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Downtown & The Cultural District : Innovation & Startups

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How is the Pittsburgh Tech Sector doing? A new report tells all at the 3 Rivers Venture Fair

The 3 Rivers Venture Fair kicks off at PNC Park this week, bringing investors together with emerging new companies in the region.
New this year is a comprehensive report of trends and highlights in Pittsburgh during the last five years, 2008-2012. 
“Optimizing Opportunities, Investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector” is sure to spark the interest of any stakeholder considering an investment in the region, says Rich Lunak, CEO of Innovation Works, the largest seed-stage investor in the region.
The report provides fresh content and insights on investment trends in the region’s growing technology sector. The data is culled from both IW and Venture Source and Ernst & Young compiled and validated the figures. It will become a staple offering at the 3RVF beginning this year.
Among the most noteworthy highlights was the total scale of the regional impact and the value of the exit transactions, says Lunak.
In the last five years, 217 technology companies attracted more than $1.3 billion in investment from venture capital firms, angel investors, strategic investors, accelerators, seed funds and other sources.
At the same time, Pittsburgh saw 28 companies make successful exits for a value of $2 billion, remarkable numbers considering the country was in a recession, he adds.  
Many of those exits involved deals estimated at more than $95 million, including the acquisitions of Vocollect ($190), M*Modal ($130) and Carnegie Learning ($97 million).
“It was also nice to see that Pittsburgh bucked the national trend that saw number of total deals and dollars go down,” Lunak adds. “Pittsburgh deals were up significantly.”
“The sheer number of firms making investments was eye opening to me,” adds Lynette Horrell, managing partner, Ernest & Young. “Our firm is focused on trends; looking at this data in a comprehensive manner is very beneficial to us.”
The report also identified several challenges. Indigenous venture capital funding decreased steadily from 2006 to 2011, meaning entrepreneurs have had to work harder to raise capital here, Lunak says.
Several new funds have been launched, the largest being a $40 million fund in 2012, which has helped to reverse this trend.
Lunak and Horrell will introduce the report at the 3 Rivers Venture Capital Fair at 2 p.m. this Thursday, April 11th.
Among the other takeaways:
Despite a slowing on a national level of both the number of investment deals and amount of funding, the Pittsburgh region saw a 54% increase in the number of fundraising rounds. The overall amount of funding, however, increased only slightly from 2011.
In 2012, there were 190 deals in the region totaling $329.1 million in funding. In 2011, there were 123 deals totaling $326.9 million in funding.
Software companies, including consumer and enterprise software, received the largest portion of VC funding in the region in 2012, followed by medical devices, energy technology and health care IT.
The diversity of these sectors speaks to the broad base of technical talent in the Pittsburgh region. The breakdown is as follows: enterprise software (24%),  consumer software (22%), medical devices (14%), energy (8%), biotech (7%), healthcare IT (7%) and electronics (5%).
Of the funding received by the tech sector during the last five years, three-quarters of the total came from VC firms. The second largest share was provided by angel investors followed by corporate investors and seed funds and accelerators.
Nearly two-thirds of all the funding received consisted of smaller rounds featuring angels or seed funds and accelerators as the lead investor.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Rich Lunak, IW; Lynette Horrell, Ernst & Young

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Bayer Material Science, Phipps, Kelly Strayhorn and more...

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.

Phipps Conservatory in Oakland is hiring for four full-time positions: finance administrative assistant, retail/ guest services management, building maintenance technician and a heavy custodial laborer. In addition, two part-time jobs and two internships are available: event assistant, guest service associate and a studio intern and pest-management intern.

Kelly Strayhorn Theatre is hiring a production assistant, a part-time position (25 hours a week) to assist the production manager in coordinating and executing a number of live events. The theatre provides provocative theatre that attracts local, national and international productions.
Expedient Data Centers in Pittsburgh is looking for an application engineer to join Pittsburgh’s team of four developers to work with the latest open-source projects that help companies manage everything from their energy usage to their operating system.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is seeking a foundation & grants coordinator. This full time position involves research and successful funding of foundation and government proposals for both capital and programmatic projects as well as corporate sponsorships for various exhibits and projects throughout the Zoo. 

