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Who's hiring in PGH? Bricolage, Verizon and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

The immersive theater company Bricolage is seeking a full-time development associate to help manage a year-long grant-funded, project-based initiative. All application materials are due by July 17.

The Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) is seeking a full-time curatorial assistant to help organize the 2018 Carnegie International (CI) exhibition. Candidates must have a four-year degree or higher in art history, studio arts, or a related field, as well as a minimum of three years of administrative experience with contemporary art in a museum or archive environment.

American Eagle Outfitters is hiring an image retoucher to ensure the quality of company marketing and website images. Requires at least three years of experience with image manipulation and color handling.

Deeplocal has several open positions, including art director, creative director, and interactive producer.

Philips is looking for a full-time software engineer (Job Number: 144375) to oversee the conceptual design and implementation of real-time embedded software for use within medical devices. Requirements include a four-year degree and two years of applicable experience.

Verizon is hiring a full-time RF design engineer to work in the company's Bridgeville offices. Candidates must have a four-year degree in engineering or computer science and a minimum five years of experience in the cellular or telecommunications industry.

Pittsburgh Psychotherapy Associates has openings for a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist to work at its private practice in the North Hills.

Job Fairs:
 
On July 16, Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) will hold a career fair tailored for refugee and immigrant job seekers who possess legal status to work in the United States, English proficiency, professional skills, and higher education. The career fair will take place on the lower level of the Department of Human Services (DHS) offices from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
 
Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

Who's hiring in PGH? Schell Games, Grow Pittsburgh and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

Grow Pittsburgh is hiring a part-time edible schoolyard garden educator to provide programming to five Pittsburgh elementary schools through the organization's Flagship School program.

Carlow University has multiple open positions, including a part-time alumni assistant and a network services administrator.

Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, an award-winning, employee-owned civil engineering consulting firm with offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, is seeking a land development engineering project manager to join the team in Cranberry Township. Candidates must have a four-year degree in civil engineering and a professional engineering license.

Sequoia Waste Solutions is hiring a full-time client communication supervisor to work alongside their operations team and provide customer service.

The Information Networking Institute (INI) at Carnegie Mellon University is looking for a marketing communications associate to support the Director of Marketing and Communications. Requires a four-year degree in marketing, communications, creative writing, journalism or a related field.

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden has a new opening for a part-time marketing associate.

The Pittsburgh-based game design and development company Schell Games has multiple open positions, including a project director and an advanced game producer.

Allegheny Conference, a nonprofit community development organization, needs a web developer with at least two years of backend development experience. 

Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

Who's hiring in PGH? Sequoia Waste Solutions, Edward Marc Brands and more

Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.

A+ Schools, a local advocate for equity and excellence in public education, needs a community organizer to build, manage, and mobilize adult networks in Pittsburgh. Please send a cover letter and resume to newopportunities@aplusschools.org by May 31, 2015.

Team Tassy, an organization committed to eliminating global poverty, needs a candidate to fill the newly created manager of engagement and partnerships position.

Sequoia Waste Solutions is looking for an implementation and operational support analyst to help clients streamline their waste and recycling removal processes. Candidates must have a four-year degree in business, statistics, mathematics, or a related field.

The Pittsburgh-based chocolatier Edward Marc Brands is hiring a logistic specialist to help maintain efficiency throughout the company’s supply chain.

American Eagle Outfitters is looking for a product manager to help deliver the next version of the company’s website. Requirements include a four-year degree in marketing, MIS, business administration, or a related field and five years of consumer-based online experience.

Uber is looking to fill numerous engineering positions at their Pittsburgh Advanced Technology Center.

CEAgent helps nurses organize their professional lives with new app

The healthcare industry has spent years transitioning their patient records to an electronic system. As that process continues, one local company has made it easier for some medical professionals to manage their own personal records with a new app.

The South Side-based company CEAgent recently launched an iPhone app that allows nurses to maintain important professional documents such as licenses, clearances, and continuing education certifications. The concept came from CEAgent co-founder and registered nurse Steve Benso, who sees the online tool as a long overdue resource for the health-care community.

