Illinois Science + Technology Blog

October 2018
U.S. News recently reported on why Chicago has become a top city for startups and entrepreneurs. Community supporters who help to drive entrepreneurial activity are a unique collaboration between startup accelerators and incubators that work in concert to nurture and showcase the region’s best and brightest emerging companies.  These accelerators drive innovation across the spectrum of sectors, such as mHUB, which is an innovation center for advanced manufacturing. Serving entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector is MATTER, where innovators are working together to drive major developments in the healthcare industry. Chicago also boasts the world’s #1 business incubator, 1871, and TechNexus, which both support technology startups of different stages. To read more.
 
The City of Broad Shoulders is becoming a City of Innovation as it attracts or creates more tech companies and jobs. Chicago had 14,014 tech businesses in 2017, 46 more than in 2016. The city also had 341,600 tech workers across all industries in 2017. To read more.
 
Founders who start companies in Chicago can enjoy both the benefits of a big city and the warmth of a Midwestern town. The Windy City's startup scene is boosted by a strong talent pipeline from local MBA and engineering programs. Female founders are drawn to Chicago: a solid third of the city's startups are run by women. To read more.
 
Quotes of note:  "There's a strong work ethic in the Midwest that you will not find anywhere else," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted. "It cannot be replicated or bottled, and it's a dedication that they don't have on either coast."  Google opened a small sales office 18 years ago and has since expanded to 1,000 workers, says Karen Sauder, vice president of sales and site lead for Google Chicago. "The city's culture, diversity and strong emphasis on community made it a perfect fit for Google and we look forward to our continued growth for years to come,"  "I saw this explosion at the intersection of technology, innovation, and established companies in Chicago," says Penny Pritzker, billionaire entrepreneur.

 

August 2018
NuMat Technologies was recently featured as a company that is redefining our future. The writer noted that during his discussion with Ben Hernandez and Omar Farha, he found that within 30 seconds , he was being pushed to reconfigure his imagination toward a world where we can create a chunk of rare metal from seawater, extract rare gases from air or the ocean, or turn toxic waste into drinking water.
 
Hernandez and Farha co-founded NuMat from a desire to rethink the scale of manufacturing. Rather than going for a big, expensive engineering solution, they believe the most civilization-threatening challenges we face are actually going to be solved at the smallest possible level.
By using their state of the art, rapid prototyping software, NuMat has been working to create millions upon millions of hypothetical building blocks — that is, chemical structures and molecules and the things that house them — which would otherwise take scientists centuries to discover using old-school techniques.
 
“The future of manufacturing is building materials with utility at the molecular level,” Hernandez says. He added, “Our accelerated approach to application commercialization significantly reduces the time and costs of solving extremely complex moon-shot challenges, or alternatively, helps us get to ‘no’ faster, which is equally valuable,”
 
Farha added, “I believe that these materials will revolutionize the world in a good way. Helping us to live in a world which is cleaner and where growth is truly sustainable.”

 

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