Sean Ammirati

Birchmere Labs

Sean focuses on Birchmere Ventures' Birchmere Labs and is also an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School. Sean is the former COO of ReadWriteWeb (acquired by SAY Media), and Co-Founder and CEO of mSpoke (acquired by Linkedin).

Phil Anderson


Phil is a serial entrepreneur specializing in highly scalable online businesses with a wide range of experience in search, working for local search engine startup Vivisimo (acquired by IBM), assisting local startups with SEO, and becoming a Google Certified Professional in 2011.

Jason Baim

Vice President, Corporate Development
Net Health Systems

Jason has over 18 years of progressive experience in product management, marketing, business development and strategy roles with emerging and established healthcare and enterprise IT companies. He has significant experience in M&A and technology licensing, and has led multiple buy-side transactions and post-M&A integration efforts.

Laurie R. Barkman

VP Marketing
The Resumator

Laurie drives new customer acquisition for The Resumator's cloud-based hiring platform. Previously, Laurie worked at The Art Institutes /EDMC as Vice President of Marketing & Advertising and also spent six years with American Eagle Outfitters in digital marketing.

Geoff Barnes

Director of User Experience

Geoff is a seasoned User Experience. Prior to joining Elliance in 2007, he helped create and launch one of the nation's first Web Design degree-granting programs at Robert Morris University, and co-founded San Francisco web services firm Trendmedia.

Lenore Blum

Project Olympus

Lenore is a Distinguished Career Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon where she co-directs the ALADDIN Center for Algorithm ADaptation, Dissemination and INtegration, is faculty advisor to the student organization, Women@SCS, and PI for the Google-funded CS4HS program. 

Chuck Brandt

VP for Technology Programs
Innovation Works

Chuck coordinates the Technology Commercialization Initiative, for Innovation Works. A graduate of the University of Illinois and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Brandt has spent the past 30 years in the microelectronics, electronic materials, and tech-based economic development fields.

Aaron Brauser

Director, Product Management

Aaron specializes in developing a variety of software products. His highly technical background enables him to fill a variety of roles in early stage companies and he has a proven track recorded taking a high level vision and delivering a software product and business plan to provide a product/market fit.

Roger Byford

Co-Founder and CTO
Vocollect Inc.

Roger Byford is Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Vocollect, Inc., the world leader in voice solutions for mobile workers. Mr. Byford’s career spans more than 25 years in the industrial application of voice technologies.

John Campbell

Vice President of Engineering
Victory Media

John Campbell has worked in the software development industry for over 20 years. John has worked on large enterprise systems, factory automation systems, personal productivity applications, and transportation control.

Lynsie Campbell

Co-Founder and President

Lynsie brings extensive entertainment industry experience to ShowClix, having worked as a talent booker at The Rosie O’Donnell Show in New York City, in the Pittsburgh Pirates front office, and as a music publicist in Los Angeles where she managed campaigns for artists such as David Bowie, Tom Petty and Alanis Morissette.

Marco Cardamone

President & CEO
Merging Media

Marco Cardamone is a successful Internet entrepreneur who has extensive experience in the Internet, media and broadband content industries.

Brian Cavalier

Hovercraft Studios

Brian has over 13 years experience building and deploying large-scale, distributed, web and mobile applications. At Hovercraft Studios, Brian works with users, engineers, designers, and other stakeholders to design user experience and interactions for desktop–quality apps on the web.

Michael Cham


Mike has 20 years of experience developing innovative software solutions for businesses.  He has a wide range of software industry experience, Wall Street, Law, Supply Chain, and Health Care.  Mike's long term research area is in big data analytics, with a special emphasis on behavior modeling. 

David Charlton

BlueTree Allied Angels

David has become actively involved in Pittsburgh's regional startup community after a 30 year career in commercializing new technologies, most recently, as Director Vice President and Director New Business Development at Corning Incorporated.

Don Charlton

Founder and CEO
The Resumator

Don Charlton is a Web entrepreneur, developer and speaker. His company,, helps employers attract, engage and hire talented people.

Dan Cohen

Pageflakes (acquired by Live Universe)

Dan is a seasoned entrepreneur and startup CEO and expert on personalized homepages. Currently, he oversees all aspects of Pageflakes' worldwide business and has an integral role in driving the company's product vision. Prior to Pageflakes, Dan headed up My Yahoo!, and led product management for personalized products at Google.

