PHYSICAL PRODUCT INNOVATION CENTER mHUB OFFICIALLY OPENS ITS DOORS
Manufacturing and Entrepreneurial Community Leaders Convene to Celebrate the Future of Collaboration and Product Innovation; More than $8M in Partner Funding and 100+ Members to Date; First GE Fuse™ Site Opens at mHUB
CHICAGO (March 2, 2017) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and mHUB’s board of directors, today announcedthe official grand opening of mHUB, a physical product innovation center and micro-factory designed togalvanize the manufacturing ecosystem by generating innovative ideas, attracting world-class talentand fostering collaboration. Born through the combined efforts of Chicago’s leaders in business,innovation and research, mHUB offers Chicago’s burgeoning product manufacturers access to state-of-the-art facilities, along with resources to develop and bring new products to market. More than 100 early-stage product innovators have already joined prominent global and local manufacturers as founding members of the mHUB community.
“mHUB merges state-of-the-art innovation with our city’s industrial heritage to build a brighter future for all of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “I look forward to seeing mHUB’s bold vision further strengthen Chicago’s vibrant entrepreneurial community and manufacturing ecosystem.”
“By doing one thing exceptionally well – enabling talented innovators to develop physical products – mHUB will play a critical role in Chicago’s innovation ecosystem and drive growth for entrepreneurs, local manufacturers and the global companies that join us,” said Hugh Sullivan, senior adviser ofMorgan Stanley, chairman of mHUB’s board of directors and executive committee, and formermanufacturer.
The 63,000 square-foot mHUB facility offers a full product development environment along with ten fully equipped specialty labs including a 3D-printing lab, electronics labs, metal fabrication lab andmore. mHUB boasts more than $2.5 million of prototyping and manufacturing equipment, unsurpassed in similar product innovation centers across the U.S. In addition, mHUB serves as a connection point tothe larger community by partnering with established manufacturers, business accelerator programs,venture capitalists, engineering and product development consultancies, universities and providers ofindustry-specific business services, to provide members with access to these important services.
mHUB’s manufacturing industry partners view mHUB as a vital component to support product innovation and technological advancement. mHUB has received commitments of more than $8 million from its industry partners including Marmon, Chamberlain Group, U.S. Economic Development Administration, GE Ventures, Kirkland & Ellis, Arrow Electronics, UL, Chase Foundation, World Business Chicago, Motorola Mobility, Autodesk, Jones Lang LaSalle, Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA), Comcast Business, Wiegel Toolworks, Ask Power, IFF, KPMG, MINIMAL, who also designedMHUB’s visual brand identity, Inventables and Solidworks.
mHUB was incubated by World Business Chicago’s Advisory Council for Chicagoland Manufacturing,along with community partners: UI Labs, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), the Illinois Scienceand Technology Coalition and Catalyze Chicago.
“mHUB offers an inclusive environment where entrepreneurs have access to a state-of-the-art facility, equipment, education and programming, and a vast industry network – all of which have been aggregated with the sole goal of lowering the cost and barriers for physical product innovation,” said Haven Allen, executive director of mHUB.
To date, mHUB has more than 100 members, and intends to triple that number in its first year. mHUB is continuing to accept membership applications for prospective community members atwww.mHUBchicago.com. Membership rates start at $145 per month for part-time access to theprototyping shop. mHUB offers several packages for early stage entrepreneurs up through establishedenterprises, including shared co-working space and private office rentals within mHUB.
In conjunction with mHUB’s grand opening, mHUB founding partner, GE, announced the opening of the first regional GE Fuse™ location, part of a radical, new approach to manufacturing by the industry leaders that accelerates product and technology development by combining open innovation with small batch manufacturing.
“Fuse is all about bringing smart people together to solve tough problems,” said Dyan Finkhousen, president of GE Fuse and director, GENIUSLINK™. “By plugging into this strong local tech and entrepreneurial scene, Fuse Chicago’s light-manufacturing space will enable purposeful collaboration on the design and development of non-destructive testing technologies.”
The mHUB grand opening activities include a press conference and the official ribbon cuttings of mHUB and GE Fuse, along with three panel discussions entitled “The Future of Manufacturing Innovation,” “IoT – The Intersection of Physical and Digital,” and “The Economic Impact of Innovation Centers,” and a keynote address by GE Vice Chairman, Beth Comstock.
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.