"The current system of license regulation and compliance is paper based and manually intensive," says Benso. "There are so many antiquated methods still present in health care, and CEAgent was created to help eliminate the inefficiency and wasted man hours."

Benso worked with a team of experts, including practicing nurses and network security specialists, to make the app easy to use and intuitive. Users can take photos of physical documents and store them in the system, where they are available to view or email from anywhere at any time. The app also features a real-time dashboard that provides automatic notifications when a license or certification nears expiration.

Benso adds that, unlike similar apps, which primarily focus on doctors or pharmacists, CEAgent was designed by nurses for nurses. Even so, the company hopes to expand the app to serve other licensed professionals, including lawyers and law enforcement.

"Nurses are the second largest licensed professionals in the country, second to teachers, so this proved to be a good market to start with our domain expertise," says Benso. "In order to develop the app for other professions, it will require research, testing, and, of course, funding."

The CEAgent app is now free to download in the iPhone app store. 

Pittsburgh joins urban goat grazing movement with Steel City Grazers

It's the year of the goat both in the Chinese zodiac and in Pittsburgh, where one small business has found a greener, more adorable way to handle lawn care.

Entrepreneur Carrie Pavlik recently launched an Indiegogo campaign for her venture Steel City Grazers. The service would provide goats to city residents who want a more eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered mowers and pesticides. The idea was launched after Pavlik, who runs a Hilltop-based urban hobby farm called Arlington Acres, received multiple requests from people wishing to use her two Nigerian Dwarf goats for landscaping. Interest in the practice was further piqued last summer when the urban forest initiative, Tree Pittsburgh, used 30 goats to clear West Penn Park in Polish Hill.

"I've had people come to me wanting the goats to eat poison ivy or knotweed in their yards," says Pavlik. "But the Tree Pittsburgh event definitely got the conversation started publicly and has created more excitement for the idea of grazing goats."

Steel City Grazers adds Pittsburgh to the list of cities taking part in this growing trend. The herd in Polish Hill came courtesy of the Annapolis, Md.-based business Eco-Goats, and metropolitan areas such as Detroit, San Francisco, and Portland have also recognized the advantages of urban goat grazing. Besides the environmental benefits, goats are also able to eat poisonous plants and scale terrain unreachable by conventional lawn equipment.

Pavlik hopes to raise enough start-up funds through the Indiegogo campaign to bring on 10 goats -- enough to clear one acre of land in three weeks -- as well as buy fencing, equipment and a guard llama. Once established, the herd can be rented for a base charge, a per-day charge, and other costs that depend on factors such as distance and accessibility.

With jobs lined up for the upcoming summer, Pavlik plans on beginning operations in May. From there, the goats will have a busy first season, followed by a much-needed vacation.

"They’ll get to kick back and relax over the winter, with the exception of an occasional party or event where a goat is requested," says Pavlik. "In the future, we may breed some of the goats to expand the herd as well."

Who's hiring in PGH? YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Warhol Museum and more

More snow means more time indoors, which means more time to devote to your latest job search. Each week, Pop City scours the web to bring you exciting career opportunities in Pittsburgh. Employers, if you have a job opening or internship you would like to promote, please email innovationnews@popcitymedia.com with "Hiring" in the subject line. Hit us up on Twitter @popcitypgh if our job listings put you on the path to success.
 
The Carnegie Museum of Art is hiring a curator of photography to serve as head of the photography department. Qualified candidate will be responsible for the presentation, loan, and development of the museum’s collection of photographs, comprising more than 4,500 works acquired since the 1970s. Requirements include an M.A. or Ph.D. in the history of photography, art history or other relevant field.

The RAND Corporation is looking for an interactive multimedia designer (Job ID: 3952). Responsibilities include recording, editing, and encoding audio and video products. Other duties include interactive web work, such as front-end development of web applications, media players, and data visualization tools.
 
The Warhol Museum is hiring a full-time director of exhibitions to oversee the management and direction of all exhibition galleries.
 