Monroeville-based Chorus Call, working in the audio and video conferencing space, is hiring a software engineer with relevant IT experience.
Bayer Material Science, a leading producer of polymers and high-performance plastics, is hiring a marketing communications manager. A B.S. in a technical or business related field and 7-10 years of experience is required.
MarketSpace Communications in Cranberry is hiring a PR & Social Media Intern. The ideal candidate will have 3-5 years of experience and a degree in communications.
Attention all those seeking an entry-level job or internship with a computer science or engineering background. Network with area companies at Tech Connect, an informal recruiting event at Pitt’s William Pitt Union in the ballroom on the main floor from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 28th.

In other job related news, a Neighborhood Employment Center has opened to help Northside residents write and polish resumes and find jobs. The center is open 5 days a week, from 12-4:30 p.m. on Mondays and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and offers many free job-seeking services.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include a job description and career link.
Writer: Deb Smit

Duquesne University researchers studying the proprietary chemicals in fracking fluid

The toxicology of the chemicals contained in fracking fluid—proprietary ingredients used by the industry in the drilling of the Marcellus Shale—is the focus of a study now underway at Duquesne University.
Dr. Fred Fochtman, director of forensic science and law in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and his research team received $193,000 to conduct a toxicological study of the chemicals.
Weatherford US, an international oil and gas service company, awarded the grant. The results will be used as documentation to be shared nationally and internationally, the researchers say.
The study will investigate 752 “chemical entities” and provide a detailed analysis of how the chemicals are used, including whether or not the elements are carcinogens.
The list was taken from a Congressional committee and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is reviewing the fracking ingredients in an attempt to find ways to minimize the environmental risk. A study of the 14 largest oil and gas service companies from 2005-2010 revealed that 2,500 products were used, made up of some 750 chemicals.
The identified chemical elements include toxic and/or cancer-causing elements, some of which are regulated under federal and state regulations, some of which are not, the researchers say.
“Even a minute amount can be dangerous depending on what it is and how it is used,” says Fochtman.
“We’re primarily interested in finding out what these chemicals are, (determining) what hazard do they pose, what is known about their toxicity and putting them into a volume available to anyone working in this area,” he adds.
The researchers say the results will adhere to scientific findings and not become a political tool, even though the study was funded by a gas service company.
“It’s a tribute to them that they’ve left us alone completely,” says Paul Carlson, a member of the toxicology team. “They haven’t tried to influence us in any direction. Our marching orders are to call it what it is. If it’s a carcinogen, it’s a carcinogen.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Fred Fochtman and Paul Carlson, Duquesne University

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

Campos embraces the future of marketing research and trendspotting

Marketing and research companies used to be in the business of holding a magnifying glass to human behavior and reporting on what they see in real time.
But the accelerated pace of living calls for more of a crystal ball approach, developing new ways to identify future trends and putting them into a larger context for companies.
Pittsburgh-based Campos Inc is taking on this brave new frontier, putting its 26 years of research experience to work by establishing a sourced library of trends to help small and medium-sized companies stay ahead of the curve.  
“Large companies have access to this information today, but small to medium-sized companies do not,” explains Yvonne Campos, founder and CEO of downtown-based Campos. “Everything is turning so quickly. It’s not about what research looks like in the future, but where can we add value for clients in a bigger space.”
Few companies have the time or resources to hire “trendspotters” or do their own trend analysis. Equipped with the knowledge of these emerging trends and how it applies to them, Campos hopes to help companies determine the most effective strategies.  
For example, businesses might consider showing their appreciation to customers who regularly patronize their coffee shop or restaurant by knowing and understanding their expectations before they walk through the door.
When a retail store receives a new shipment of a customer’s favorite designer, why not contact them and give them an opportunity to be the first in line?
The future of marketing is about “earnable trust” and “presumers,” new terms that are about giving consumers more of what they want. Companies need to earn their customers trust by doing things like locating in and supporting centers of urban activity and involving consumers with products and services before they launch and go mainstream.
“The idea is how can you make my life easier,” Campos says. “It’s all about corporate responsibility. Companies should be thinking not how can I sell to you more, but how can I make the consumer’s life easier.”
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Yvonne Campos, Campos Inc

Hear the fastest talking nonprofits in town at Pittsburgh's Social Innovation Fast Pitch

