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mHUB Announces Expansion into New $50M Innovation and Commercialization Center

The acquisition and renovation aims to advance manufacturing and cleantech innovation in Illinois.

M Hub 240 N Ashland Exterior Lowres

Manufacturing and hardtech innovation center mHUB announced the $50M acquisition and build-out of a historic manufacturing facility within Chicago’s Kinzie Industrial Corridor on the city’s Near West Side.

The building is located within a designated Opportunity Zone and planned manufacturing district on a 2-acre site that will increase mHUB’s prototyping and testing facilities and office and convening spaces to become the largest independent manufacturing innovation center in the country.

Launched in 2017, mHUB has supported over 500-plus startups and 200 manufacturers globally that have created 5,000-plus jobs and generated over $2.6B of economic activity. Collaboration between startups, industry and investors has accelerated the commercialization of early-stage physical products in areas such as advanced and sustainable manufacturing, climate and energy tech, medical devices and more. The organization has strong ties to the Midwest regions’ universities and research institutions as well as an established network of contract manufacturers.

The $50M building acquisition and renovation is part of public financing organized by mHUB to advance manufacturing and cleantech innovation in Illinois. The package 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; $9.57M from other local sources; and a $1.1M contribution from mHUB.

On the heels of historic Illinois policy achievements with the Clean Equitable Jobs Act, REV Act and $400M tax incentive package for cleantech manufacturing, the mHUB expansion will help accelerate the commercialization of new tech solutions to address global challenges, institute an economic development engine in Illinois and position the state for federal funding through efforts such as the CHIPS Act, Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

It will initiate one of the primary investments of the nationally recognized Clean Tech Economy Coalition (CTEC) alliance that is focused on commercializing energy infrastructure, grid modernization and long-energy storage technologies.

“This historic investment will help drive Illinois and the nation’s global leadership in hardtech and particularly around the commercialization of clean and sustainable technologies,” said Haven Allen, chief executive officer and co-founder of mHUB. “It will create an anchor institution in Chicago to execute on its commitments leading the nation’s reemergence and manufacturing legacy. It’s made possible through broad collaboration of the private sector, strong leadership at the city and state and ongoing engagement with the federal government.”

In addition to establishing Illinois as a global leader in the clean energy transition, supporters recognize the mHUB expansion as an opportunity to improve access and create generational wealth for underrepresented founders and low-income communities through the building’s location within a designated Opportunity Zone.

The deliberate decision to place mHUB within an Opportunity Zone will ensure greater access to its programming for underrepresented founders on Chicago's south and west sides. The location will enable mHUB to expand its venture capital strategy through a series of venture funds, direct investing and opportunity zone real estate and equity investing. mHUB’s 250+ existing startups relocating to the new building can immediately begin capitalizing on opportunity zone venture capital. 

In addition to greater accessibility to Chicago’s south and west sides physically, the mHUB relocation will support the acceleration of an $8M fundraising campaign for its Catalyze Initiative, a suite of programs to drive a diverse and equitable economic development model. 

To date, Catalyze has received $2.45M in support from Landis Family Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, We Rise Together, Bank of America, Christopher Family Foundation and federal congressionally directed spending appropriation.  

The mHUB expansion has garnered interest from the private sector with alignment to organizations that recognize this project as a vehicle for collaborating with stakeholders across the clean energy, manufacturing, community development and innovation landscapes.

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.

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