The Phipps Conservatory has multiple positions available, including openings for a volunteer coordinator and a science education research manager. They’re also seeking interns for their community-focused Homegrown program, as well as their summer Horticulture and Discovery education programs.
 
The YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh is seeking a director of information technology. Interested candidates must have a B.S. or B.A. and a minimum of 15 years of related information technology experience. Please send resumes to itjobs@ymcapgh.org.
 
The Hilltop Alliance, a nonprofit community development organization committed to preserving and creating community assets in Pittsburgh’s Hilltop neighborhoods, is hiring a full-time project manager. The application deadline is Feb. 20, 2015.
 
Check out last week's listings for more opportunities.

FutureDerm rolls out new beauty products, introduces a custom-mixed moisturizer

When it comes to the science of beauty, Nicki Zevola knows her stuff.
 
The CEO of FutureDerm, Pittsburgh's own Estee Lauder, prides herself in educating women on the chemistry of cosmetics through her line of beauty products and an accompanying blog.
 
With two products already on the market, the startup has rolled out several new ones, including a customized face moisturizer designed to meet the personal needs of each user. FutureDerm Specialist is a patent-pending blend, bringing together elements of modern skin care chemistry, digital technology and the old-school apothecary, says Zevola.
 
Customers fill out an online survey about their skin care needs and an algorithm does the rest, creating a personalized formula from more than 100 different combinations of active ingredients.
 
Also new is FutureDerm’s Vitamin C Eye Cream, Skin Reborn Facial Cleanser and Seven Wonders Antioxidant-Rich Toner, which join the Time-Release Retinol 0.5 and Vitamin CE Caffeic Silk Serum (a vitamin C formulation). The products were formulated to work together as an overall skincare system.

For seekers of a more organically-based system, the FutureDerm Organic 8 line--a cleanser, toner and moisturizer--is made from all-natural skin-care ingredients.
  
“We have a very scientific-minded audience,” explains Zevola. “We’re very authentic about who we are and what we represent. Women care about whether it works, not the fancy packaging and high price point.”
 
Another two products will be developed under a different brand name. Zevola declined to elaborate on them at this time. All will be available by Dec. 10th.
 
“What’s nice about the FutureDerm line is you get a wide assortment of ingredients that are scientifically proven. Everything is biocompatible to get maximal results,” she says.
 
The company has an office below Alpha Lab on Carson Street on the South Side and recently hired a chief marketing officer (formerly with TripAdvisor). FutureDerm employs seven; manufacturing takes place in Pittsburgh, Alabama and New Jersey.
 
FutureDerm’s growing success comes from a caring approach that is conveyed through its blog and responding to requests and questions through social media, Zevola says.
 
“I always say people don’t care what you know till they know that you care,” she says. “The fact that we have a lot of heart comes through. We’re walking before we run, but making great progress.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Nicki Zevola, FutureDerm

Need storage? Help balancing your budget? AlphaLab Demo Day shows and tells all

The AlphaLab Demo Day & Technology Preview proved yet again that entrepreneurs and startups are a big draw in Pittsburgh.
 
More than 375 people attended the presentations of six university tech startups and nine Innovation Works AlphaLab companies at the New Hazlett this week. Many stuck around to meet the companies afterward during an informal lunch mixer.
 
“The companies gained market traction and validation during the AlphaLab program and did an excellent job of presenting their products and companies at Demo Day,” said Jim Jen of IW. “This cycle’s companies continued the tradition of raising the bar for future AlphaLab classes.”
 
This year marked the first time that National Energy Technology Laboratory joined the lineup.  
 
The preview opened with university technologies, ranging from Lightside, an online platform that instantly assesses student writing and offers feedback to both teachers and student writers, to Diamond Kinetics, which is in the throes of commercializing technology that improves the performance of baseball and softball players.
 
The current crop of AlphaLab companies were equally compelling, ranging from reality-based gaming to a look at the savvy new age of college-level athletic recruiting. 
 
