Getting Started with Startups: A Peek at Alphalab Demo Day

Technological innovators present what could be “the next big thing” at the Carnegie Music Hall in Homewood.




photo by eddie trizzino

 

Maybe you have a new idea. Maybe you see a fix for a need that hasn’t been thought of before. That’s exactly how the 11 founders of startup companies found their way onto Carnegie Music Hall’s stage to present their ideas at Alphalab and Alphalab Gear’s annual Demo Day.

Alphalab and Alphalab Gear are startup accelerators, which help fund and mentor startup companies to help make for a successful business. Demo Day is where the chosen companies get a chance to show a culmination of their work with Alphalab to potential investors, customers or businesses.

This year’s Demo Day gave center stage to companies with unique ideas such as:
 

... and several more.

“I loved it, I’m really proud of all the companies and what they’re doing,” Rich Lunak, president and CEO of Alphalab and Alphalab Gear’s parent company Innovation Works Inc., says about this year’s Demo Day.

Lunak says trying to choose his favorite startup company would be like choosing a favorite child; he simply cannot do it. However, he and the rest of Innovation Works have to choose six or seven companies for both Alphalab and Alphalab Gear out of the hundreds that apply to become part of their program to begin with, so the chosen are all his favorites.

“It’s a very intense process to select companies that really have a big market and a big idea that’s unique and that we can assist,” says Terri Glueck, director of communications for Innovation Works.

Glueck and Lunak agree that probably the most successful company to grow out of Alphalab is the NoWait app, which was selected in 2010 and was bought by Yelp earlier this year.

Once chosen, each company is awarded an investment by Innovation Works, and goes through a 20 week program to refine and grow their ideas and business through either Alphalab which focuses on software products, or Alphalab gear which focuses on physical products, until they are presented at one of two Demo Days. Then, the cycle begins again with new companies.

Glueck says Alphalab was only the sixth startup accelerator in the country in 2008, a feat which helped Pittsburgh become such a incubator for startups in the following years.

“Pittsburgh is pretty unique in the energy and connections that everyone in town makes,” Glueck says. “Pittsburgh has really found this formula of collaboration. That’s how we support our startups and get them off the ground.”
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More From The 412

Country Star Will Leave Something Special Behind in Pittsburgh

Country Star Will Leave Something Special Behind in Pittsburgh

It won't be just memories of Tim McGraw's music.
Maddie Ziegler & Family Move Up to Million-Dollar Home

Maddie Ziegler & Family Move Up to Million-Dollar Home

The new home has everything the tween dance sensation could ever need (we think).
2024 Eclipse Will Be Even More Impressive in Pittsburgh

2024 Eclipse Will Be Even More Impressive in Pittsburgh

Don’t toss out those eclipse glasses, you will need them again.
PennDOT’s 12 New Projects for 2015

PennDOT’s 12 New Projects for 2015

It’s the eve of orange-barrel season in the Pittsburgh area. Do you know your detours?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

2017 Pittsburgher of the Year: Kelly Frey

No one would blame the veteran WTAE anchor if she took time off while undergoing intensive breast cancer treatment. Instead, she chose to use humor and grace to educate and inspire others, all while in the public eye.
Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

Green Medicine: The Business of Medical Marijuana

For many, medical marijuana is a panacea capable of alleviating a wide range of symptoms. As Pennsylvania begins allowing the drug’s medical use, patients are relieved — and business is booming.
Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

Restaurant Review: Casbah Still is Rocking

More than 20 years into its run, Casbah remains one of Pittsburgh’s most relevant restaurants.
First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

First There Was Hot Yoga. Then There Was Goat Yoga

Believe it or not, yogis have been practicing with goats in the Unites States for more than a year.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

32 Years Celebrating Pittsburghers of the Year

As we honor the 2017 Pittsburghers of the year, take a look back at the previous honorees and their significant, unforgettable contributions to our city.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

Madeline Bakery and Bistro to Open in Wilkinsburg

The French-inspired bakery will feature croissants, cookies, bread and more.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Best of the ‘Burgh Gift Guide for 2017

Here are some of our favorite ‘Burgh-inspired gifts for him, her, kids, foodies and more.

Comments


Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

Enjoy a Relaxing Evening of Wanton Destruction at Break Room

The Irwin business offers the chance to smash inanimate objections for a little "therapeutic demolition."

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Steelers Can't Ease Their Patriots Pain Until January

Much as they’d like to, the Steelers won’t be able to exorcise the ghosts of AFC Championship Games Past, even with a win on Sunday.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Movie Review — Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A review of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," the latest entry in the massive franchise.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

New Weddings Website Aims for Equality

A local wedding photographer has created a business to connect same-sex couples with LGBTQ-friendly vendors.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

It’s Back! ‘Restored by the Fords’ Gets Premiere Date

The new season of the home improvement show featuring Pittsburgh siblings Leanne and Steve Ford debuts on HGTV in January.

Comments