The state of Illinois has announced it will provide $4 million to help launch a new biotech hub for startups in downtown Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times reports. The new incubator, called MATTER will be located next to 1871 on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart thanks to a $2.5 million investment, and a $1.5 million loan from the state.
Merchandise Mart is already home to 1871, a co-working center for startups that has produced more than 200 jobs and created more than 1,000 jobs since its launch in 2012.
According to the release, MATTER will provide a collaborative workplace for interaction among startups, academics and investors in order to create and grow new companies in health care information technology, medical devices, medical diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals.
With leading medical research hospitals & universities such as Northwestern, University of Chicago, Rush and the Medical District, Chicago is the ideal place for a biotech hub.
“Over the next decade, this entire healthcare sector will be transformed, as we experience an entrepreneurial revolution in medical devices, in sensors, in diagnostics, data collection, and data analysis. Matter will provide a home, advice, and support for medical technology startups. Chicago intends to be the leader in developing next-generation health technology companies,” said billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker (CBS Chicago, 2/7/14).
MATTER plans to get ramp up quickly with the key goal of getting other companies in the same field to invest in the project.
Business leaders including Jeff Aronin and Tim Walbert, co-chairs of the MATTER governing board, are seeking funds from corporate sources, according to the news release. “In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing significant private-sector funding to support the substantial investment in Matter by the state,” Walbert said.