DailyWhale: 1871 vet named CEO of health care entrepreneurship hub MATTER

By: Tom Butala 8/12/14

Pritzker Group Senior Vice President Steven Collens was named chief executive of the nascent MATTER health care entrepreneurship hub on Tuesday.

According to the Mayor’s Office, Collens previously “spearheaded development and launch” of the 1871 technology incubator. Prior to joining the Pritzker Group, Collens spent 10 years with North Chicago-based pharmaceutical and medical device giant Abbott Laboratories.

“Steve is exceptional at bringing disparate elements of the community together to drive one purpose, which will be critically important at MATTER,” said J.B. Pritzker, managing director of the Pritzker Group and founder of 1871. “He did a tremendous job at Pritzker Group and 1871 and I am confident he will excel in this new role.”

Collens thanked Pritzker during a press conference on Tuesday, calling him “an incredible mentor, colleague [and] friend.”

Also on Tuesday, Patrick Flavin was named MATTER’s executive director of partnerships. Flavin will be charged with fostering relationships with industry partners. He is a principal at Woodridge-based Flavin Ventures, which specializes in consulting and financing healthcare-industry startups.

Scheduled to open in early 2015 at the Merchandise Mart in River North, MATTER will aim to promote growth of start-ups in the health care IT, medical device and biopharmaceutical industries.

The center is now accepting applications from prospective members. Membership packages run from $150 per month for a night-and-weekend deal up to $450 per month for an all-access membership, according to MATTER’s website.

“Like 1871 before it, MATTER will spark innovation, create jobs and drive economic growth across the state,” Gov. Pat Quinn stated. “Illinois is making a comeback, and this new life sciences hub will be an important part of it by empowering entrepreneurs and boosting Illinois’ role as a national leader in health care innovation.”