Social Ventures Partners' fast pitch is back, the fast-talking competition that pits some of the most innovative, smaller nonprofits in the region against each other for funding, prizes and visibility.
The good news is everyone wins.
Borrowing from the venture capitalist “elevator pitch,” the Social Innovation Fast Pitch is a two month program. SVP selects a dozen of some of the most promising philanthropic ideas and social entrepreneurs and gives them an opportunity to work with local leaders to fine-tune and hone their presentation skills into a three-minute pitch.
Yours truly is a coach this year, working with a small team to assist Bob Bechtold of the Sarah Heinz House with his pitch for Design House, an after-school program for middle school students that teaches STEM skills to kids when they’re not looking. Through the program, the students are developing the architectural plans for a new bathhouse that will actually be built at their summer camp.
“It’s a big hit with the kids,” Bechtold says. “It’s giving the kids a stake in their camp and a sense of belonging and contribution.” 
Design House will face some stiff competition at the final competition against other equally deserving programs: Strong Women, Strong Girls; Beverly’s Birthdays; Go! A Vehicle of Change; meetPGH; The Saxifrage School; Miracle League of South Hills; Camp COPES; Sustainable Solutions, Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center; and Quest for Wellness and Recovery Employment Project.
"Fast Pitch successfully teaches nonprofit leaders how to develop clear and concise messages to more effectively communicate,” says Elizabeth Visnic, director of social venture partners. ”The skills they gain not only help them to learn how to message their program, they gain immeasurable community support and have an opportunity to win unrestricted funding and prizes."
The Social Innovation Fast Pitch Finals will be held at the Fairmont Hotel on March 6th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Pop City will bestow a capacity prize at the event, with publisher and editor Tracy Certo serving as a judge. 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Elizabeth Visnic, SVP
Image: Chuck Webb, Shepherd's Heart Veteran's Home, 2012 winner

Reduce your Use workshop offered strategies for building a sustainable culture in nonprofits

Is sustainability in your workplace DNA?

It's a question Christine Mondor raised during the Reduce Your Use Workshop sponsored by Pop City and Direct Energy last Friday, Feb. 22. "It's about building a culture around sustainability," says Mondor of evolveEA, an architecture firm owned by Mondor that is known for being envionmentally innovative.

She cited the Pittsburgh Opera for examining ways they could be more environmentally friendly, including even questioning their use of costumes after performance and how they could reuse them. Phipps Conservatory, which is nationally recognized for its culture of sustainability, will question everything, even where its peat moss comes from, says Mondor.

The idea, she says, is to create a culture of sustainability where everyone is more aware of environmental issues and conservation and leadership sets the tone.

It was one of many points brought up at the event which included two other panelists: Kathleen Hower of GlobalLinks and Sam DeStephano of The Community Food Bank of Pittsburgh. All three organizations had participated in the Green Workplace Challenge held by Sustainable Pittsburgh. evolveEA won in its category and the others were runners up.

Both GlobalLinks and the Food Bank reuse materials as part of their mission. GlobalLinks collects hospital and medical supplies that might otherwise go to a landfill and distributes them to organizations in need around the world. Likewise, the Food Bank collects and redistributes food.

"We're promoting better environmental stewardship with the recovery of materials," says Hower, who notes that their new warehouse is completely skylighted which cuts energy costs. In addition, GlobalLinks employees cut down paper use through double-sided copying and diligently turn off lights that aren't being used.

Both groups credited a Student Conservation Association fellow with educating, training and reminding people to be more mindful of ways to reduce energy costs.

The SCA fellow set up numerous projects, says DeStephano, from LED lights to composting. "The top down support was most important," he said, in getting everyone onboard.

At GlobalLinks they eliminated water bottles and even started a soup day once a week where staff took turns making soup with local ingredients. "Everybody loved it!" says Hower.

Following a discussion from the 18 nonprofits attending the workshop, all groups were invited by Direct Energy to make a short and simple video to discuss ways they've reduced energy costs in their workplaces. The energy company is awarding $2500 to the best ideas. For more info see their site here.