Kelly Collier

Founder and CEO
ActivAided Orthotics

Kelly founded ActivAided Orthotics after developing the technology for the company's first product line of postural training apparel as part of her undergraduate curriculum in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon.  The project was initiated by Kelly's own experience, and the experiences of her classmates, of suffering debilitating back pain as a result of athletics.

Rob Daley

Thorley Industries (dba 4moms)

Robert is the CEO and owner of Thorley Industries, which is focused on the juvenile products industry using the brand 4moms. He has formerly worked as a General Partner at PNC Technology Investors, a VP and PNC equity partners, and an analyst at the Frontenac Company.

Frank Demmler

VP of Entrepreneurial Executives
Innovation Works

Frank heads up the internal entrepreneurial executive group at Innovation Works. With over 25 years experience advising both entrepreneurs and angel investors, Frank has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurial efforts, leading to the formation of over 400 companies. Prior to IW, Frank served as Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, where he remains an adjunct professor.

Ilana Diamond

Managing Director
AlphaLab Gear

Ilana works as Managing Director for AlphaLab Gear. She previously served as President & CEO of Sima Products Corporation, a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative consumer electronics accessories.  She has over twenty years’ experience leading and growing companies, from early stage to exit.

Josh Dziabiak

COO,, Co-Founder, ShowClix

Joshua Dziabiak can already call himself a serial entrepreneur. Before his eighteenth birthday, he pocketed $1 million from the sale of his first company, MediaCatch. He later founded ShowClix, which runs a ticket-selling platform, and now serves as the COO for

Randy Eager


Randy has been in and around startups for over half of his 30 year career. He was the CEO of ATRP Solutions, a specialty polymer company, Co-founder and CEO of DesignAdvance Systems, and VP Sales and Marketing at Boston-based Tri-Tech Group. Randy has served as an EIR with Innovation Works and helped to spin-out companies at Carnegie Mellon as a licensing officer within their Tech Transfer office.

Ed Engler

General Partner
Pittsburgh Equity Partners

Ed Engler focuses on early stage investments in information technology and life sciences companies in the Western Pennsylvania region. Ed has been an investor and entrepreneur in Western PA for 15 years, having founded his own successful technology company, and has provided funding and guidance to early-stage companies through his venture capital funds.

Steve Fleck

Co-Founder and CTO
ClearCount Medical Solutions

Prior to co-founding ClearCount, Steve worked in product development for Boehringer Laboratories, a medical device manufacturing firm in Philadelphia.

Steve has an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and a degree in Applied Physics and Bioengineering from Cornell University.

Matt Fleckenstein

Director, Relationship Marketing
Microsoft Office Live

Matt leads a team responsible for relationship marketing, customer communities, and Voice of the Customer initiatives across the various Office Live properties at Microsoft.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Matt was VP of Marketing at mSpoke (acquired by Linkedin) and Director of Entrepreneurial Services at Innovation Works.

Terri Glueck

Director, Community Development & Communications
Innovation Works

Terri shares her 20+ years of marketing and communications experience with dozens of technology startups to help them develop their communications strategies and messages.

Having joined IW in its own startup phase, Terri has helped build IW's brand as one of the nation’s most active seed-stage investors and a global model for technology-based economic development.

Jonny Goldstein

Founder and Graphic Facilitator

Jonny is a veteran media producer, artist, trainer, and speaker. His company, Envizualize, helps organizations achieve their business goals with a variety of visual thinking services.

Craig Gomulka

Vice President, Strategic Investments

Craig's experience across a breadth of areas including private equity transactions, diligence and analysis, business development, corporate management and advisory work, has given him the ability to evaluate and resolve a diverse set of business situations. His technical background gives him the ability to effectively evaluate the feasibility and impact of technology based solutions.

Prior to joining Highmark, Craig was the Chief Investment Officer at Innovation Works, and a Director and Partner with Draper Triangle Ventures.

Mike Green

Investor and Entrepreneur

Mike Green is an advisor, investor, and board member for several privately-held technology companies. He dedicates much of his time to working with early-stage companies, angel investment groups and coaching entrepreneurs.

Mike began his career as a mathematician, cryptanalyst, and software developer at the National Security Agency. After 10 years, he entered the private sector and held executive roles in several technology startups. Mike served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Sales at Pittsburgh-based FORE Systems and President of Field Operations for Loudcloud (later renamed to Opsware and acquired by HP), a web cloud services venture, founded by Internet legend Marc Andreessen.

