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Who's hiring in PGH? Deeplocal, Mattress Factory and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Let us know on Twitter if we've helped you snag the job of your dreams!

The Kingsley Association is hiring a community outreach specialist with a passion for effecting social change through community organizing. The ideal candidate will have a degree in social work or urban studies and knowledge of community building and sustainability models. And hey, when you've finished reaching out, the Kingsley Association has a pool in their recreation center, employee perks!
 
Steeltown Entertainment is looking for a youth media program manager to oversee teaching staff and form meaningful relationships with other regional non-profits. Who knows, the job may also introduce you to the next generation of Hollywood stars.
 
Two positions are open at installation art museum the Mattress Factory, where they are hiring a weekend coordinator and office coordinator to help with administrative functions.
 
Designers, photographers or videographers looking for a challenging new gig may want to apply to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where they are searching for a multimedia manager to coordinate visual storytelling for the paper.
 
Deeplocal is looking for a creative technologist with 3-7 years of experience working at a startup or agency, to develop product ideas and code them into reality.  The job requires that 50 percent of your time be spent in northern California, and 50 percent in PGH. The listed job description uses the words, “Hacker at heart.”
 
Finally, the most interesting job openings this week just might be: brand ambassador for Zipcar, where you get to run all over town shouting the company’s praises and gameday producer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in which you get to control the scoreboards and “execute all supporting elements of in-game presentation,” including music, live elements and special effects: cue fireworks!

 
Have a job to submit? Email us here.

Emplified takes the guesswork out of employee retention

Right now the workforce is experiencing a major shift as baby boomers begin to retire and Millennials move in. With this shift comes a disconnect between traditional top-down management and employees, which has led to turnover and lost productivity across the board. Pittsburgh-based startup Emplified is breaking on to the scene with its employee-led retention solution for businesses that brings workforce engagement into the modern era.
 
“There’s a huge disengagement in the marketplace,” says Emplified founder and CEO Alex Gindin. “Only 30 percent of employees in the knowledge workforce are actively engaged in the market. The largest portion of disengagement belongs to Millennials right now because companies don’t know how to work with them.”
 
Gindin founded Emplified on the belief that workforce engagement is not something that can be delegated from the top-down through surveys and periodic performance reviews. 
 
“[Workforce engagement] must be cultivated and nurtured from within the organization and driven from the bottom up,” says Gindin. “It needs to show the context and impact of individual efforts on the organization and clearly reinforce individual career paths. This is where Emplified comes in. We elevate employees above their routine for a few moments each day in order to let them capture and curate their professional development, business impact, personal accomplishments and individual needs.”
 
This seems like a tall order, bur Emplified provides this service through its secure online platform and facilitates regular dialogue with individual employees to uncover critical blind spots, navigate career paths and help them take control of their employment.
 
“We empower employees to manage up by amplifying their skills, accomplishments and needs and provide managers with critical insights needed to grow, shape and retain their people,” says Gindin.
 
Emplified is looking to work with companies in the small-medium business market in high volatility turnover fields like technology, sales, marketing and advertising.
 
“Most of those companies don’t have HR capabilities themselves, or if they do, HR is not their core expertise or core competency,” says Gindin.
 
Gindin first had the idea for Emplified about seven years ago when he managed a team of employees at Morgan Stanley in New York. As a young manager, he says it was hard to understand what his employees actually wanted in an economy where it was difficult to retain talent.
 
Using a model that employs a framework rooted in cognitive psychology, Emplified elevates people above their day-to-day routines or workloads to give them a perspective of where they actually are, where they are heading and their progress toward getting there.
 
As the former director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Pantherlab Works in the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Gindin has solid experience launching products and technologies and bringing them to the marketplace. Emplified recently completed its alpha phase and is streamlining the platform and addressing scalability this summer with plans to release a full-featured version in September.

Who's hiring in PGH? WESCO, Pitt, Robert Morris University and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week's roundup.

Recent job openings at the University of Pittsburgh include web application developer in the biomedical informatics department, a charitable relationship associate in the institutional advancement office, an admissions counselor, a network engineer and a network security engineer, a director of development in the law school, and a director of young alumni and student programs.
 
