The beginning of each month, we review what’s been going on in the Pittsburgh entrepreneurial community for the previous month – what changed, who grew, and what people are saying. Plus, we want to make sure we keep you up to date on the things FortyX80 has been up to lately.
Check out our February recap if you missed it.
What Pittsburgh was Talking About
CognistX is working with Munro Muffler & Brakes to enhance their customer engagement system
Google and the City of Pittsburgh are partnering with the Kingsley Association to deploy public Wi-Fi to parts of East Liberty and Larimer
Etsy wants to link designers with Pittsburgh manufacturing firms
Customized 3-D printing startup PieceMaker is partnering with Nickelodeon and Ford
In the Community
How Charlie Batch went from NFL QB to sports medicine entrepreneur with Impellia
J.J. Abrams launched a documentary series about the Google Lunar XPRIZE, featuring Pittsburgh’s Astrobotic
What do you think? Is Pittsburgh the next Austin? Do we even want to be?
A rust-belt revival: New businesses are breathing life into some of America’s old industrial cities (including ours!)
Laboratories to advance electric grid and storage technology, plus low-cost startup space for other engineers, are planned for Pitt’s energy research center
Glen Meakem said his startup Forever is growing at a 200% annual rate
Harvey Fineberg visited CMU to talk about "Technology, Information and Learning: Medical Education for the Sake of Patients"
Carnegie Mellon hosted its inaugural Energy Week
Lawrenceville startup Conversant Labs develops audio technology for using mobile devices
The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance says advanced manufacturing continues to drive growth in Pittsburgh
MeterFeeder, which lets you pay for parking meters through their app, got some nice press in TechCrunch
Former kWantera CEO Mark DeSantis is raising a $25 million fund on spot energy prices in his new role as the executive chairman of kWantix
If I Knew Then…: Crain’s talked to Niche CEO Luke Skurman about mistakes he’s learned along the way
Marc USA’s President and CEO Michele Fabrizi helps startups refine their marketing strategies with their Marketing Sparks hackathons
Drone startup Identified Technologies offers new possibilities to the energy and construction industries
General good news: venture-capital firms are raising money at the highest rate in more than 15 years
A CMU team placed second in the Allegheny Region CleanTech University Prize competition, held by the Department of Energy
Startup Weekend Pittsburgh held their very first Women’s Edition. Solo business traveler app Go Jane Go claimed first place
Two CMU teams are among the finalists in Rice business competition
UPMC Enterprises invests in six health tech projects
Duolingo is moving to East Liberty and preparing to grow their team.
CMU has a new head of their Machine Learning Department: Manuela Veloso, “a computer scientist renowned for her work in artificial intelligence and robotics”
Artificial Intelligence startup LegalSifter, which helps companies read legal documents, raised $1.6 million
CMU researchers are providing free Speck air quality monitors to 100 public libraries nationwide
Pittsburgh startup Beer Blizzard was on Shark Tank and Mt. Lebanon-native Mark Cuban invested $100,000
Pittsburgh is a finalist for Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs, a platform to make traffic less horrible (yes please)
Former Precision Therapeutics CEO Sean McDonald is now leading Pitt startup Ocugenix
San Francisco mental health startup Lantern raised $17 million, led by UPMC Enterprises
GlaxoSmithKline is supporting a new $100 million early-stage venture fund that’s focusing on Pittsburgh startups
Water filter startup Rorus finished in first place at the 2016 SXSW Accelerator Competition
The University of Pittsburgh is launching a new student innovation pitch competition, the Kuzneski Innovation Cup, aimed at commercializing Pitt research in areas outside of health care
Two investor groups visited Pittsburgh: Wefunder, a San Francisco-based website that helps small businesses raise funding online; and Paul Singh, an original partner in 500 Startups
CMU’s National Robotics Engineering Center was chosen for research projects adding up to over $11 million. The good news comes a year after Uber hired away 40 of the NREC’s staff
BetaBurgh announced their first class of projects to “engage and enhance” Downtown Pittsburgh
Pitt held their annual Randall Family Big Idea Pitch Competition
Pittsburgh is a Smart City finalist, named by the Department of Transportation
Congrats to AlphaLab, named one of the best startup accelerators in the country (again!)
Thrival Innovation + Music Festival announced the first wave of their 2016 music lineup
What We’ve Been Up To
Our president Audrey traveled to the Bay Area to strengthen our relationships with Silicon Valley and learn more about how we can encourage more capital to flow into our region. We rendezvoused with the following firms: Andreessen Horowitz, Wellington Partners/German Accelerator, The Founders Den, and Floodgate Capital.
- As an advocate for inclusive innovation, we couldn’t have been more excited to sponsor Pittsburgh’s first Startup Weekend Women’s Edition
Jen Vescio, our Bay Area advisor, has kicked off her advisor services. Get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re looking for any guidance with your startup.
We interviewed one of the few women department heads at CMU, Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Jelena Kovačević about electrical engineering, women in STEM, and the dreaded CMU brain drain – and it’s a fantastic read, if we do say so ourselves.
Thanks to new data from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, we updated the “Pittsburgh Region Overview” section on our website. Check it out under “Pittsburgh by the Numbers” on the Regional Vitals page.