Darrin Grove

CEO and Founder

Darrin is CEO and Founder of TrueFit, an innovation company that helps entrepreneurs and enterprise companies develop new ideas for mobile, web, and social apps and get them to market fast. He is a member of the Blue Tree angel investor network and enjoys collaborating with fellow investors to find game-changing startups.

Matt Harbaugh

Mobile Technologies

Matt works for the company behind the popular iPhone app, Jibbigo. Prior to joining Mobile Technologies, Matt was the Chief Investment Officer at Innovation Works, Vice President of Finance for a venture-backed startup, and an investment banker at PNC Capital Markets.

Joe Hosteny

Software Consultant

Joe has been involved in the Pittsburgh startup scene for over 12 years, most recently as the manager of the systems group at Avere Systems. Prior to joining Avere, Joe worked as a software engineer for Spinnaker Networks (SN) and later Network Appliance after SN’s 2004 acquisition; as a software engineering manager at Xigmix (acquired by Extreme DA, which was acquired by Synopsys); and as a software engineer at Altera Semiconductor out of Silicon Valley.
Joe received his B.S. / M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.

Matt Humphrey

Consumer Internet Entrepreneur

Matt is currently working as part of a consumer technology startup currently in stealth mode.

Matt was the CEO at SlapVid, a YCombinator company that provided a unique and innovative online video experience by allowing users to preview content faster, better, and with less effort than ever. 

Previous to SlapVid, Matt was the Chief Strategy Officer for Eivod, an in-browser peer-to-peer content delivery platform for high quality video. 

Jim Jen

Director of AlphaLab
Innovation Works

As Director of AlphaLab, Jim works closely with the entrepreneurs, mentors and partners in the AlphaLab program while overseeing its overall strategy and direction. In addition to his experience of working with startup companies in the Pittsburgh region, Jim brings prior experience from Silicon Valley in the areas of strategy, marketing, and product management. Previously, Jim built and managed software businesses at Hewlett-Packard, Agile Software, and Instill Corporation. He also worked as a management consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton.

Tom Jones

Managing Director
Draper Triangle Ventures

Tom is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive with over 25 years of sales & marketing experience in early stage technology companies. Previous to his current position, Tom served as VP Marketing for several successful early stage tech companies.

Bill Kaigler

Founder and CEO
NewCare Solutions

Bill is the founding partner and CEO of NewCare Solutions. Bill was also the founder of medSage Technologies. He has more than 26 years experience in product management, business development, project management, engineering, and marketing in the business to business technology and medical device manufacturing industries. Before founding medSage, Mr. Kaigler served as Vice President of Product Management for Moai Technologies and was also Director of New Ventures for Respironics.

David J. Kalson

Director, Emerging Business Group
Cohen & Grigsby

David brings decades of experience representing startup and early stage life science, robotics, information technology, and energy companies through their life cycle: formation; technology transfer from universities and research institutions; financing; operations; strategic partnerships with established business leaders; and exits. David has provided legal and business advice to many of AlphaLab's innovative companies who have gone through the program and he continues to provide ongoing support and strategic legal counsel.

Gary Kiliany

Director of Development, Interstacks
MAYA Design

Gary, a seasoned entrepreneur, heads development for MAYA’s Interstacks™ technology, which makes it possible to assemble unique hardware and software devices out of standard recomposable modules.

Gary is an experienced product-development manager for innovative hardware, software, mobile, and Internet products.

Gary co-founded Dynavox, a company dedicated to helping people with disabilities communicate and extend their reach, and directed product development there. He was instrumental in growing the company to 150 employees before Sunrise Medical acquired it in 1998. He also founded, which developed Web-hosted multimedia learning activities, and grew it to 600,000 unique users in schools and homes—forming strategic partnerships with Discovery, McGraw-Hill, and AOL, among others.

Gary has a B.S. in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and holds three patents. He has also won an IDEA award for innovation, is in Sunrise Medical’s hall of fame, and placed second nationally in the Johns Hopkins search for personal computing aids for the disabled.

