MHUB Chicago Start-up Midwest Disruptor

March 15, 2021

Chicago, Illinois

Just down the street from The Chicago Tribune, you might find the future of the American Industrial world. On a morning walk, my colleague and I stumbled upon a shared workspace on 965 W Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60642.   In a tour provided by a gracious and grateful young employee and entrepreneur at MHUB, Newsweed was enlightened by a new style of industrial workspace. Our tour guide, Elda Baez, walked my colleague (former programmer) and me through the facility donated to MHUB by Motorola. The facility, as we understand, was built by Motorola, and then the development was abandoned as markets changed. MHUB was founded by MIT Grad Bill Fienup and Haven Allen politician.

Circuit board bar
Circuit board base of a bar located in Chicago Illinois

Haven Allen is a focused Economic Development Politician apparently with strong political ideas regarding the effects of low-income communities’ economics. It seems Mr. Haven Allen focuses on the policies and constraints to promoting growth and development. According to his alma mater Michigan State engineering department :

MHUB parts in process
ample equipment for prototype development in Chicago at MHUB

“After attending the University of Illinois at Chicago to receive his B.A. in Political Science, Allen worked on several political campaigns, which ultimately led him to start his own company. After founding his own startup, Haven worked on large-scale productions, publishing a magazine that acquired more than 25k readers.

But after several years of the startup lifestyle, Allen felt the need to give back by joining the Peace Corps. Haven moved to Panama to work as a Community Economic Development Volunteer.

“I was placed in a city that had been completely employed by a Chiquita Banana plantation. Chiquita had employed over 46,000 people,” said Allen. “After years of inhabiting the space, they just up and left; the employment rate went from 100% to 0%, and nobody had a job.”

During his time in Panama, Allen helped kick start their communities by encouraging community members to create their own businesses and create many jobs. With two years of helping spur local economies under his belt, Allen took his strategic economic talents to the University of Michigan, where he pursued his M.P.P. at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

Allen was praised as a stand-out entrepreneur and policymaker, from being involved in the Rackham Graduate School’s student government to Ford’s Domestic Policy Board.

During his time at Michigan, Haven received a fellowship with the Mayor of Chicago, where he innovated how products come to market via Chicago’s booming manufacturing sector.

Upon completing his M.P.P. at Michigan, Haven Allen dove into the manufacturing industry in the heart of Chicago ever since he’s been facilitating growth and innovation within the city.

CFE had the chance to sit down with this University of Michigan Alumni and Executive Director of mHub, where he shared the story of how his time in the Peace Corps influenced his love of policy, innovation, and entrepreneurship within one of the United States’ most industrial cities:”

As an entrepreneur myself, I wonder if the connection to the political arena will influence who becomes the winners and the losers at MHUB Chicago.

MHUB custom bar
The bar shown in this picture was a project of love for the founding engineer at MHUB Chicago.

The facility has a small wood workshop, 3d printers, laser cutters, and tool and dies shop. Some engineers can help with drawings and design as well. We recognize that there are over 260 small businesses that are members. All members who use the equipment must take safety training or use a skilled contractor with the equipment. Contractors are part of the facility. When we were there early on a Monday morning, around 9:00 a.m., there was no activity on any equipment. The costs to join the facility are very reasonable, which is definitely the way an entrepreneur can get the mentoring necessary.

We were concerned about the privacy policy and asked for a copy of the terms but were not provided that information at the time. would like to congratulate the founders for doing such a thorough job providing the most innovative start-up facility.

MHUB and Rohm

Bloomberg Reports

** From MHUBS website ** MHUB is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing innovation center for physical product development and manufacturing. MHUB is the community of product designers and developers, entrepreneurs, engineers and manufacturers, a network of manufacturing mentors, industry experts, and investors and a source of intellectual and economic capital. MHUB is home to more than $5 million in resources, including ten unique prototyping labs and micro factory for onsite low-volume production runs. With over 5,000 square feet of premier event space, we host over 300 events ranging from networking and cocktail reception events, panels, corporate meetings, and gatherings to private meetings, classes/training, and small meetups.