A few highlights:
 
What is augmented-reality gaming? MegaBits CEO Patrick Perini explained how his new game brings the gaming world and real world together. The game is based on a player’s physical location, allowing gamers to chase and battle monsters and feed and train them, in all kinds of real world weather.
 
It’s catching on. Nearly 200 applicants signed up in the first two hours of MegaBits’ launch, said Perini.
 
Ever lose an important file, or key nugget of information on your computer? Steve Cotter of Collected wants to streamline the way you find it by providing intelligent authoring technology to help you quickly access frequently used content. Not only does it speed up access, but also it can drill down contents on a Google drive and costs, at minimum, $10 a month. Launching in January.
 
Forget reconciling your bank statements across several apps. BudgetSimple tracks your spending and income all in one place and keeps it up-to-date.
 
“The most successful budget is one where you can keep the things that are important and eliminate the waste,” says CEO Phil Anderson, a successful internet marketer who previously worked for Vivisimo (before it was acquired by IBM) and LunaMetrics in Pittsburgh. BudgetSimple has 130,000 users signed on to date.
 
Wing Ma'am, a fast growing mobile app, is bringing bring LBGT women together as a resource for one another. It already attracted 108,000 users to date and is on target in reach 2 million in the next two years, says CEO Ariella Furman.
 
It’s also the only app of its kind that searches for events, not just people, she says.
 
If you’ve ever tried to stay abreast of a high school or collegiate athletic team’s changing schedule, you will appreciate the value of AthleteTrax. The startup is working with high school and collegiate club teams to provide an online tool that puts all a team’s information in one place, a sort of dashboard for athletics.
 
Lacking space for storage? Have space to rent? Spacefinity matches the have-nots with the haves and helps the haves convert their extra space into cash. The startup is tapping into the $22 billion storage industry and has 70 live space lords in Pittsburgh so far, says CEO Alex Hendershott.
 
Those looking for motivation to keep up with their physical therapy routines will gain support from Hability, a mobile tool that keeps patients engaged and therapists and family in the loop. “Compliance is in the root of attendance,” says CEO James Lomuscio.
 
Crowdasaurus stands at the intersection of crowdfunding and digital marketing. Projects with crowdfunding campaigns are matched with like-minded organizations—nonprofits or media outlets—who can benefit from the exposure they will receive by having content appear on the same page, says Josh Lucas, CEO. The Pittsburgh Foundation is already one of several beta testers on board. 
 
Finally, a senior at Grove City College believes the college athletic recruiting system is broken. Her startup, ProfilePasser, is the only platform that brings players and coaches together on the field where the players can be seen and recruited, says Sam Weber, founder. The app is available in the iTunes store now.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: AlphaLab, Innovation Works

Pittsburgh Roundup: NoWait gains on OpenTable. Gov. Corbett visits AlphaLab, shows us the money

With all the world going mobile, will making reservations at restaurants go the way of the smartphone?  

NoWait thinks so. The Pittsburgh-based startup is beta-testing its new mobile app in Pittsburgh. If all goes as planned, NoWait says it will have seated more than 20 million diners by the end of 2013, easily surpassing the number of people making reservations on OpenTable, an online system that caters to fine dining establishments.

The iPad-based app has proven to be quite popular with diners and casual dining spots, places that typically don’t take reservations and might have long lines on any given day, says Robb Myer, president and chief product officer.

Pittsburgh clients have been instrumental in the development of the core product, so it made sense to tap them in developing the consumer interface, says Myer.  “It’s one of the advantages of being in Pittsburgh,” he adds. “We can get a better cross section of people in Pittsburgh than if we launched it in New York or San Francisco.”

NoWait works to make the waiting game more tolerable. When diners arrive, the host inputs the customers’s name and mobile number. Diners then have the choice of leaving the restaurant and returning and are able to check their place in line.

At the same time, restaurant managers are better able to manage the queue and optimize table turnover. The startup received received funding from Birchmere Ventures in Pittsburgh and was built with seed funding and support from Innovation Works’ AlphaLab and Carnegie Mellon University Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund.
 
