Governor Rauner, Senator Durbin and Mayor Emanuel open MATTER, Chicago’s new incubator for healthcare innovation

CHICAGO, Feb 13, 2015 – Governor Bruce Rauner, Senator Dick Durbin and Mayor Rahm Emanuel today marked the official opening of MATTER, Chicago’s new entrepreneurship and innovation incubator for next-generation health IT, medical device, diagnostics and biopharma companies. MATTER brings together healthcare entrepreneurs, researchers, academics, industry leaders, investors and associations to connect and collaborate on the development of new healthcare technologies and solutions to improve patient lives.

In addition to workspace for roughly 200 innovators, MATTER’s 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility features an auditorium and classroom for events connecting the healthcare community; an engineering lab for rapid product prototyping and design; a clinical simulation center designed by the Jump Simulation Center at OSF; and the recently announced AMA Interaction Studio – an interactive physician’s office of the future where physicians and entrepreneurs can co-create new products and services.

As of today, MATTER has accepted more than 70 startup healthcare companies as its first members, including Resonance Medical, which is developing innovative new hearing solutions; Player’s Health, which has a platform to manage the health of student athletes; and CancerIQ, a digital health company that is lowering the barriers to personalized cancer care.
MATTER’s partners include Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois; hospitals and health systems including NorthShore University HealthSystem, Lurie Children’s Hospital and Sinai Health System; and industry leaders such as Abbvie, Allscripts, Astellas and Takeda.

MATTER was designed with the input of hundreds of members of the healthcare community and launches this week with more than $8 million in public and private support; 65 mentors and 4 mentors-in-residence to advise entrepreneurs; and a curriculum of workshops designed to address the top 10 challenges faced by healthcare startups and taught by seasoned entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.

“It’s an incredibly dynamic time for innovation in healthcare and MATTER will help entrepreneurs develop the most powerful and meaningful solutions,” said MATTER CEO Steven Collens. “MATTER’s opening is the culmination of years of hard work by leaders across the healthcare community and the start of a new era of collaboration, innovation and growth for the industry.”
“Innovation is a key driver in making the health system work better for everyone, and the American Medical Association’s partnership with MATTER will bring physicians and entrepreneurs together to collaborate on efforts to unlock a bold new generation of health technology that expands the bounds of science, enhances patient care, and most importantly – saves lives,” said AMA CEO and Executive Vice President, James L. Madara, M.D.

“MATTER is designed to give entrepreneurs a clear pathway to success,” said Jeff Aronin, CEO of Marathon Pharmaceuticals and co-chairman of the MATTER Board of Directors. “By nurturing innovation in health technology, we can create better outcomes for patients and save lives.”

“Leading healthcare companies are excited to tap into the innovation taking place at MATTER,” said Tim Walbert, chairman, president and CEO of Horizon Pharma and co-chairman of the MATTER Board of Directors. “The collaboration fostered by MATTER will help launch successful startups while also driving innovation across the region’s healthcare economy.”
“Innovation is key to making Illinois the most competitive state in the country, and the work coming out of MATTER will have a tangible impact on the future of the healthcare industry and the state,” Gov. Rauner said. “Innovation jobs have a ripple effect on the workforce by creating more jobs and growing the economy. Innovation will help us create a 21st century economy in Illinois.

Photo by: Antonio Perez / Blue Sky / Feb. 13, 2015
Photo by: Antonio Perez / Blue Sky / Feb. 13, 2015

“MATTER’s opening is great news for Chicago’s healthcare economy. The region already has a dynamic healthcare community with world-class companies, but MATTER will take us to the next level,” Durbin said. “Innovation requires a collaborative approach, and MATTER will give industry leaders and startups a chance to work together to bring next-generation products and services to improve care and save lives.”

“By empowering entrepreneurs in the growing field of health innovation technology, MATTER will create new jobs, attract new companies, and make Chicago more economically competitive for years to come,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s economic strength has always come from the diversity of our economy and the depth of talent in our workforce. This new innovation space will build on those strengths, while helping to make Chicago a leader in developing the next great health care technologies of tomorrow.”

“DRECTED is a startup seeking to redefine the way innovators and physicians interact and we believe our best chance for success is here at MATTER,” said DRECTED founder and MATTER member, Christopher Kennedy. “The energy, passion and collaboration at MATTER sparked our decision to move here and become part of a community focused on improving patients’ lives.”

MATTER, a not-for-profit organization, was developed by a team of entrepreneurs and industry leaders with the support of the state of Illinois. MATTER began as a project of ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s council on technology and innovation, which is part of World Business Chicago.

MATTER is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation. MATTER’s mission is to proactively connect and promote collaboration between entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians and industry partners in order to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.