Alcoa is hiring an entry-level communications specialist to provide support to the communications department at the Alcoa Technical Center.
 
K&L Gates LLP is hiring a public relations and communications assistant to assist in developing and executing strategic media/public relations activities for the firm, including press releases, interview opportunities and bylined articles.
 
WESCO is hiring numerous positions, including global accounts manager, category analyst, project specialist, pricing coordinator, supplier relations manager, buyer, investor relations manager, senior accountant, financial services director, financial analyst, director of region operations, director of e-commerce, and human resources project manager.
 
Robert Half Technology is hiring a SQL database administrator, a systems engineer, a UI/UX designer and a software engineer.
 
Diamond Kinetics is hiring a lead software developer, a cross-platform mobile software engineer, a product and community manager and a digital and social marketing manager.
 
Expedient Data Centers, a managed IT solutions provider, is hiring a web application engineer.
 
BeCause LLC, a platform that connects audiences and helps them better understand one another through an interactive polling and commenting application, is hiring a chief technology officer/lead architect.
 
The Sprout Fund is hiring a program assistant for catalytic funding to contribute to the overall strength of the organization through the development and successful implementation of Sprout’s programmatic activities and its supported projects.
 
Robert Morris University is hiring a campaign director with a minimum of 5-7 years of experience in development, an associate programmer/programmer analyst, a benefits and payroll specialist and a digital marketing specialist.
 
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring an office coordinator for the Frick Environmental Center. 
 
Amizade Global Service-Learning is hiring a marketing and social media coordinator to begin work as soon as possible at The Global Switchboard.

Who's hiring in PGH? CCAC, Alcoa, American Heart Assoc. and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week's roundup.

The City of Pittsburgh is hiring a bicycle pedestrian coordinator. Candidates must have at least two years of full-time experience in urban planning, engineering, bicycle advocacy, public policy or a related field.
 
Management Science Associates is hiring numerous positions in client service, data management, data processing, operations management, human resources, and information technology. Visit the MSA career page for details.
 
Community College of Allegheny County is hiring a registrar, a bursar, a director of accounting, a director of support services, a career and technical education director, a dean of student development, a dean of academic affairs and an associate dean of academic affairs.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring a communications coordinator for the School of Drama. The communications coordinator is responsible for various tasks related to marketing and recruiting for the school. CMU is also hiring a robotics engineer and an electrical engineer for its National Robotics Engineering Center and a manager of communications for the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
 
UPMC is hiring a manager of media relations for its downtown Pittsburgh location. Five or more years of experience in media relations, journalism or communications is required.
 
Alcoa is hiring to fill numerous engineering positions at its Alcoa Center facility. See details on Alcoa career website.

U.S. Steel is hiring a communications program management analyst. This position will be supporting transformation, analytics, communications and continuous improvement initiatives relating to the Carnegie way.
 
The American Heart Association is hiring a foundation relations director. Day-to-day work includes strategic evaluation of potential donors to match donor funding interests with mission, donor relationship cultivation and correspondence, preparation of grant proposals/applications, collaborating with program staff on opportunities, and appropriate stewardship and follow-through. The Pittsburgh office is also hiring a quality and systems improvement director.
 
The Northside Leadership Conference is hiring a coordinator to serve as the liaison between the neighborhood groups of the conference and Allegheny General Hospital in the implementation of the Northside Partnership Agreement for the purpose of supporting and advancing the comprehensive revitalization of the Northside.
 
PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) is hiring a high-energy program coordinator to help the organization as it grows.
 
The Alzheimer’s Association is hiring an associate director of events to manage the overall events strategy throughout the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter. 
 
The Arthritis Foundation Great Lakes Region is hiring a community development manager to handle all aspects of special events fundraising including planning, execution and evaluation.

Have a job to submit? Email us here.

Who's hiring in PGH? Start-ups, universities and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week's roundup.
 
Conversant Labs is looking for software engineers to help build mobile apps for the blind and visually impaired. Developers will get to work with speech recognition and natural language processing technologies to create powerful applications that improve the lives of our users. Contact info@conversantlabs.com for more info.

