MATTER announces Steven Collens and Pat Flavin to senior leadership and launches membership


MATTER, the new entrepreneurship and innovation hub for next-generation health IT, medical device and biopharma companies, today announced that Steven Collens has been named the center’s chief executive officer. Pat Flavin has been named executive director, partnerships. Check out the video of the conference.

As senior vice president at Pritzker Group, the investment firm of J.B. and Tony Pritzker, Mr. Collens spearheaded the development and launch of 1871, the exceedingly successful co-working hub for digital entrepreneurs that opened in the Merchandise Mart in May 2012. Prior to his role at Pritzker Group, Collens spent a decade at Abbott in product marketing, public affairs and policy positions.

“1871 has quickly become a global model for successful startup communities and that success is in no small measure thanks to Steve’s leadership,” said Jeffrey Aronin, chairman and chief executive officer of Marathon Pharmaceuticals and co-chairman of the MATTER board of directors. “That leadership combined with his background in life sciences makes Steve the ideal candidate to help MATTER become the region’s leading hub for health technology entrepreneurship.”

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

In his new position, Mr. Flavin will focus on building strategic relationships with established corporations, research institutions and medical associations.

“Pat has been critically important in driving MATTER forward,” said Timothy Walbert, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Pharma and co-chairman of the MATTER board of directors. “In his new role he will capitalize on his experience in the life sciences industry to elevate MATTER’s relationships across the community.”

2014-08-12 12.26.26“Chicago has a dynamic startup community and world-leading healthcare companies, research institutions and medical associations,” said Steven Collens, MATTER’s new CEO. “MATTER will bring this community together to fuel greater collaboration and accelerate the development of next-generation health technology businesses.”

MATTER, a not-for-profit organization that has been developed by a team of entrepreneurs and industry leaders, is supported by a $4 million investment by Governor Pat Quinn and the state of Illinois. MATTER was incubated by ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s council on technology and innovation. The center is expected to open in late 2014 down the hall from 1871 in the Merchandise Mart.

“The future of MATTER is in great hands,” added Timothy Walbert. “With our leadership team, help from Governor Quinn, Mayor Emanuel and the architects at Gensler, we will change the face of health technology innovation in Chicago.”

MATTER also announced that they have opened applications for 2015 membership. Membership is provided on a three tier system, providing varied benefits at each level. Very similar to the model at 1871.

What do you think of MATTER’s leadership?