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The First Innovation Center For Product Development Has Arrived In Chicago

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All photos courtesy of mHub.

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By Ashley Alt

Before March of this year, Chicago didn’t have a resource center for product developers looking to get their products out into the world. On March 2nd, entrepreneurs’ dreams came true when a manufacturing facility opened its doors to the public and widened the eyes of innovators everywhere.

mHUB, Chicago’s first innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing, is the new “it” place for anyone looking to get their hands on the most sophisticated equipment out there, namely, entrepreneurs, engineers, product designers, and developers on the hunt for a creative space to bring their inventions to life and bounce ideas off others in the co-working space.

According to a press release, this center “has received commitments of more than $8 million from its industry partners” who wanted to help bring this vision to life. Commitments come in from the likes of Marmon, Chamberlain Group, Comcast Business, and many more.

The aim is to connect manufacturers with Chicago’s tech community to jumpstart hardware and product startups, but Co-Founder of the organization, Haven Allen, sees a much larger picture.

“We hope that this becomes a real center of gravity for people,” Allen said on plans for the innovation center. “Chicago is the most diversified manufacturing base in the U.S.” he continued, “And there’s a strong sense of the industrial and commercial internet of things market here.”

It’s (A Lot) More Than A Manufacturing Facility

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Much more than a physical space, mHUB, boasting 63,000 square feet of 10 extensive equipment stations and shops, also offers mentoring and educational programs, and hosts networking events and other in-house workshops.

“We’ve set this up so people can do their prototypes and test the market first, so things are able to move quickly,” Allen explained of individuals ready to commercialize their products. “Here, we’re giving people access to more equipment and connecting people with the industry where they’re all sharing with each other and cross-contracting.”

To date, mHUB is comprised of over 100 members spending 140+ hours a month working toward finalizing their products. A few examples of industry types a part of mHUB? Woodworkers, medical device specialists, business students, electrical engineers, product designers,…

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