mHUB, Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing, held its Grand Opening events on March 2. The 63,000-square-foot co-working space in the heart of Chicago’s entrepreneurial Tech Triangle neighborhood includes 10 fabrication labs as well as a “micro-factory” for small production runs. The organization expects to serve more than 1,000 entrepreneurial designers, developers, engineers, and manufacturers working in electronics, plastics, metals, and textiles.
“mHUB fosters connections between local manufacturers, university researchers, and our city’s entrepreneurial community – not to mention investors who are eager to support new businesses,” said Haven Allen, mHUB’s Executive Director. “The end goal is to reduce the costs and barriers to bringing innovative new products to the market place.”
The full-scale technology incubator builds on the success of Catalyze Chicago, a prototype of a member-supported product development community and prototyping space that launched almost 60 products between 2014 and 2016. mHUB members have flexible part- or full-time options for accessing the shop and/or office spaces, and all members can participate in mHUB workshops. The organization also plans to develop programming for high school and college students to intern, attend workshops, and connect with mentors.
IFF helped finance the new facility with $1.5 million in loans to build out the space and purchase equipment for the labs and micro-factory.