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Brunner, Phipps, PNC and more

Each week Pop City reports the latest news in company hiring.
Pittsburgh downtown ad agency Brunner is hiring 10 people for a variety of positions: application developer, art director, copywriter, digital project manager, junior digital designer, part-time publicist, senior project manager, ex/digital/mobile designer, vp of social media and a web analyst.
PNC Bank has career opportunities in a multitude of positions across several departments for: supervisors, senior investment advisors, marketing business analysts, finance analysts, mortgage analysts, tax supervisors, senior accountants and more.
Wexford-based Lucas Systems, a software company that provides a voice-based headset system for warehouse and logistics tasks, is hiring four people and looking for two interns. The positions include: product engineers, a software engineer and software support engineer and two internships in software support and software engineering.
Think Through Learning, a web-based education company providing customized online math instruction for students K-12, is hiring an agile project manager for its Pittsburgh office.
Pittsburgh-based Burson-Marsteller, a global publication relations and communications firm, is looking for a public relations associate to coordinate production and distribution of materials.
Engineered Style, an Alpha Lab startup developing a fashion-based web and mobile applications to assist style-challenged men, is looking for a software engineer to join the team. Join an Alpha Lab team and develop a web and mobile-based platform. Two years of software experience is preferred.
LaRoche College is hiring a multimedia designer.
Ker Communications in Pittsburgh is hiring copywriters on an as needed basis; this is not a full-time position. Ker is looking for creative and reliable writers who can put together a well-written article, series of articles or website content.
Phipps is seeking a full-time facilities manager to manage maintenance of all buildings, exterior grounds and gardens, as well as equipment maintenance, special exhibits and construction projects.
Phipps is also hiring a temporary seasonal grower to maintain and care for plants in the Conservatory and gardens.
Got hiring news? Contact Pop City and include the links to the job. Check out last week's listings.
Writer: Deb Smit

ModCloth celebrates its plus size vintage line with a Pittsburgh party. Models wanted.

ModCloth, the vintage-inspired and Indie fashion company that went from a CMU dorm room to an overnight Internet sensation, is launching a new Plus Size Line this week.
And Pittsburgh is invited to the party.
The online clothing company is throwing a party at Bakery Square on Thursday evening, Feb. 7th, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. In addition to unveiling the new Spring Plus Line, attendees can try the clothes on and play model for a day--maybe longer.
The ModCloth stylist team will also be on hand to solicit feedback on the line and to scout potential models, says Alyssa Catalano, head stylist.
While ModCloth has always offered Plus Sizes, the new line is an expansion of the existing line with more styles. The company will put just as much emphasis on style and fit of the new line as we do on the street sizes.
“ModCloth wants to become a plus destination for the online shopper,” says Catalano. “We’re inviting the public to come, see the new products, try things on and offer feedback on the fit. It’s a get together to celebrate the revamping of the line.”
Since the company’s online catalogue is shot in Pittsburgh, many of the models are recruited from the area, she adds.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP through ModCloth’s Facebook page.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Alyssa Catalano, ModCloth

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Google Pittsburgh, Marc USA, Astrobotic and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company news and hiring:
Black Box Corp., a global technical services company, is hiring a web marketing manager responsible for web marketing strategy, direction and management for the company’s technology product solution offerings. The ideal candidate will have a minimum seven years of professional experience in technology-based markets and five years in website management.
Google Pittsburgh is looking for a lead content writer for its Bakery Square office, as well as software engineers and a Data Scientist. Generally speaking, the ideal candidates will be working in a fast-paced environment with a highly innovative team of people. All the positions are full-time.
MARC USA is seeking a creative director-copywriter for its ad agency that is brimming with new business. The ideal candidate should be a “killer writer” and “strategic thinker” as well as a pioneer in all media. 
Astrobotic, the CMU spinout in the business of establishing commuter missions to the moon, is hiring an experienced Administrative Assistant to join the team. A bachelor’s degree and experience with graphic design, Photoshop and/or video editing experience is sought. Must be willing to oversee all aspects of an office of a small company. 
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is looking for a chief communications officer, someone who will lead the Food Bank’s marketing, communication, education and advocacy efforts in the pursuit of hunger relief in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Marketing and communication skills and the ability to lead a team strategically forward are key.
Carnegie Learning is looking for a team-oriented, self-directed software engineer-user interface to create custom components and layout managers in a message-driven environment. Strong software design skills and experience with the Java programming language including Swing and Java 2D are necessary.
Pittsburgh law firm K&L Gates is looking for a Website Administrator for its Pittsburgh office, a position that will be responsible for the coordination of an array of relevant content. Sharepoint and Social Media Web 2.0 technologies is a must.