In other startup news, Gov. Tom Corbett toured IW’s AlphaLab on the South Side last week and launched Innovate in PA, a new program that will accelerate job growth in the tech sector and support entrepreneurs and startup companies.
 
The Innovate in PA tax program is expected to bring in $75 million for seed capital needs across the state. The funds will be distributed through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners and will benefit incubators like IW and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse.
 
“The most creative entrepreneurs and innovative startups are right here in Western Pennsylvania,” Corbett told the gathered crowd.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Robb Myer, NoWait; Innovation Works

Photo: Gov. Corbett chats with Hank Safferstein of Cognition Therapeutics and Rich Lunak of Innovation Works.

The 2013 Data Award winners included a few surprises and a surreal atmosphere

The Pittsburgh Technology Council’s 5th Annual Design, Art and Technology (DATA) Awards celebrated, as it does each year, the intersection of art and technology design with a lineup of the region’s most creative startups.
 
This year's event gave off a surreal glow, although maybe it was the fog machine and the light filtering through the stained glass windows into The Priory’s Grand Hall on the Northside.
 
“It’s a great event for showcasing innovations with an art twist and sharing it with a wider audience,” said Paul Fireman of Fireman Creative whose firm took away a DATA in the Media Arts category.

“There were a lot of companies this year that I hadn’t heard of and that's a good thing because it means the group of participating companies is growing.” 
 
New this year was an interactive element that allowed the public to vote and determine the winners, along with a jury of experts.
 
The public voting was an important piece, said Audrey Russo, president of PTC, giving the artistic and creative communities a voice in the process.
 
“We are continually pleased with the breadth and number of individuals, and organizations, that actively participated,” said Russo. "I believe this space serves as the preamble to an imminent, seismic change in skill development and education.  Plus, we always have a ton of fun supporting those who build and execute big ideas.” 

The 2013 winners were:
 
i-CON: Apps & Information Architecture Award – Highmark + United Concordia: Chomper Chums

Next Generation: Kids & Creative Technology Award – The Center for Creativity: TransformED

Maker: Design & Art Award – Teletrix: Radiation Training Simulators

Media Arts: Interactive + Multimedia Award – Fireman Creative: Ricky’s Dream Trip
 
Joystick: Gaming Award – Schell Games + Yale University: PlayForward

Student Award – Carnegie Mellon University: Floria

People’s Choice Award – WQED Multimedia + SLB Radio Productions: iQ Kids Radio

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: PTC

Lunametrics takes digital intelligence marketing to the next level

South Side-based LunaMetrics knows all about rising to the top when it comes to the web search.
 
As a digital intelligence firm, Lunametrics works with clients to analyze and increase traffic to their websites. It's also the only certified partner of Google Analytics in Western Pennsylvania, although it has plenty of other tools in the box including search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and social media.
 
The combination is drawing hits, as they say. Last year LunaMetrics, founded in 2005, doubled its revenues to $1.5 million and expanded staff by 50 percent, growth that required moving from the Terminal Building to more spacious digs on the South Side with conference rooms and a kitchen.
 
LunaMetrics currently employs 12 and is hiring two.  
 
While many clients come to us because we’re a certified Google Analytics partner, they stay because we’re customer centric, says Robbin Steif, CEO.
 
Lunametrics believes in regular communication with customers. It’s important to understand their experience so we can make the entire online experience better, whether that means the website, apps or social media.
 
The industry is growing for two reasons, she adds. It’s the most measurable marketing you can have today, very show me the numbers. The other reason is the tremendous growth of the Internet.   
 
“Its easy to understand what we do to improve rankings, but that’s only one piece," Steif says. "We try to cover the marketing, digital intelligence space. It’s not all about search engines but making your property do what you want it to do."
 
