Resource roundup: Ascender and LifeX Labs seek startups to accelerate

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Resource Overview is an overview of open applications for business and career development programs in the region. Want to tell us about a program or a new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at [email protected]


There’s no better time to get back into gear than early spring. Or at least that seems to be the case for some of Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial organizations.

From the startup community hub Blocker at the life science resource center LifeX Laboratories to the University of Pittsburgh student entrepreneurship program, there are a lot of deadlines for great opportunities to come. Whether you have a simple business idea or a detailed marketing plan, these resources will help you take your startup goals to the next step.

Take a look at these upcoming programs and events:

Ascender is taking applications for its business incubator

The organization has announced that applications are open for its 2022-2023 Business Incubator, which helps companies move from an initial idea stage to a developed product and business model. The 12-month program will provide 10 startups with one-on-one business coaching, access to an extensive network of experts and mentors, $12,000 in business assistance, and up to $5,000 in direct funding. Additionally, incubator companies will have access to Ascender’s coworking space in East Liberty.

The incubator is open to all industries and the program is not limited to tech startups seeking venture capital. The deadline for submitting applications is March 21 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Apply here

LifeX Labs has applications open for its Spring 2022 Accelerator

Applications are now open for the Spring 2022 LifeX Accelerator, which provides life sciences and healthcare start-ups with go-to-market planning assistance, dedicated mentors and interns, and access to a network of life science experts around the world.

The program begins March 15 and ends June 9, with virtual group sessions every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. Those interested in applying should have a proof of concept, be in the process of securing any relevant intellectual property, and be working on commercializing their business concept in the pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics or digital health field.

The deadline for submitting applications is February 14.

Apply here

Carnegie Mellon University Launches New Online Courses in Product Management and Innovation

In a new partnership with an e-learning company iDesignCMUs Institute for Integrated Innovation said it would release a suite of online courses offering certificate programs in product design innovation, product management technology, product innovation methods and tools, and new product management. After completing each of the four certificates, participants in the course program will gain access to a final capstone that allows students to earn an online master’s degree in integrated innovation for products and services.

“As companies seek significant revenue growth to improve their competitiveness, employers lack professionals with the skills required to work with diverse teams to design, test and scale new products and service offerings. service,” said Peter Boatwright, director of the Institute for Integrated Innovation, in a statement. “The unique multidisciplinary program will enable experienced professionals to develop the integrated human, design and cross-functional technical skills needed to take complex – and new – ideas and translate them into scalable products and services to drive significant growth.”

Learn more

CMU to Host Fourth Annual [email protected] Conference

This week, CMU announced that it will host the fourth annual [email protected] conference from February 10-11 to discuss the overlap of business, technology and sustainability. The two-day event will feature keynote speakers and other panelists on topics including resilient and inclusive economies, cities and infrastructure, climate action and more.

Keynote speakers at the conference include former Selling power co-CEO Keith Block, US Department of Energy Assistant Secretary David Turkish and Rockefeller Foundation Vice President of Innovation Zia Khan. Past conferences – which began in 2018 but did not take place in 2021 – have focused on the long-term societal effects of the pandemic, healthcare innovation and the future of business, technology and society.

This year’s virtual event is free and open to everyone.

register here

Pitt’s Big Idea Center Hosts Evening Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

the Big Ideas Centera student entrepreneurship hub, will bring together current Pitt students, post-docs, or other community members for an evening bootcamp on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The two-hour session from 5-7 p.m. on February 17 will provide background information on the startup pitch process, free resources available at Pitt, and how to pitch an idea for upcoming competitions like the Randall Family Big Ideas Contest (which, by the way, has a submission deadline of Feb. 11 at 11:59 p.m.). The bootcamp will also feature current entrepreneurs in residence to share pitch competition tips.

register here


Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by Heinz endowments. -30-
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