Joshua Knauer

Rhiza Labs

Josh has been a social entrepreneur for the past 20 years, creating and leading successful organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. In 2010, Josh was appointed by the Obama Administration to a working group of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Prior to Rhiza Labs, Josh led MAYA Design’s Information Commons project, founded Green Marketplace, and founded and served as Executive Director of the EnviroLink Network and was one of the first .orgs on the Internet.

Rich Lunak

President and CEO
Innovation Works

As President & CEO of the nation’s third most active early-stage investor, Rich Lunak leads the organization’s efforts to provide business expertise, seed capital and other resources to high-potential, technology start-up companies in Pittsburgh.

Prior to joining IW in 2005, Rich was a successful technology entrepreneur who helped lead Automated Healthcare from a three-person startup to a $65 million acquisition by McKesson Corporation, the nation’s 16th largest company.

Adam Lyons

Founder and CEO

Adam Lyons is an entrepreneur from Pittsburgh, PA. His company, helps consumers compare and buy car insurance like Kayak helps people find the best flights.

Don Marinelli

Executive Producer
Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center – Global

Donald Marinelli is a tenured Professor of Drama and Arts Management at Carnegie Mellon University and is also the Executive Producer of the Entertainment Technology Center.

Professor Marinelli has been at Carnegie Mellon for 26 years. Don was integral in the creation of the Master of Arts Management (MAM) program, the Master of Fine Arts in Acting degree program with the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. He also co-founded the Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree program and the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) with colleague Randy Pausch.

Nathan Martin


Prior to founding Deeplocal in 2006, Nathan was a researcher and artist-in-residence at Carnegie Mellon University where he led an interdisciplinary team in the development of a collaborative online mapping toolkit. As a founding member of both an art group and a touring punk/metal band, Nathan has spoken, toured and exhibited internationally since age sixteen. Nathan has over a decade of experience with mobile technology starting in 1999 as Mobile Device Specialist for MetaDesign SF and continuing in his work with clients like Palm Computing, Brodia, Panasonic, and Nike.

Dave Mawhinney

Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dave brings a vast background in marketing, sales, product development and operations from co-founding four information technology entrepreneurial ventures. In addition to being Co-Director of the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dave also serves as the Executive Director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Managing Director of the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund, and Director of the i6 Agile Innovation System.
Prior to his recent positions, Dave was Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of mSpoke (acquired by Linkedin); General Partner for PNC Technology Investors; Co-Founder, Director, and President of Premier Health Exchange; and on the founding management team for Hawk Medical Supply Corp.

Alicia McGinnis

General Partner
Audrey's Kitchen

Alicia McGinnis enjoys success as an entrepreneur and board member of several noteworthy Pittsburgh institutions. As an entrepreneur, she co-founded and developed the Center for Young Musicians into a premiere private music school for young people. She expanded upon her experience as the CEO of the music school to take the reins of a family partnership, Audrey’s Kitchen, as its general partner. Alicia serves on the Executive Committee of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  She is a local leader in the SGI-USA, an international organization dedicated to peace, culture and education based on the principles of Buddhism. In all arenas, Alicia actively engages her colleagues to collectively find creative solutions to the ever-present challenges facing these organizations.

George McKee

President and CEO

George is a serial entrepreneur who spent the early part of his career in sales and sales management where he earned numerous top honors both as an individual contributor and in leadership roles. In 1995, he and several partners founded Medtrex Incorporated, a manufacturer of radio frequency electrosurgical equipment which, after five years of growth, was acquired by Johnson & Johnson. George then became President and CEO of True Commerce, a company that delivered electronic data interchange solutions to small and medium sized businesses. In 10 years under his leadership, the company experienced a 45 fold increase in revenue, generated significant cash flow, and was ultimately acquired for a substantial profit.

Denis Meinert


Denis has over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and financial executive. Prior to joining 4moms in 2010, Denis served as CFO and Principal for H.B. Maynard and Company (acquired by Accenture in 2007), and as CFO for Hire for companies including CMU spin-offs reCAPTCHA (acquired by Google in 2009) and Blue Belt Technologies (acquired by HealthPointCapital in 2011).

Peter Meulbroek


Peter is an expert in bringing new products to market, solving difficult problems, and in designing scalable processes and applications that can be quickly adapted to meet unforeseen challenges. As VP of Engineering at Adkeeper, he built the team to develop scalable technology that allows us to change advertising across the web. As CTO of Lockerz, he shepherded the growth of a stealth startup from zero to multiple millions of members over the course of a year, strategizing, architecting, algorithmic designing, data mining, hiring, mentoring, building remote teams.

