At MATTER, We Help People And Organizations Transform Ideas Into Solutions That Improve The Healthcare Experience




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At MATTER — a global innovation hub headquartered in Chicago — entrepreneurs come together with industry leaders, scientists and clinicians from across the globe to collaborate on developing next-generation healthcare technologies. We believe that collaboration between entrepreneurs and industry leaders is the fastest, most effective way to accelerate innovation, advance care and improve lives.


In 2013, under the auspices of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a group of entrepreneurs came together to build a stronger healthcare entrepreneurial ecosystem. At the time, Chicago had a $50 billion healthcare and life sciences industry, which included 91 hospitals, six medical schools, more than 500,000 healthcare jobs and nearly 60,000
students studying in a related field at local universities — not to mention a vibrant startup community.


Chicago did not, however, have a home for the healthcare community: the large companies were scattered across a wide urban and suburban area; the startups were spread across the city; and there was no community infrastructure to bring them all together to foster collaboration and innovation. Chicago was lacking the key ingredient for a successful healthcare innovation ecosystem: the ability for entrepreneurs to easily find mentors, advisors, investors and partners, and to access educational resources to build their skills.


In 2014, the State of Illinois provided $4 million to build a hub for the healthcare community. Civic leaders and area businesses came together to provide early operational support that allowed the project to get off the ground. MATTER opened in February 2015 with 30 startup companies, a handful of corporate partners and a few programs.

Today, MATTER has grown to a global innovation hub that includes hundreds of startup and growth-stage companies from around the world, dozens of corporate partners and a diverse array of programs supporting healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation. Our startups range from those that are barely more than ideas, to companies with millions of dollars in revenue and dozens of employees. Our partners represent every sector of healthcare.


Do something that matters
MATTER’s name was inspired by interviews with dozens of entrepreneurs. We found that, like all entrepreneurs, those in healthcare want to change the world, be their own bosses and participate in the economic upside that can come with entrepreneurship.

But unlike other entrepreneurs, those in healthcare tend to be in this field for very specific reasons. They have familial connections to the healthcare industry or have been touched in deeply personal ways by situations that have drawn them to think deeply about health and healthcare.

They didn’t stumble into healthcare but rather were drawn to it. They are incredibly passionate not just about building businesses, but about building businesses that will make the world healthier. Most will not be satisfied building companies in other industries. They are passionate about health and healthcare, and about doing something that matters.


Our model
Complex challenges like those in healthcare cannot be solved in silos, so everything we do is designed to create opportunities for authentic collaboration between people and organizations who share our commitment to improving life and lives.

Our non-profit, no-equity model includes three core components that work together to foster community and accelerate healthcare innovation. We are a startup incubator, community nexus and corporate innovation accelerator. Together, these core functions create a virtuous cycle to fuel health innovation and build a strong community that spans industry sectors.


With this model as the foundation, our community is a neutral platform where entrepreneurs can come together with industry leaders, scientists and clinicians from across the globe to collaborate on developing next-generation healthcare and life sciences technologies.

All told, our member startup companies have raised $1.3 billion to fuel their growth. Their products — which span health IT, medical device, diagnostics and therapeutics — have been used by nearly one million clinicians and have benefitted more than 117 million people. And we’ve developed more than 130 strategic programs with our corporate partners to help solve healthcare’s most pressing challenges.


For organizations like the ones featured in this chapter, being part of a community like MATTER can make or break a company’s success. In this complex industry, the ability to not only access, but also build relationships with other entrepreneurs, innovators from established organizations, patient advocates and clinicians, is one of MATTER’s most important strengths.

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