Is your company hiring? Email Pop City and send us your link! Check out more listings from last week.
Writer: Deb Smit

2012 was a good year for VC growth in Pittsburgh despite a nationwide decline

Venture capital investment across the region continued to climb steadily in 2012 with 79 deals that totaled $168.97 million, a 7.9% increase over 2011 when $156.53 million was raised and spread over 55 deals. 

The news in Pittsburgh was a bright spot; nationally VC figures declined by 10 percent from the prior year. All figures are from the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data from Thomson Reuters.

“We’re bucking a trend here in Pittsburgh which is very positive,” noted Gary Glausser who joined Innovation Works this month as Chief Investment Officer.

A longtime venture capitalist in the local community, Glausser was with South Side-based Birchmere Ventures for 13 years. He most recently handled alternative investments for the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System, a total portfolio of $7 billion. He is also a member of the IW Board of Directors.

Among the highlights of the MoneyTree report for 2012:

The strongest showing in Pittsburgh was the life sciences and software sectors. More than 23 companies received funding in life sciences, predominantly medical device companies, and 19 software and IT services companies were funded. The number of software company deals last year is a sign of the region’s strength in this sector since software companies generally don’t require large infusions of cash, noted Terri Glueck of Innovation Works.

Innovation Works and The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) were the largest overall investors, IW with 12 deals and PLSG with six according to the MoneyTree report.

The companies that raised the largest rounds included: Avere Systems ($20 million), Thorley Industries ($20 million), TriStar Investors ($15 million) Duolingo ($15 million) Knopp Biosciences ($14.94 million) and BodyMedia ($11.89 million). 

Other local investors included: Birchmere Ventures, Draper Triangle Ventures, Adams Capital Management, BlueTree Allied Angels, Eagle Ventures and Pittsburgh Equity Partners.

“I personally think the next few years will be exciting,” Glausser adds. “We’re looking at a pipeline of opportunities here. Our mission is going to be to get the capital to put into these companies.”

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: NVCA and MoneyTree 

Who's Hiring in Pittsburgh? CMU, Ronin, ZOLL and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company news and hiring:
Carnegie Mellon University SEI is hiring three malware engineers to join its CERT Malicious Code Group, a program to improve malware analysis capability while addressing active and emerging threats. The successful candidates will have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, software engineering and at least eight years of field experience. 
University of Pittsburgh is looking for a Web Developer to join its Office of Human Resources. The position entails designing and implementing websites for Pitt’s business and financial areas. The ideal candidate will be interested in long term career growth and will join a highly skilled team working with the latest technology The culture is collaborative and everyones input is valued.
ZOLL LifeVest is posting 10+ jobs in a variety of positions: technical writing, customer support, technical support specialist, associate regulatory affairs engineer, a director of national accounts and more. The company develops, manufactures and markets a wearable defibrillator for persons with Sudden Cardiac Arrest risk in the U.S. and Europe.
Kextil, a software company that uses speech recognition and bluetooth to wirelessly connect a technician with a mobile device, has positions for Head of Product Development, Senior Software Engineer and Vice President of Engineering. All positions offer an opportunity to shape the company’s software as well as become a significant equity owner. 
Compliance Assurance Corporation, a provider of compliance management technology solutions for the insurance industry, is currently looking for Corporate (Inside) Sales Executives to work out of its office in downtown Pittsburgh. 
SpectraGenetics, a gene-tagging startup that provides breakthrough products for drug discovery and development, is hiring an inside sales rep. The position requires selling technical molecular biology products to labs via phone, email and trade shows and requires a high degree of organization and communication skills.
UPMC is looking for a full-time technical writer to support the Operations Department at its downtown Pittsburgh location. Required skills include graphics, web design, layout, language and an understanding of human perceptions to produce a comfortable, user-friendly end product. 
kWantera, a Pittsburgh startup providing management solutions to large commercial buildings, is expanding its engineering, sales and marketing teams. It is also looking for a Sales Account Executive
The National Aviary is hiring a Director of Animal Programs to manage all aspects of the Animal Programs Dept. including animal care and husbandry and more. This requires a special candidate with significant knowledge in avian exhibitry.
Kayak Pittsburgh is hiring a 2013 Kayak Pittsburgh Site Supervisor to run day-to-day operations and manage staff among other managerial duties.

Check previous job listings in Pop City.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include a relevant link to your career page.