Larry Miller

Executive in Residence
Innovation Works

Larry works with the management teams of early-stage life sciences and medical device companies and other start-ups. Prior to joining Innovation Works, Larry was President and CEO of Biomec and President of the Healthcare Products group at Picker International and Philips Medical systems. He also was president of the Picker Financial Group, a JV, captive leasing company. Other experience included leading the marketing and sales of CT and MRI products for Picker and General Electric Medical systems.

Kathy Mitchell

Human Resources Strategist
Innovation Works

Kathy draws upon over 30 years of extensive strategic and operational Human Resources experience to design and implement IW’s strategic suite of services to help portfolio companies reach their goals.  Kathy provides consulting services in the areas of executive coaching, talent acquisition and development, compensation strategies and alternative rewards,  workforce planning, human resources business processes, performance management  and training.
Before joining Innovation Works, Kathy was Vice President Human Resources for McKesson Automation Group, a $300M, 1850 employee business within McKesson Corporation and a member of the corporation’s senior human resources leadership team. 

Don Morrison

Chairman/Executive Director
BlueTree Allied Angels

Don Morrison is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses including American Eagle Outfitters, Sundance Catalog Company, and Bear Creek Corporation.

His business experience includes Retail, Restaurant, Franchising, Catalog and E-commerce. Don has been involved in several business turnarounds, divestitures and acquisitions, and has served on several Board of Directors.

Don is actively involved in mentoring and coaching several start-up companies in the region.

Catherine Mott

Founder and CEO
BlueTree Capital Group

Catherine Mott is a founding partner of BlueTree Capital Group and BlueTree Allied Angels. 
Previously, Catherine had founded Synergetics Sales Performance Group (formerly Strategic Sales Solutions) and Indigo Capital Development. 
Prior to forming her own businesses, Catherine worked 17 years in corporate banking management where she served in senior management roles for investment sales/wealth management, commercial lending, business development, and retail expansion. Today, Ms. Mott uses these experiences and her education to bring together capital and prime investment opportunities.

Robb Myer


Robb is a seasoned product and program management executive with over eight years experience in B2B, technology-focused companies. Robb most recently served as Director of Solutions Management at EBDS, a subsidiary of Highmark BCBS. Robb is well versed in process improvement, having achieved the LEAN 6 Sigma Green Belt.

Des O'Connor

Executive in Residence
Innovation Works

Des works with the management teams of technology startups to identify and address critical business issues including intellectual property creation and protection, product development, marketing, sales, fundraising, management recruitment, and growth planning. Some of these high potential enterprises become members of the Innovation Works investment portfolio. For a portfolio company, Des provides mentoring and network access, and serves as an observer on the board of directors.

David Palmer


David has more than 15 years of professional management experience, including senior management roles with FedEx in the areas of Planning, Market Research, Product Marketing, Corporate Finance, and Strategic Alliances.

Dave Passavant

Sr. Director of Consumer Innovation
UPMC Health Plan

Dave's startup experience includes business and product development roles with Silicon Valley startups Rearden Commerce and SquareTrade. He is currently the Director of Consumer Innovation at UPMC Health Plan. Dave has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Washington & Lee University and an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dave has held consulting positions with Accenture and Stone Yamashita Partners.

Jon Pastor

Founder and CEO
Rent Jungle and Community Elf

Jon is an expert in technologies related to internet search, data mining, online social networking, social media marketing, and gaming. He is the founder of two Pittsburgh technology companies: Rent Jungle, a search engine for real estate listings, and Community Elf, a social media marketing company.

Ian Paterson

Development Manager

Ian is the Director of Engineering for NoWait, an iPad wait list and seating tool for casual dining restaurants. He formerly worked as the Development Manager for SnapRetail, and as a project manager for mSpoke (acquired by Linkedin).

Adam Paulisick

VP, Business Development
Digital at Nielsen Catalina Solutions

A veteran in the online space, Adam brings a wealth of international experience in digital research, marketing, and analytics.

Before joining Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Adam served as Chief Commercial Officer of Qriously, a London-based firm that measures real-time, location-based public sentiment. Prior to that, he held the Senior Director of Commercial Operations position at Nielsen’s Online and Mobile division, where he was responsible for sales in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Earlier, he led global account planning for Nielsen’s Online and Mobile Media portfolio and was one of the early members of the BuzzMetrics team (now NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company), where he helped develop applications of word-of-mouth analytics in Fortune 500 companies.