So how is this working for LunaMetrics? “Our visit pattern looks like a hockey stick,” says Steif. “The visitors to the company’s website are up 161% year over year, 2012-2011. That’s what happens when you work really hard at it and have the right things in the right place.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Robbin Steif, Lunametrics
 
 
 

BIG Data: Powered Analytics harnesses the power. Pittsburgh companies launch DataWorks

Imagine the power of billions and billions of data bytes in the cloud that are leveraged to not only solve problems but predict the future. Such is the promise of “big data,” the bold frontier of data mining.
 
Pittsburgh startup Powered Analytics hopes to tap this data mother lode. By developing a cloud-based platform to assist a wide range of industries, the startup, currently in Alpha Lab, hopes to be among the first to establish itself in the business intelligence market, which is estimated to gain an $81 billion foothold in the market by 2014.

And if that isn't exciting enough, Pittsburgh companies have joined forces and launched DataWorks, a partnership of local companies--including IBM, Avere, CMU, Pitt, UPMC and Management Scientist Associates--who are rolling out big plans to make Pittsburgh a hub for "big data." (More on this next week.)
 
From the dawn of man the world has generated about five million terabytes of information, explains Collin Otis, co-founder and Pitt grad who previously worked in the aerospace industry on scientific prediction methods for propulsion applications.
  
“As a society we now generate about that much data in two days.” 
 
Welcome to the next paradigm shift.
 
“There’s an opportunity to really change the world doing this on a massive scale,” says Otis. “You can solve amazing problems with this technology.”
 
For example, auto manufacturers can sift through warranty, recall and service data on a specific model and flag potential mechanical problems before they become a costly issue.  Computers can identify a pattern long before humans, he says.
 
While very new, Pittsburgh is well on its way to becoming a hub for data mining and machine learning. SAP, one of the largest providers of statistical analysis, recently acquired Smartops; IBM, which acquired Vivisimo, and Google are both working on it.
 
It’s the holy grail of business intelligence applications, yet only about 3% of all companies are leveraging this data, Otis says.  
 
It’s not an easy space to get into. The startup has two employees, two interns and received more than 100 applications for its one job opening.
 
“I wanted to work in an industry with an opportunity to make a big impact,” Otis says. “The endgame is to become a global leader in predictive analytics.”
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Collin Otis, Powered Analytics

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Co-eXprise, Mind Over Media, Flashgroup and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest hiring news in the region.
 
Wexford-based software company Co-eXprise is expanding its team. The company hired 17 in 2012 and currently has three openings for a sales director of the western region, a junior software engineer and a system administrator engineer. The firm provides sourcing software to manufacturers to facilitate their businesses.
 
CMU spinout Flashgroup, founded by two CMU professors, is exploring ways to facilitate a faster-paced social network. The company is hiring three: Python developer for NLP Analytics; a system administrator and a UI/UX designer. Those adept in IT need apply.
 
Mind Over Media, a Pittsburgh marketing strategy firm, is hiring a facilities technician, a key role that will support video and post-production needs. The firm creates multi-channel products for higher education, college athletics and the corporate sector.
 
Little Earth Productions, the South Side company that makes cool purses and recently landed a big contract for the Terrible Towel, is looking for a marketing associate to assist with marketing and the promotion of licensed sports accessories.
 
ShowClix is on the lookout for a director of marketing. The ideal candidate will provide leadership, training and management to the ShowClix marketing team and be able to juggle multiple projects (in the air) simultaneously.
 
The Pittsburgh office of Bombardier is hiring a technical writer/ editor intern to author sections of manuals and smaller documents. The job requires editing and publishing operation and maintenance manuals, illustrated parts catalogs and training documentation as well as assisting in other technical writing duties.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City the details and include the link.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Looking good Pittsburgh. PittsburghTODAY report highlights the state of the region

PittsburghTODAY released its 2013 Today & Tomorrow report and the news across many sectors is enlightening.
 
With the economic recovery still underway in much of the country, Pittsburgh is the only benchmark region out of 15 that has experienced job growth and housing price appreciation. In addition, the labor force is at an all-time high and young people are returning and staying in the region.
 