Diamond Kinetics, a company actively commercializing a revolutionary new technology platform to improve player performance in both baseball and softball, is hiring a lead software developer (web and mobile) and a cross-platform mobile developer.
 
Rent Jungle, online apartment search engine, is hiring a Python developer to oversee day-to-day coding for the back-end systems that power the company's data-gathering systems.
 
Treatspace, an emerging healthcare IT startup in Pittsburgh, is hiring a project manager to provide clients with software implementation services. 
 
Murray Avenue Apothecary, Pittsburgh's premier compounding and wellness pharmacy, is hiring a clinical administrative assistant (certified pharmacy technician) to process and schedule consultations for clients, organize and execute "Lunch and Learn" events, process RX refills, enter patient data, manage inventory, develop and maintain working relationships with physicians throughout the city and region, and assist staff with other administrative tasks as they arise. 
 

The Environmental Charter School is looking for a creative and catalytic K-3 Arts Thinking Lab Fellow to co-teach alongside a science co-teacher. Successful candidates must be progressive minded, and embody a can-do spirit and work ethic. The school is also seeking a principal for its upper school. This position will support the infusion of culture within the educational experience at ECS, and lead faculty in building and evolving an innovative school in the city of Pittsburgh.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is seeking a full-time executive assistant to provide administrative support for the Executive Director. The candidate must be a professional, highly motivated and reliable individual with exceptional writing, communication, organizational and multi-tasking skills.

Conservation Consultants, Inc., located in the Southside, is hiring a part-time bookkeeper with at least five years of experience and an extensive knowledge of Quickbooks. Experience with nonprofits is a plus.   

Carlow University is hiring a web and social media content editor. The position requires a creative and engaging professional to handle a mix of responsibilities including social media, photography, video creation, writing, web wrangling, and out-of-the-box problem solving.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring an executive director of alumni relations and annual giving; an assistant director for the Tepper School of Business Masters Admissions Office; a computer services systems administrator; and a policy and compliance coordinator for its Computer Security Office.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring a marketing content coordinator for its Office of Admissions and Financial Aid; a web application developer for Pitt business programs; a development associate for the Eye & Ear Foundation; and a server systems manager for the NSABP Biostatistical Center.
 
Robert Morris University is hiring an annual giving specialist to oversee its phonathon program and other fundraising initiatives as well as a major gifts officer.
 
Point Park University is hiring a director of student life, a financial aid administrator, and an assistant registrar to manage registration database and provide technical support to students and faculty.

Coming & Going: Pittsburgh professionals on the move

Jackie Baker recently joined Bricolage as the theater’s new general manager. Baker was formerly the development manager at Kelly Strayhorn Theater. In addition to overseeing Bricolage’s day-to-day administration and the long-term healthy functionality of the organization, she is working to double the staff and usher in a new strategic plan.

Mayor William Peduto recently hired FBI Special Agent Stephen A. Bucar as Pittsburgh’s new Public Safety Director. Bucar, who was raised in Washington County, has overseen the analysis of information associated with domestic and international terrorism investigations for field offices across the United States as a supervisory special agent section chief in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division in Washington, D.C. He was also formerly an assistant special agent in charge of a branch within the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, the largest office of its kind in the nation.

C. Todd Gibson has recently joined the global law firm K&L Gates LLP as an investment management partner in its Boston and Pittsburgh offices. Gibson was formerly with Reed Smith LLP. Focusing his practice on international investment management and globally distributed fund products, Gibson advises clients such as U.S. and international investment managers, broker-dealers, hedge funds and private equity funds on regulatory compliance matters, investment management services, and the sale of pooled investment products across borders.

As special U.S. counsel to funds organized under the European Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities directive, he also advises on cross-border acquisitions of foreign asset managers and compliance with foreign laws and regulations.

Brad Stephenson recently joined Level Interactive/University Bound Agency as its Director of Strategic Accounts. Stephenson was previously the senior digital marketing manager at Philips Respironics. In his new position, Stephenson ensures marketers stay informed on the effectiveness of how their money is being spent.

