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mHUB launches fund to revive manufacturing in Illinois



ImpactAlpha, July 30 – Illinois’ economy is generally on the up, but manufacturing employs only half as many people as it did three decades ago. Chicago-based hardware lab mHUB is launching a new fund to nurture manufacturing opportunities in the state through startup innovation.

mHUB is looking to raise $15 million for its Product Impact Fund to invest across 60 startups developing new products in the industrial Internet of Things, communications, and potentially high impact areas like clean energy, medical and healthcare, and smart buildings and cities.

“Building this seed fund and accelerator will move us forward in our goal of positioning Chicago and the Midwest as leaders in physical product innovation,” mHUB board member Kevin Willer said in a statement.

Hardware is hard: Impact investors overcome obstacles to back a new crop of makers

More immediately, the hub says the fund will address a lack of capital for makers and product-based startups.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration is kicking in $300,000 to help mHUB’s fundraising get started.

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