Hooman Radfar

Founder and CEO
Clearspring Technologies

Hooman is the Founder and CEO of Clearspring Technologies, the leading provider of widget syndication services connecting online publishers and advertisers to the social web. At Clearspring, he actively shapes product and marketing initiatives. He was recently named one of Tech's Best Entrepreneurs in BusinessWeek and was nominated for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year.
Hooman is a frequently requested speaker in the areas of social networks, content syndication, and social media at industry-leading conferences like AdTech, AjaxWorld, Web 2.0 Expo, and CES. 

John Riley

DSK Equity LLC

John is a Pittsburgh-based private investor with 20 years of leadership experience with firms in the manufacturing, medical device, telecommunications and information technology sectors. His functional leadership roles include finance, corporate development, strategic planning, alliance development and indirect channel sales with companies ranging in scope from Fortune 500 (IBM) and international firms (Smith & Nephew PLC) to privately-held companies (Modus Media International, a former Bain Capital company) and internet IPO spinouts (Genuity). He is also the founding partner of DSK Equity, a Pittsburgh investment venture currently focused on opportunities in the Marcellus shale and cognitive science service sectors. 

Steve Robinson

General Partner
Pittsburgh Equity Partners

Steve Robinson has been active in the Western Pennsylvania technology community for more than 25 years as both an investor and a director. A frequent panelist and speaker, Steve focuses on early-stage and venture funding topics.

Jesse Schell

Schell Games

Prior to starting Schell Games, Jesse was the Creative Director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, where he worked and played for seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and DisneyQuest, as well as on Toontown Online, the first massively multiplayer game for kids.
Jesse is on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University where he teaches classes in Game Design and serves as an advisor on several innovative projects. In 2004, he was named one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's magazine of innovation.

Rebecca Selah

Digital Communications Coordinator
Innovation Works

Rebecca helps AlphaLab and Innovation Works companies hone their digital communications and marketing strategies while also helping to amplify their messages online. Prior to joining IW, Becca worked on social media, email marketing and SEO at GNC’s corporate offices and online marketing for a local startup.

Chris Shipley

Co-founder and Chairman
Guidewire Group

Chris Shipley is a leading technology and product analyst. Best known as the executive producer of the DEMO Conferences for IDG Executive Forums, Chris has helped technology companies bring over 1,000 new products to market since 1996. As a founding partner and Global Research Director of Guidewire Group, she analyzes emerging technology companies around the world to identify market opportunities and accelerate products to market.

Eric Silver

Founder and CEO

Eric is the founder of WebKite, a web platform that allows non-coders to publish, organize, and grow data-focused sites on the web. Previously, Eric had worked at McKinsey, the Peace Corps, and as the Chief Marketing Officer for ModCloth. Eric is also the founder of Alt-Capital, a syndicated angel-stage investment organization.

Jim Singer

Fox Rothschild

A member of Fox Rothschild's intellectual property practice group and a registered patent attorney, Jim helps companies identify, protect, and maximize the value of their technology. Jim's areas of practice include technology licensing, acquisition, and divestiture; patents; trademarks; copyrights; media contracts; patent, trademark, and copyright infringement studies; and intellectual property audits.

Luke Skurman

President, CEO and Founder
College Prowler

Luke Skurman is the CEO and Founder of College Prowler, a rapidly growing profitable Internet company that is focused on helping prospective college students select the best possible college. College Prowler is the largest source of content on colleges in the United States. 1 in 4 high school seniors this year will have a College Prowler account by the time they graduate from high school.
Luke is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the Thrill Mill, a Non-Profit 501 (c)(3) Innovation Accelerator that has three parts - an annual business plan competition, an annual music festival, and a year-round incubator.

Luke sits on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Sprout Fund. Over the years, Luke has won national awards from the following organizations: Fast Company Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Business Week, Cisco Systems, and Ernst & Young for being an exceptional entrepreneur. Finally, Luke is the founding curator of the Pittsburgh Global Shapers Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Joe Stafura

Management Consultant

Joe Stafura is a technologist, business owner and investor who has held management positions in the aerospace industry, newspaper publishing, commercial printing, advertising and communications and companies with machine learning technologies over his 35 year career. 