Burns White LLC, a full-service law firm that provides corporate, litigation and consulting counsel to clients operating across a broad spectrum of industries nationwide, recently hired three new associates at its Pittsburgh office:

Matthew J. Glenn’s energy practice involves the conducting of research, review and preparation of due diligence and title curative measures, as well as the writing of certified title opinions for clients in the oil and gas industry. Glenn was formerly an abstractor at Turner Oil & Gas Properties.
 
Andrew W. Lawrence assists clients in the oil and gas industry with due diligence review, title curative measures and certified title opinions. Lawrence was formerly an abstractor at Definitive Energy Solutions LLC.
 
An experienced litigator and a trial attorney, Candace G. Ragin brings a diverse practice in civil and criminal law to the Transportation Group at Burns White. Ragin is an adjunct professor in the Sociology and Law Department at Saint Vincent College and was formerly an associate attorney for the Allegheny County Office of Conflict Counsel and an assistant solicitor in the City of Pittsburgh Law Department.

Do you have news to share about Pittsburgh professionals on the move? Submit to Pop City via email.

Art Institute of Pittsburgh alum works visual effects magic on new X-Men film

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new X-Men film X-Men: Days of Future Past, you are missing out on visual effects by Pittsburgh’s own Joseph A. Spano III. Spano, who received his bachelor’s degree in visual effects and motion graphics from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 2009, worked as senior compositor for Digital Domain on the film starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellan and Jennifer Lawrence.
 
Prior to his graduation from The Art Institute, Spano sold nearly all of his belongings in preparation for his cross-country move to Los Angeles. Determined to hit the ground running, he packed up his car and embarked on his journey the day after receiving his diploma. He’s since made himself at home in Hollywood with more than 29 films under his belt, including Iron Man 3, Wolverine, 42 and A Good Day to Die Hard. He's also worked on numerous  television productions, including True Blood, Behind the Candelabra, Mad Men and CSI.
 
Spano says the highlight of his career has been getting a job with Digital Domain, which was his “dream studio” in college. As part of the Digital Domain team, he worked on Iron Man 3, which was nominated for an Academy Award for its visual effects.
 
“A career in visual effects is interesting in that almost every day I have a new, unique challenge to face,” says Spano. “Specifically as a digital compositor, my job is at least 50 percent problem-solving.”
 
Spano is responsible for the final shot as it appears on screen. To do this, he combines the work from other departments like CG, Environments and FX, and is responsible for color corrections and green screen keys among other preparations. 
 
Spano says the visual effects work is a much heavier process than people tend to think. Things shot in front of a green or blue screen do not magically vanish. Spano says they spend sometimes hundred of hours to attain photo-real results.  
 
The technical work is just one aspect of the challenges Spano faces in his career.
 
“If I were to single out the absolute most challenging aspect, it would have to be the difficulty of leading a normal life while working,” he says. “We constantly have to move for work, often working 12- to 20-hour days, six or seven days per week. This starts to put a huge strain on your day-to-day life, as well as your social life."
 
Spano recently worked 47 consecutive days without a day off.
 
It may be exhausting, but Spano says he loves his career.
 
“I absolutely love knowing that my work is going to be around long after I am gone -- living on in these films.”

Who's hiring in PGH? The Parks Conservancy, C-leveled and more ...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
Burson-Marsteller’s Consumer and Brand Marketing team is searching for a client executive, a public relations professional with a minimum of one year of previous public relations work experience, to be an integral member of the account team and service the client through research, writing, program development and management, and day to day account administration. The global agency is also searching for a senior associate, a public relations professional with a minimum of six years of previous public relations work experience, that will be responsible for day-to-day client projects and/or events to ensure the quality of work meets the client’s objectives and provides value. This role will manage diverse internal teams, drive project deliverables, achieve deadlines and deliver outstanding results. Enthusiastic, tireless, passionate and driven people are encouraged to send a resume and cover letter indicating interest in either of these positions to Annette Capp at annette.capp@bm.com. No phone calls please.
 