Southwestern Pennsylvania continues to be one of the most affordable places for moderate-income families to live. A Brookings Institution study says so too, listing Pittsburgh as one of three cities in the U.S. to have recovered from the deep recession that began in 2007.
 
The region, however, has work to do in several areas, including transportation, the environment and issues pertaining to diversity, particularly in helping African Americans in the region to achieve the same quality of life as whites.
 
Among the highlights:
 
Population: It has been official but bares repeating: the region is attaining and attracting young talent. The region’s population of 20- to 34- year-olds grew by 7% over the last five years and is expected to grow another 8% in 2020. Three decades earlier the region was losing more than 50,000 people than it was attracting, mostly young adults.
 
Jobs: Jobs grew by a non-seasonably adjusted 1.7 percent in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) from November 2007 to November 2012. Certainly not robust, but it was better than any of the Pittsburgh TODAY benchmark regions. Pittsburgh was the only region to post job growth over that period.
 
Tourism: Visitors to Southwestern Pennsylvania pumped $8.1 billion into the local economy in lodging, recreation, retail, food and beverage, transportation and other spending during 2011,the latest year the full data was reported. This is a 9.6% increase over 2010.

Housing: Pittsburgh was the only region in which the 5-year housing prices rose from 2007-2012.
 
Environment: While fine particle pollution is slowly decreasing, and met federal air quality standards for the first time in 2011 since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, smog and sewage spills and the health of our rivers remains an issue.
 
Fracking: Across the region, a survey shows that far more residents are convinced of the economic potential of the Marcellus Shale gas industry than are against drilling for it. More than 70% of those surveyed believe that gas drilling is boosting the local economy.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: PittsburghTODAY

Do you know what your 7-year old is downloading? Be AppCertain

Kids today. Give them a digital device and they will have it mastered by the age of two.
 
Pittsburgh startup AppCertain wants to help by providing parents with a platform that gives them the tools to stay abreast of their children’s digital prowess. Anytime a child downloads an app to their iOS device, AppCertain sends them an email with detailed information on the potential security risk and educational value of the download.
 
The company is the first to be selected by Birchmere Labs as a studio project, a new investment model for the region. Developed by Birchmere Ventures and partner Sean Ammirati, Birchmere Labs offers seed investments to early stage startups; the most promising among them are then selected as studio projects.
 
Unlike an accelerator or incubator, of which there are many in the region, Birchmere Labs is about taking the seed of an idea and spinning it out as a company. The designation comes with an undisclosed amount of funding and further mentoring from Birchmere’s experienced entrepreneurs, says Ammirati.
 
“Birchmere really helped me run with my idea,” says Spencer Whitman, co-founder and CEO of AppCertain. “We’re at the point now of slowly leaving the Birchmere nest, learning how to operate and stand on our own two feet.”
 
Whitman began developing AppCertain during his years at CMU where he was both an undergrad and grad student working at CyLab. When it comes to reviewing apps, restrictions, ratings and reviews aren’t working for parents, he says.
 
Parents need an easy way to monitor their children’s activity and teach them to be responsible digital citizens without having to take their device away or engage in constant confrontation.
 
The platform, which targets children between the ages of seven and 17, provides information on an app’s security risk and content value. Is an app, for example, capable of accessing sensitive information, like data or photos? How educational or violent is the content?
 
The idea is to give kids the freedom to make their own decisions while giving parents the ability to make sure their decisions are sound, he says.
 
AppCertain, currently in beta, is a free download, but hopes to be an app someday. It currently works only with iOS products--iPhone, iPod, iTouch and iPads--with plans to expand into the Android market.
 
The company has three full-time and four part-time employees and works out of Birchmere Ventures in the South Side.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Sean Ammirati, Spencer Whitman, Birchmere Ventures
 
From left to right: Jim Newsome, Spencer Whitman, and Megan Gilligan.  Not pictured: Sean Ammirati, Lara Schenck, Karmyn Guthrie, and Cyrus Collier, courtesy of Birchmere Ventures
213 South Side Articles | Page: | Show All
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