IVCA Feature: Incubators and Accelerators in Place for Chicago for 2022

April 13, 2022

In the previous IVCA newsletter feature, the deadline for the TechStars accelerator was highlighted, and more information about which entrepreneurs, start-up and companies will comprise their “Class” of 2022 is to come. Chicago is rich in both accelerators (which aid in growing existing entities) and incubators (product/service ideas that need nurturing to business developments), and in anticipation of 2022’s second quarter, below is background and links to some top organizations that are resources for investors in both the VC and PE space.



Located in the Merchandise Mart, “1871” (which refers to the year of Chicago’s rebirth after the Great Fire) has become one of the top non-profit incubators in the city, focusing on early stage, growth state and building business, from idea to viability.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2012 … through the Pritzker Group … as a flagship project of the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center (CEC).

WEBSITE: https://1871.com/
IN THE NEWS: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/applications-open-for-third-annual-wmnfintech-womens-fintech-program-from-bmo-and-1871-301507751.html


MATTER is a global healthcare startup incubator, community nexus and corporate innovation accelerator in the Merchandise Mart … mobilizing a community of entrepreneurs, industry innovators, scientists and clinicians committed to improving health and care for every patient.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2015 through a partnership between the State of Illinois and area businesses.

WEBSITE: https://matter.health/
IN THE NEWS: https://matter.health/posts/meet-the-newest-members-of-the-matter-startup-community/


BUNKER LABS is a non-profit that provides community, programs, and courses to help military veterans and military spouses start and grow successful businesses and startups, located in the Merchandise Mart.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2014 in Chicago with veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs, and has since expanded to other cities.

WEBSITE: https://bunkerlabs.org/
IN THE NEWS: https://business.chase.com/resources/grow/3-million-chase-helps-military-connected-entrepreneur-nonprofit



mHUB’s members create breakthrough products in robotics, connected devices, sensors, energy tech, medical devices, smart building/cities, unmanned vehicles, and other cutting- edge innovations, located in the Chicago River West neighborhood.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2017 in Chicago with a mission is to accelerate industry growth by cultivating a community of collaboration and connectivity between innovators, entrepreneurs and manufacturers.

WEBSITE: https://mhubchicago.com/
IN THE NEWS: https://mhubchicago.com/news/global-manufacturer-omron-electronic-components-joins-mhub-as-corporate-partner-


The FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS LAB Accelerator in Chicago works directly with entrepreneurs to support a mission of identifying, developing, and scaling fintech solutions for low-to moderate-income individuals, Black and LatinX communities, and other underserved consumers.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2014 in Chicago by The Financial Health Network with founding partner JPMorgan Chase.

WEBSITE: https://finlab.finhealthnetwork.org/
IN THE NEWS: https://www.finextra.com/pressarticle/90192/financial-solutions-lab-launches-accelerator-challenge-to-address-racial-wealth-gap


The CLEVELAND AVENUE is to foster growth for a new generation of remarkable restaurant, food tech and beverage companies. We provide the best financial resources, expertise, and individual support available.

ORIGIN: Founded in 2015 in Chicago and named for the street the founders grew up on in the old Cabrini-Green housing community.

WEBSITE: https://www.clevelandavenue.com/
IN THE NEWS: https://www.chicagobusiness.com/technology/don-thompsons-cleveland-avenue-backs-display-tech-startup-retail-aware
The in-person IVCA Annual Spring Luncheon Returns on May 18th, 2022, sponsored by Baker Tilly and Ropes & Gray. Click here for more information and to register.

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