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring a grants manager to handle all phases of the grants application and administration processes, from the identification of potential new sources of funding and proposals, writing and submitting the grant requests, ensuring compliance with grant requirements and preparing reports in a timely and accurate basis. The ideal candidate will have at least seven years of grant management and writing experience, including grants from foundations, corporations and government entities.

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, which is currently being developed on 460 acres along the airport corridor near Settler’s Ridge, is seeking a horticulture and facilities manager. The position is responsible for the construction of horticultural exhibits, and maintenance of living plant collections, garden buildings and infrastructure. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in horticulture, botany, natural science or a related field and at least five years of progressive experience in managing horticultural staff, preferably in a public garden.

First Insight is hiring a product marketing manager to develop, implement and maintain First Insight’s product line. The position is responsible for directing and performing all aspects of product development, product changes and product promotions including development procedures, specifying components, packaging and header design, product positioning, pricing, catalog and sell sheet copy, training aides and point of purchase merchandisers.

InRhythm, a fast growing, innovative technology company, is hiring a distributor support specialist. The position is responsible for providing ongoing personalized support and training of the InfoMetrics database program to client distributors and their staff.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring several interesting positions, including a director of marketing for Student Affairs Operations to develop and implement marketing strategies and initiatives for Conference & Event Services, Dining Services, Housing Services, and the Cohon University Center. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or a related field and a minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in a marketing role is required. CMU is also hiring a campus affairs financial manager to assist in providing financial data and analysis, communicating and assuring policy compliance, and facilitating colleagues' abilities to anticipate needs, identify potential problems, and forecast resource requirements.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring an assistant manager for its computing services department. This senior level technical assistant manager position reports to the director of system engineering involving analysis, planning, requirements, design, development, maintenance and testing of enterprise/ departmental system and services.
 
C-leveled is hiring an account executive to manage three to five company accounts by maintaining and directing client contact and managing client expectations to ensure client satisfaction. The ideal candidate will have two to five years of experience in managing accounts; agency experience preferred. 

Are you hiring? Send your job openings to Pop City at innovationnews@popcitymedia.com.

Highlights from Demo Day

On Tuesday, a crowd of about 500 people flocked to see demos by the current cohort of companies at Alphalab, which was recently ranked the sixth best accelerator in the country. This Demo Day also marked the debut of Alphalab Gear, a hardware and robotic startup accelerator. For the first time, the event was held at Stage AE to accommodate the ever-growing crowd, a testament to the excitement and momentum surrounding Pittsburgh innovation.
 
With so much talent in Pittsburgh, it’s no wonder Illana Diamond, managing director of Alphalab Gear, says it’s the mentorship and extensive alumni network that make Alphalab/Alphalab Gear standout from their counterparts. Indeed, in a survey led by MIT professor Yael Hochberg, entrepreneurs ranked Alphalab third in the nation for general mentorship and industry-specific knowledge.
 
Both Alphalab and Alphalab Gear are part of Innovation Works, the region’s largest seed stage investor. Investing in and providing business assistance to high-potential seed and early-stage tech companies in the Pittsburgh region, Innovation Works has made a name for itself as one of the nation’s most active seed investors.
 
While Innovation Works is certainly a major player in the Pittsburgh innovation scene, the city as a whole continued to outpace national averages in the amount of venture dollars invested in regional companies from 2009-13, according to a report by Ernst and Young and Innovation Works that was released earlier this spring. The report also points to the growing number of successful company exits as proof of Pittsburgh’s success as a hub for innovation.
 
Read on for highlights from the Demo Day presentations.
 
Last year, the United States threw away 40 percent of its food supply. FreshTemp, an Alphalab Gear company, aims to eliminate waste by making it easy to monitor and manage the temperature of perishable goods across the entire supply chain. Cloud-based Freshtemp automates temperature collection during production, transportation, and the storage of any product via state-of-the-art Bluetooth devices. The company is already working with some big names in the food industry, including Wendy’s and Popeyes.
 
