An Overview Of Our Program

Why AlphaLab

AlphaLab provides early-stage technology companies with an extensive mentor network, educational sessions with industry leaders, and a rich entrepreneurial work environment within a nationally ranked accelerator program.

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Up to $50K Investment

AlphaLab’s standard term is $25k – $50K for 2.5% – 4% of common equity.

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EDUCATIONAL SESSIONS

We believe in the power of founding teams to build great companies. Over the 4-month program, scheduled educational sessions cover topics from customer validation to financing, all geared towards helping you build the best company possible.

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MENTORSHIP

Your company will benefit from the guidance of entrepreneurs, technologists and investors who have developed and launched products, raised capital and negotiated manufacturing and distribution partnerships.

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UP TO $600K FOLLOW-ON FUNDING

Qualified AlphaLab alumni companies have the opportunity to raise additional capital from the Innovation Works seed fund. Innovation Works has invested in over 300 companies since 1999 .

ALPHALAB TEAM

Jim Jen

Managing Director

Jim Jen is the Managing Director and co-founder of the AlphaLab accelerator programs for Innovation Works. Founded in 2008, AlphaLab was one of the nation’s first accelerators, providing funding, mentorship, education and network-building to speed the growth of promising startups.  AlphaLab has been consistently ranked among the top accelerators in the US.  In 2013, Jim helped launch the AlphaLab Gear accelerator for hardware and robotics companies in 2013, also one of the first accelerators of its kind.  Jim has also served on the Advisory Board of the Global Accelerator Network, the world’s leading association of accelerators for high growth startups.

Jim has been an active part of the Pittsburgh tech community since moving here in 2002 and has led the initial investments in over 100 companies for Innovation Works.  Working closely with companies such as JazzHR (fka The Resumator), NoWait (acquired by Yelp), Shoefitr, Deep Local, Showclix and Wombat Security, Jim has mentored and guided the development of some of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing tech companies.

Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Jim built and launched software businesses at venture-backed companies in California and also advised executive management of Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant. Jim holds a BA and MA in Economics and an MBA from Stanford University.

Aaron Tainter

Senior Program Manager

Aaron is the Senior Program Manager of Innovation Works’ AlphaLab accelerator program. Aaron oversees the day-to-day operations and works closely with companies to help guide them through accelerated 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.

Aaron holds a BS/BA in Business Mgmt/Mkt from Eastern University and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

Olivia Payne

Program Coordinator

Olivia is the AlphaLab program coordinator working with startups to help them better communicate their company vision. A typical day for Olivia involves taking care of the logistics of the space, meeting with companies one-on-one to work on their messaging, setting goals and helping to connect mentors with AlphaLab company founders.

Olivia has over 15 years of experience working in non-profit management. She is skilled in operations, relationship building, event management, and administration. For 13 years, Olivia was previously the director of operations for the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh where she oversaw a $1.3m budget and was responsible for the facility and administrative needs.  As part of the executive team, Olivia worked closely with her colleagues to ensure an efficient operational structure and clear communication across all departments.

Olivia holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Studies with concentrations in Organizational and Nonprofit Leadership from Duquesne University.

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Alumni Network

Founded in 2008, AlphaLab has built an extensive alumni network that remains engaged with current AlphaLab companies. Offering expertise and experience, many return for educational sessions and one-on-one mentorship. Several high-growth startup companies that originated in AlphaLab include Jazz (formerly The Resumator), NoWait, Shoefitr, SolePower, BlackLocus, The Zebra and Ikos.

Innovation Works

graphic_IW_02Innovation Works (IW) founded AlphaLab in 2008 to accelerate the growth of promising startup technology companies in the region. As Pittsburgh’s largest seed-stage investor, IW has invested over $69.2 million in more than 300 technology startups who have gone on to raise over $1.7 billion.

Your company will work alongside IW’s team of professionals who have worked with thousands of startups and are networked with investors across the nation. The team’s first-hand experience as CEOs, technology industry veterans, and early-stage experts helps them advise you on important decisions concerning your company.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INNOVATION WORKS

ADDITIONAL PERKS

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LEGAL SERVICES

Access to free and discounted legal services including a complimentary incorporation package through Cohen & Grigsby’s AlphaLaw program.

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ACCOUNTING SUPPORT

Access to free and discounted accounting and tax services through Sisterson & Co.

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INTERNS

Help with finding an intern through connections with local universities, CMU, Pitt, Duquesne, etc.

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DISCOUNTS

Discounts on products and services essential to any startup like Amazon Web Services, Apple, Foundersuite, and ZipCar through our Global Accelerator Network membership.

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FUEL

Our kitchen is always stocked with lots of coffee, soda and snacks. We also order lunch a couple of times each week.

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COLLABORATIVE WORKSPACE

AlphaLab’s space offers companies both private offices and open workspace, ideal for collaboration.

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Our City

Pittsburgh, PA

Over the last 25 years, Pittsburgh has transformed itself into a high-tech hub, home to innovative startups and tech titans alike. We think there’s no better place to start and grow your company, and we have a feeling you will agree.

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