2023 mHUB Investor Report?

The 2023 mHUB Investor Report reflects on the VC downturn of '22 and '23 and the industries less impacted or even making progress in the difficult environment. It also looks at recent government funding and its massive initiatives to underwrite industrial policy, asking whether the nation’s economic growth could be fueled less by Silicon Valley values and more by the values of an administration driving the terms for new capital funding. The report summarizes four hardtech industries mHUB is bullish on and shares data from its current portfolio.

Inside Milestones of the Member Community

Movers and shakers of the mHUB community

mHUB seeks to be the most resourced center for early-stage hard technologies, and with the acquisition of its new 2-acre location in 2023, mHUB became the largest independent manufacturing innovation center in the country. It took five years for mHUB member companies to collectively reach $1B of capital raised and only two years later be on the cusp of raising its next.

Here are member companies that made significant headway in 2023:


"As one of the first FemTech companies accepted into the mHUB ecosystem, the network, resources, and connections to industry helped to support Hyivy's acceleration into the medical device industry," said Rachel Bartholomew, CEO and Founder, Hyivy Health.

Hyivy has created the first intelligent and holistic pelvic rehabilitation system for patients experiencing symptoms of a wide range of gynecological conditions and the clinicians who treat them, which includes a multi-therapy vaginal, patient app, and clinician software. Last year, Hyivy got the green light from the FDA for their 510k pathway, confirmed their reimbursement path in the US through Medicare and Private Insurers, and opened 2 offices in the US and UK to expand their clinical and go-to-market reach.


“mHUB helped us get connected with the right people in the early days. We were first introduced to one of our largest investors, DuPont, when a person from the DuPont Venture team came to speak at mHUB,” said James Hedrick, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Azul 3D

Azul 3D™ is a leading-edge 3D printing company enabling the next generation of additively manufactured products. Its 3D’s HARP™ technology harnesses the power of a liquid interface and material innovation to develop novel solutions for manufacturing challenges. In combination with its proprietary industrial-grade materials, it offers the opportunity for volume production of components and just-in-time mass production of highly customized products. Last October, Azul 3D closed a $15M Series A.


"Building an MVP and continuing the Product Development journey every startup in MedTech encounters is like climbing Mount Everest. It cannot be done alone and mHUB has been at the core of Curiva's progress in developing diaPatchTM. From prototyping with 3D printers to tapping into the right experts to eventually manufacturing the initial units for a pilot study, mHUB has been right by our side. We could not have asked for a more welcoming community of founders and builders, go mHUBians!" said Eydis Lima, MSc, Founder and CEO, Curiva

Current tools for detection for women at risk of cancer are antiquated, do not accurately, and in real-time, measure the crucial biomarkers of disease stages. CurivaTM is commercializing a non-invasive wearable diagnostic patch for gynecologic malignancies detection - diaPatchTM. Curiva's flagship product allows doctors, healthcare professionals, and their patients to accurately test for high-risk biomarkers that forecast the onset of cervical cancer. Leadership at Curiva participated in a 2023 cohort of the mHUB Landis Family Fellowship, and the startup recently received investment from Josephine Collective.


"Iothic joined the IoT mHUB cohort as a foray into the US market. Because of mHUB location in Chicago, the industrial heartland of the US, a conscious decision was made on the part of the company to start our US journey in Chicago. Further the founder, Christopher Autry, is a University of Chicago alumni (BA 90) and has a strong affinity for Chicago as a place of business in the US. mHUB has made several key introductions for the company both on the investment front and client front and strongly supports to company to this day. We are glad to have mHUB as part of the journey and could not ask for better partners in the US," said Chris Autry, Founder, Iothic.

Iothic has developed a breakthrough in network communication technology that incorporate fully decentralized post-quantum safe authentication and encryption directly into the network. This technology allows for full point-to-point secure interoperable communication between all assets in a networks, provides real zero-trust, allows for the rapid connection of disparate networks and AI at the edge, secures all operating technology (OT), requires no human management or stored databases or keys, uses NIST standards and is deployable on existing infrastructure and architectures in hours or days. In 2023, Iothic closed its Seed Round led by Longwall Ventures and held two successful installations with FedData and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).


Non-dilutive funding for underrepresented founders

The mHUB Catalyze Initiative runs four programs to drive equitable access for women and people of color within the hardtech and manufacturing innovation ecosystem.  In 2023, mHUB launched its third mPOWER Women Founders cohort and first mPOWER Black Founders cohort in which participants received a total of $88,000 in non-dilutive funding and 12-months of underwritten access to mHUB resources including its prototyping labs, group learning experiences, and dedicated experts in residence. The 2023 Landis Family Fellowship cohorts received underwritten access to mHUB for six months and earned $17,900 in income by working on R&D projects through mHUB HardTech Development Services.