His roles have included CTO of a Publishing firm, Founder and COO of a digital production company and temporary CEO of several speech and gaming technology startups.

Aaron Tainter

Program Manager

Aaron oversees the day-to-day operations of the AlphaLab accelerator program and works closely with AlphaLab companies to help guide the companies through their initial stages of development.

Aaron spent over 5 years as an Associate at Meakem Becker Venture Capital, a Pittsburgh-based early stage VC firm. In this role Aaron served on the due diligence team where he analyzed startup companies across a variety of industry verticals and was a leader on the deal sourcing team where he built a national deal flow pipeline which led to a number of successful exits including Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon), Shipwire (acquired by Ingram Micro), and HotPads (acquired by Zillow). He also recently served as Senior Manager for Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company, where he led the strategy and implementation of a number of continuous improvement and internal consulting initiatives within the Research and Development organization.

Suzy Teele

Chief Operating Officer

Suzy Teele is the Chief Operating Officer of SnapRetail, an online marketing and social commerce site for small retailers. Suzy has over 20 years of  experience in strategy, product management, marketing, business development and sales for technology companies. She has mentored and educated hundreds of entrepreneurs and executives in the Pittsburgh region.

Henry Thorne

Thorley Industries (dba 4moms)

Henry’s a robotics inventor/entrepreneur and has crafted some notable local products and companies including: Cye, the first personal robot and Probotics Inc.,  the Tug delivery robot and Aethon Inc., and the mamaRoo/Origami/Breeze and 4moms with Rob Daley.  He’s also a very former world champion Ultimate player with an Ultimate playing wife and fairly heroic Ultimate playing children.

Raul Valdes-Perez

Founder and Chairman
Vivisimo (acquired by IBM)

Raul has led Vivisimo since co-founding it in June, 2000. During his tenure, he has been recognized as Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year (North Central Region), top ten reader favorite for Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine, twice a CEO of the year finalist by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, CEO Communicator of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America (Pittsburgh chapter), and an Outstanding Alumni Career Achievement by the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Alan Veeck

Vice President
Denali Sourcing Services

Prior to his current position at Denali, Alan was a Partner with Meakem Becker Venture Capital, a traditional venture capital firm focused on investmenting in early-stage startup companies. Alan also spent seven years at Ariba (formerly FreeMarkets), working with a number of the company’s largest customers across many industries, and managing acquisition integration activities. Before Ariba, Alan was an associate at McKinsey.

Adil Wali

Founder and CEO

Adil is the Founder and CEO of Kemists, an entrepreneurial group of people who like to build great applications and go fast. He also founded Crowd Interactive, a leading Ruby and Rails consulting firm, and was a co-founder at ModCloth. Adil cares tremendously about user experience, product vision, and building ridiculously good teams. He loves writing code, and does so when time permits.

Deborah Walker

Legal Counsel
Innovation Works

Deborah Walker assists in contract preparation and due diligence activities for Innovation Works. Deborah has been an attorney since 1994, and her areas of strength and experience include a wide range of corporate and business matters and transactions. Deborah’s experience with startup technology companies includes her tenure as corporate counsel at CoManage Corporation (acquired by Syndesis Ltd.), an early-stage, software development company.

Jason Wilburn

CEO and Co-Founder

Jason has extensive experience in general management, sales, marketing and business development. Jason has held high level leadership positions in organizations ranging from venture capital funded start-ups to high growth industrials. Jason has a Masters degree in Manufacturing Management from Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Michigan.

Jake Witherell

Schell Games

Jake acts as the COO of Schell Games, keeping everyone happy and snagging the best and brightest projects for the studio. Jake brings 15 years of experience to the Schell Games team, having worked with founding, managing, advising, and investing companies, not the least of these being M Park (which he co-founded), Netspoke, Inc., and iMeet, Inc., among others.

Mike Woycheck


Mike works closely with AlphaLab companies to help formulate their product and business strategies. Mike also assists with managing the technical resources at AlphaLab. Prior to joining the AlphaLab team of Innovation Works, Mike served as an information systems technologist for the Pittsburgh Technology Council. His previous employment experience includes Pittsburgh-based Yanni Partners where he served as a Manager of Information Systems and Unisys Corporation in Blue Bell, PA as a senior consultant. He is also a co-founder of Pittsburgh Bloggers and is a volunteer organizer with Podcamp Pittsburgh.