Our Story

OUR STORY

From Galvin Manufacturing’s founding in 1928 and their car radio that came to be known as Motorola, we can trace a direct path to the current generation of Chicago inventors, makers and risk-takers who are creating products that will change the course of history.


The manufacturing industry has always been at the heart of Chicago’s innovation efforts. It is an industry where smart, hard-working people come together to use machines, tools and human labor to transform raw materials into brilliant and useful new products. It also is an industry of people who know what it means to have the grit, discipline and work ethic to roll up their sleeves and do the heavy lifting.


mHUB exists to ensure that Chicago and our Heartland’s manufacturing industry continues to accelerate, grow and thrive. We are Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing.


OUR BEGINNING

mHUB began after World Business Chicago convened an advisory council of manufacturing leaders to further Mayor Emanuel’s Regional Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs. The council was tasked with charting a course toward the next great era of Chicagoland manufacturing. The group determined that a manufacturing incubator would be a critical component to maintaining Chicago’s leadership in product innovation and manufacturing.


The council selected Catalyze Chicago to serve as a partner for mHUB in its mission to create a vibrant, inventive community that would create breakthrough products and boost the local economy. Catalyze was chosen based on its track record as a successful product development incubator.


mHUB fosters connections between local manufacturers, university researchers and our city’s entrepreneurial community of makers and technologists, not to mention investors who are eager to support new businesses. By galvanizing these connections, mHUB ensures that the Midwest region’s manufacturing industry continues to grow, lead, and reduce the cost and barriers to entry for physical product innovation.


OUR BUILDING

Our 63,000 square-foot facility contains 10 fabrication labs, including electronics, plastic fabrication, metals, textiles and rapid prototyping, as well as a microfactory for small production runs. The building recently housed Motorola Mobility's prototyping center, but the manufacturing connections at 965 W. Chicago Avenue run even deeper. In 1916, our site was home to the Milwaukee Iron and Metal Company, and neighboring businesses included a washing machine manufacturer and the Werner piano factory. Throughout the decades, the area has played an integral role in Chicago's manufacturing industry.

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