Since 2023, mHUB has awarded over $440,000 in non-dilutive dollars and more than $155,000 in sponsored access through the mHUB Catalyze Initiative, including $250,000 awarded for product development in Q1 2024 alone.

Champions of Collaborative Innovation

Coalition building for the Chicago innovation community

When talking about climate change, improved health outcomes, or creating the next generation of manufacturing professionals, it takes a village. mHUB is proud to be involved in numerous coalitions with deep respect for this ethos. Without collaboration and a meeting of the minds to represent all perspectives, hopes, fears, and goals, our greatest challenges will go unaddressed in the face of knowing that technology and innovation are powerful change makers. 

In 2023, several coalitions that mHUB participates in realized important milestones. Others we formed and defined. Here is a brief synopsis of activity from 2023, to see all coalition activity, visit the Collaborations page

Clean-Tech-Economy-Coalition_Coalition Logos_500x500-05

The Clean Tech Economy Coalition (CTEC) continues to build momentum for Illinois’ investments in climate and energy innovation. In 2023, mHUB secured funding to purchase and renovate its new building for expanded hardtech startup resources, Elevate received funding to run a campaign for inclusively increasing and educating clean energy contractors, and Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce, Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, and Daley College have all identified sites for future innovation and infrastructure projects.

Great Lakes Renew_Coalition Logos_500x500-02

Great Lakes ReNEW was formed in 2023 and recognized in January 2024 as one of 10 NSF Engines that will receive up to $160 million from NSF over the next 10 years. The coalition, led by Current, seeks to invent new ways to extract valuable minerals and toxic forever chemicals from wastewater and developed a mutli-year strategy to build a regional inclusive blue economy through use-inspired R&D, workforce development, and translating innovations into practice. mHUB is excited to partner with ReNEW to increase resources and support for product-based startups developing new water technologies.

The Bloch Tech Hub_Logo

The Bloch Tech Hub, led by Chicago Quantum Exchange, is a coalition of industry, academic, government, and nonprofit organizations leveraging the region's strengths to become a national and global leader in quantum information science and engineering research. In 2023, it helped name Chicago an official US Regional Innovation and Technology Hub for quantum technologies by the Biden-Harris administration. The coalition is now seeking additional funding from the Economic Development Administration, State of Illinois, and other public and private sources to build an inclusive quantum economy and bring new, transformative technologies to market. mHUB is a proud partner in the Bloch Tech Hub and is committed to increasing startups' access to critical infrastructure and equipment to further the development of quantum hardware technologies. 

sba_Coalition Logos_500x500-03

In September 2023, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced mHUB as a Stage Two winner for the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The organization received a $150,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships with the Heartland Climate Tech PartnershipIllinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, and Illinois Manufacturers' Association that will support the launch, growth, and scale of entrepreneurs building tech-based and R&D focused small businesses.

COZC_Coalition Logos_500x500-01

In September 2023, the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium (COZC) awarded mHUB funding to cover costs associated with developing an OZ-oriented technical assistance initiative to help startups to qualify and grow as a designated Opportunity Zone (OZ) business.   

Convening the ecosystem around hardtech innovation

Creating a HardTech hive

mHUB attracted over 4,500 attendees through its major brand and partnered events in 2023 and hosted more than 50 third-party events for groups such as Arduino, Canadian Consulate, Chicago Biomedical Consortium, Chicago Climate Connect, Founder Institute, Gen Z VC, Invenergy, Kearney, Marmon, National Science Foundation, Startup Grind, World Business Chicago, Senserion, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and many more. More than 8,000 visitors greeted mHUB throughout the year with at least 200 tours given.

mHUB HardTech Summit and the Fourth Revolution Awards

In March of 2023, mHUB brought back an in-person version of the Fouth Revolution Awards after moving to a virtual format in 2020. What’s more, the event was paired with mHUB’s flagship annual HardTech Summit for a two-day experience that welcomed nearly 1,000 attendees and offered a sneak peek of the new mHUB building before construction started. 

Read the event recap here.


In May of 2023, mHUB brought back another event, Hebocon. The family friendly event is an amateur robot building competition for all ages, background, and skill levels. Over 20 teams participated and one winner took home a $500 prize. 


Women in Manufacturing

Later in the year, mHUB hosted its first large event after moving to its new location, the October Women in Manufacturing event. The event convened over 300 change-makers from across the region in celebration of women in hardtech industries.  

Read the event recap here.

Thank You


Our Mission

Enable U.S. hardtech innovation and commercialization by fueling collaboration and providing an accessible, hyper-resourced environment to develop, fund and accelerate clean energy, health, sustainability, and manufacturing entrepreneurship.

Supported by Industry


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