Leveraging Community Talent to Drive R&D and Fund Entrepreneurs



mHUB Product Development (PD) gives small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) the exclusive opportunity to harness the unique creativity of an entrepreneurial community. SMEs tap mHUB members with diverse skill sets to develop product innovation solutions that are more cost-effective and completed faster than traditional large firms.

The program began as a pilot after Marmon, mHUB’s Founding Partner, recognized the talent value within the mHUB community. In 2018, Bill Fienup, mHUB co-founder, supported the official launch of mHUB Product Development as director of the program. Since launch, mHUB PD has grown to support more than 37 clients, developed 75 unique products and more than 1000 concepts, and infused more than $1.2M in income directly into the mHUB member community extending runways for entrepreneurs.


With brainstorms, proof of concepts, and product development led by mHUB’s talented community of highly-skilled entrepreneurs, SMEs have shown to significantly improve their research and development (R&D) efforts. mHUB’s talent pool provides quality, efficient, and cost-effective results to many distinguished clients, including Newell Brands, Marmon, RhinoAG, ATKearney, K8 Ventures, Prince Castle, and many more.

Prince Castle, an SME that manufacturers industrial kitchen appliances, came to mHUB for a faster and more energy efficient process to toast bread in under 15 seconds and meet the customer desired level of brown for any type of bread.

During development, the moistness of the bread became a major concern. Some bagels would burn in 10 seconds whereas other bagels would turn golden brown in 15 seconds. How would the machine know when the toast reaches the customer’s desired level? mHUB PD contractors developed a vision-based solution using a camera and learning algorithm to detect ideal toasting conditions and eject the bread at the appropriate time.

This is just one of the many examples of innovative solutions mHUB PD contractors have come up with for numerous clients. The results are consistent: low-cost, fast, and effective R&D for the client, and added runway for entrepreneurs to focus on their own businesses.

“mHUB emphasizes value-for-money which I found to be true,” said Steve Subar, partner, interim CEO, COO & executive coach at TechCXO.

“Through contract work, we’ve been successful in bringing in about $500,000 a year, which has been an incredible help in funding R&D and production of SimpleCap,” said Michael Infanger, Founder and President of Verena Solutions, mHUB member, and regular mHUB PD participant. “The extra revenue gives us the runway to invest back into our business.”

mHUB’s talent pool includes mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, automation engineers, materials engineers, firmware developers, web and mobile developers, software developers, industrial designers, prototyping experts, fabricators, and more. The diverse talent base has been indispensable to supporting a wide range of industries and client requests.

mHUB Product Development is enhancing the region's ability to commercialize innovation while extending the runway for high potential startups and forging important connections between entrepreneurs and industry leaders. This mHUB Product Development model has potential to scale to include other innovation communities with differing skillsets, which will give corporations access to a broader set of the region's entrepreneurs to spur innovation.

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