Writer: Deb Smit

Body Media unveils chic and sleek weight-loss armband at CES

Body Media’s wearable weight loss technology made a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month.
The Pittsburgh company unveiled its Core 2, a smaller and sleeker armband that comes with interchangeable fashion plates and straps for the stylish workout enthusiast. 
Not only is it the smallest wearable multi-sensor device of its kind, it features a new heart rate monitoring system, an energy-saving Bluetooth that enables live activity updates on smartphones and tablets, a longer battery life and an assortment of online apps.
BodyMedia, with offices downtown in Gateway Center, has 60 employees and continues to grow. The design work is done in Pittsburgh; the armbands are assembled in Canada.
“As the innovators in wearable technology, Core 2 hits on many elements of becoming more fashionable and we continue push the envelope on sensors and size," said Christine Robins, CEO, from CES last week. "We continue to grow our customers and partners year-over-year in a range of different of channels who are interested in technology to manage health and wellness,” 
While competition is fierce in the wearable weight loss tech niche, BodyMedia has a distinct advantage. NBC’s current season of “The Biggest Loser,” which premiered on Jan. 9th, is using the armbands and companion software to help contestants track their exertion levels, calories and food intake.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Gwen Smith, Christine Robins, Body Media

Hill District entrepreneurs receive boost from Urban Innovation21; CMU awards seven startups

Twenty businesses and entrepreneurs in the Hill District are among the first recipients of funding to be officially announced by Urban Innovation21 on Thursday night.  
The grants are the first of three Urban Innovation21 competitions underway that will assist entrepreneurs in the Hill District, Homewood and the Pittsburgh Central Innovation Zone (PCKIZ).  The overall goal is to provide support for community-based, resident-owned businesses while connecting them to the region’s innovation communities.
“We were really overwhelmed by the response and are excited about the work to connect our region’s success to some of its poorest communities in a way that will ultimately provide wealth opportunities for minorities, women and resident-owned businesses,” says Bill Generett, CEO of Urban Innovation21.
The Hill District Grant Competition attracted 62 initial applicants, 60 of whom were African Americans. Applicants participated in workshops and received assistance from Urban Innovation21. The finalists submitted a business plan and gave an elevator pitch as well.
Twenty applicants will receive grants. Artistry Greenscapes won the $10,000 top prize; the winners of the $5,000 grants include: Cameron Professional Services, EnjoYourself, Grace Security, Silq Concrete, Something Borrowed Boutique and The Pittsburgh Spot.
Three companies will receive technical assistant awards to launch crowdfunding efforts and another 10 will receive $1000 each toward a Kiva Zip zero-interest loan of up to $5,000.

In other startup funding news, CMU’s Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund (OFEF) has awarded $300,000 to six startup companies to assist them in growing their business ventures.

The fund, established by CMU alumnus and Flip Video Camera creator Jonathan Kaplan and his wife, Marci Glazer, provides early-stage business financing and support to alumni who have graduated from CMU in the last five years.
Since June 2012, the OFEF has provided support to 16 startup companies from across the country and a variety of industries. The fund is part of CMU’s Greenlighting Startups initiative, which facilitates bringing faculty and student innovations from the research lab to the marketplace.
The recipients include:
NoWait, a seating management system used by large restaurant chains including Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse and T.G.I. Friday’s. NoWait recently raised $2 million in funding led by Birchmere Ventures.
ActivAided Orthotics, developers of a line of postural training designed for the long-term relief of back pain. Their first product, "RecoveryAid" was released in July 2012. 
Aurochs Brewing Company is commercializing a unique formula to brew great tasting craft beers that are naturally gluten-free.
PECA Labs’ Masa Valve is the first valved conduit to be specifically designed for pediatric heart conduit reconstruction. The valve is clinically validated and is currently going through the FDA approval process. 
Pixite’s Unbound service provides a seamless photo management and viewing experience across computers, tablets and smartphones, allowing users to do more organized with their photos while saving time.
StatEasy is a free and easy-to-use platform to high school and collegiate teams to manage statistics and video of their sporting events. The company currently services more than 120 teams.
Tunessence is a virtual guitar teacher in your Web browser through advanced audio software with instructional video that replicates the experience of an in-person lesson in an online setting.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Bill Generett, Urban Innovation21; CMU

Image of the Hill District courtesy Tom Little Photo
350 Downtown & The Cultural District Articles | Page: | Show All
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