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Powering Business Ownership for Marginalized Communities

Join an entrepreneurial community committed to inclusive innovation.


Rebalancing Opportunity & Access at the Earliest Stages

mPOWER programs are designed to rebalance opportunity and access for startups building physical products that impact marginalized communities. Harnessing the existing resources of the nation’s leading independent innovation center for physical product companies, each participant receives hands-on support to turn ideas into hardtech businesses.

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mPOWER Program Eligibility & Benefits

There is no fee to participate in the program as membership is covered by program partners.

If accepted into the program, you will receive:

  • Sponsored 6-month membership at mHUB with Shared Workspace membership benefits
  • Access to a $5,000 microgrant to cover startup business and/or product development costs
  • Structured, hands-on programming for building a business and product at its earliest stages
  • Access to $6M worth of prototyping equipment
  • Dedicated support from a network of industry-leading mentors, mHUB staff, and founders
  • Networking opportunities
  • Monthly speaker series to hear from Black entrepreneurs
  • Exclusive access to mHUB's Catalyze Experts in Residence

What Does the 6-month Program Look Like?

Workshops will take place on Wednesdays.

Month 1

  • Orientation and Welcome Offsite
  • The Why: The Customer, The Problem, and Leading with Empathy
  • The What: Defensible Solutions
  • The How: Building for the Customer 
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 

Month 2

  • Conquering with EQ: Enhancing Your Emotional Intelligence with the Enneagram
  • Interactive Case Study Review and Implications for Your Product
  • Market Sizing and Competitor Assessment 
  • Customer Research Basics 
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 

Month 3

  • The Power of YOU: Defining Your Personal Leadership Brand and Expanding Social Capital
  • Ask Me Anything: Intellectual Property Basics 
  • Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas 
  • Anatomy of a Pitch, Business Plan, and Grant Submission 
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 

Month 4

  • Entity Formation 
  • Next Level Efficiency: Prioritization and Delegation in Complex Work Environments
  • Introductory Pitch Workshop 
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 

Month 5

  • Marketing Plan and Go to Market Strategy 
  • Financial Modeling Workshop & Office Hours 
  • Group Sessions with Dedicated Speech & Pitch Coach 
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 


Month 6

  • Financial Modeling Office Hours 
  • Group Sessions with Dedicated Speech & Pitch Coach
  • 1:1 Meetings with Dedicated Expert in Residence 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this program open to?

mPOWER is organized into two cohorts a year. To qualify, participants must have a clear problem that you are trying to solve through a physical product and be able to dedicate 7-10 hours per week for the entirety of the 6-month program.


Where does this program take place?

Sessions take place at mHUB's innovation center at 1623 W. Fulton St, Chicago, IL, 60612. There will be some virtual accommodation for hybrid sessions, but the majority of programming will take place in person.

When do applications open and close?

Applications for the next mPOWER cohort closed on Wednesday, July 3rd 2024, at 11:59 PM.

The application period for other cohorts is rolling.

How much does the program cost?

There is no cost to participate. mHUB membership fee are paid for by partners.

Does mHUB provide any funding as part of this program?

Participants might receive a monthly stipend of $500 to participate and a one-time $5,000 microgrant.


Will participants be able to produce a full prototype during the program?

Every product is different. Momentum in product development is dependent on the current stage of the participant, how much time they have available to contribute, complexity of product, and how much the participant has done in the areas of customer discovery/prototyping. That being said, all participants will have full access to mHUB resources and talent to make progress.  

During the interview process, the mHUB team can provide further insight to this question.


When will the next mPOWER program begin?

The 2024 mPOWER cohort will be selected in July, with workshops to begin in August 2024. 

mPOWER Program Supported by

Join an mPOWER cohort

If you’re an aspiring innovator, and have a clear product idea or solution, mHUB will help you make it a reality.