As I mentioned yesterday, we are immediately beginning a search for a program manager to take on many of the responsibilities that Mike owned. You can see the job description and apply here. In addition, I want to share my thoughts on the role and important qualities that the program manager needs to have.
The program manager will have the opportunity to shape the AlphaLab program and put his/her own stamp on it. The program manager is intimately involved with all aspects of AlphaLab, including its strategy, operations and company selection. The role provides opportunities to build relationships with the leading individuals and groups in the Pittsburgh startup community and with our extended network outside of Pittsburgh. And most importantly, the program manager will have the opportunity to work closely with the AlphaLab companies and founders during the program.
The specific responsibilities may vary based on the background and expertise of the person filling the role, but here are some key characteristics that needs to be in a candidate:
1) Passion for and belief in the startup and entrepreneurial community. An important responsibility of the job is building and nurturing relationships with many of AlphaLab’s partners in the local community – including the other groups who are helping to build the Pittsburgh ecosystem.
2) Empathy for the entrepreneurs and the challenges involved with building a startup. They are the ones doing the hard work, taking the risk and we always have to keep that top of mind.
3) Strong operational, get-it-done capabilities with a startup mentality. AlphaLab is often in a state of controlled chaos with all of the companies, mentors, visitors, events, and media that are always present. The program manager needs to thrive off this energy and activity while having the skills to make it all happen efficiently and at a high quality level, with an eye toward how we improve through iteration and experimentation.
AlphaLab is at an exciting time; we are breaking new ground with the Cycle 11 companies starting today (you’ll see what I mean when we announce them) and our hardware/robotics accelerator, AlphaLab Gear is launching in October. The AlphaLab program manager role is a great opportunity to play a role in building the Pittsburgh startup ecosystem and we invite you (or someone you know) to apply if you agree.
It is with mixed feelings that I announce that Mike Woycheck, AlphaLab Program Manager will be leaving Innovation Works in early July. As both his friend and colleague, I say “mixed feelings” because while Mike’s talents will be sorely missed at AlphaLab I am excited about his opportunity to join Google in a new role in their Shopping operations group.
As many of you know, Mike Woycheck has been a critical founding member of the AlphaLab team since its inception in 2008. His talents and skills across many different areas helped to build the foundation for AlphaLab as it exists today. His technical capabilities, project management skills, social media savvy and interpersonal skills have been needed with the constantly changing nature of running an accelerator. During his five years, Mike has continued to display his talents in all aspects of the AlphaLab operations including helping the companies with their investor pitches, representing AlphaLab to the many grassroot groups in the community, meeting with prospective applicants and efficiently running our operations. His contributions are too numerous to list – suffice to say that he has been a big part of AlphaLab and will be greatly missed.
We are beginning a search for a program manager to take on many of the responsibilities that Mike owned. I will share my thoughts about the position and what we are looking for in a subsequent post.
Please join me in thanking Mike for all of his contributions to AlphaLab and wishing him the best at Google!
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Hackers have always been welcome in Pittsburgh, where engineers flood out of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, venture capital firms specialize in robotics startups, and it’s easy to find a member of a hardware hacking club.
Read more in the Upstart Business Journal
Bringing manufacturing back to Pittsburgh—and in a bigger way the U.S.—is the idea behind a new hardware and robotic accelerator being rolled out by Innovation Works this week.
Alphalab Gear will nurture physical product startups in the same way its nationally acclaimed sister organization, AlphaLab, has strengthened the region’s growing software sector, says Ilana Diamond, director of the new program.
Read more on PopCity