What’s lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel? Carbon fiber. Just one problem, until now, manufacturing carbon fiber products has been cost prohibitive to only the aerospace and automotive industries. That’s where Alphalab Gear’s RapidTPC comes in. RapidTPC has developed a proprietary manufacturing process that enables consumer markets to automate the mass production of parts from composite materials – reducing both initial capital costs and production costs by 90 percent. Replacing materials with composites can reduce the weight of a product by 50 percent. The company is already working with a baby product company and plans to expand into the sporting goods industry in the future.

CDL Warrior, an Alphalab company, is a mobile platform for commercial truck drivers and fleets. It saves truckers time and increases productivity through tools that simplify mandatory logs that keep drivers compliant, thus avoiding costly fees and lost time on the road. The app also has a feature to quickly facilitate resolutions to long wait times and other events that delay drivers while sending automated, real-time alerts to their dispatch.

Who's hiring in PGH? Alcoa, Duquesne University, PULSE and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news and job openings via email.
 
Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
DICK’S Sporting Goods is hiring a community and corporate relations coordinator with three to five years of relevant experience to create, support, execute and evaluate community relations events, charitable programs and corporate giving strategies.
 
Alcoa is hiring an innovation and technology communications manager with at least 10 years of relevant experience. This newly created position will develop and drive a dynamic technology communications strategy and brand vision for Alcoa globally.
 
Conestoga-Rovers & Associates is hiring an environmental engineer with at least 10 years of environmental experience to manage projects, maintain budgets, oversee remedial system installation, conduct field activities, maintenance and operations.
 
Winchester Thurston School is hiring a director of eLearning to provide leadership, planning, and oversight of the school’s teaching and learning that is delivered, supported and enhanced through the use of electronic and/or digital technologies. 
 
Pittsburgh Council of Higher Education is searching for an executive director with seven to 10 years of experience in higher education to work to strengthen existing partnerships and to create new collaborative opportunities for PCHE's member institutions. The position will act as a spokes person for PCHE and promote and support other collaborative efforts for PCHE institutions through fundraising, proposal writing, program development, and joint sponsorship of academic and non-academic programming. 
 
Duquesne University is hiring an advancement communications coordinator to plan and execute a wide range of communications projects, including electronic and printed materials, feature articles, reports and other collateral for the Development, Alumni Relations and External Relations functions within the Division of University Advancement. 
 
Carlow University is hiring a web and social media content editor with at least three years of professional experience working in a web content development role or similar function.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring several exciting positions, including an associate director of Corporate Relations and Career Services at the Integrated Innovation Institute, an associate director of the Career Opportunities Center (Technology Careers) at the Tepper School of Business, a computer security information analyst at the Software Engineering Institute, a software developer and senior software developer at the Software Engineering Institute, a director for strategic initiatives and engagement in the Office of the Provost, and a data services librarian who has a demonstrated understanding of data curation and lifecycle management of data in an academic setting.
 
The University of Pittsburgh posted several interesting positions last week, including a director of fan engagement and new media with at least five years of relevant experience and an assistant director of media relations for the athletics office.
 
PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) is hiring a high-energy, part-time office administrator to coordinate office work and help support fundraising efforts for 20 hours per week. Cover letter, resume and salary requirements should be sent to ccooke@pulsepittsburgh.org by 5PM on June 6.

Who's hiring in PGH? Carnegie Library, Carlow University, Philips and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news and job openings via email.
 
Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.

Carnegie Library is hiring a teen services coordinator to provide system-wide leadership for the identification, planning, delivery and evaluation of innovative, responsive, high-quality programs, services and outreach activities for teens and young adults in Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh service areas and throughout Allegheny County.
 
Big Heart Pet Brands is hiring several positions, including senior buyer, application engineer II, software quality assurance manager, data architect, senior technologist, sourcing assistant and a business intelligence developer.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring an annual programs coordinator in Institutional Advancement and a temporary marketing manager for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.
 
Carlow University is hiring several positions, including a multimedia production specialist, web and cloud services applications analyst and an advancement data services manager.
 
MAYA Design’s Human Services Group is hiring a user experience architect with 7-10 years of experience and a chief information security officer with at least 10 years of experience.
 
Summa Technologies is hiring a sales lead development representative with a minimum of three years of information technology sales, telemarketing and/or lead development experience.
 
CyberCoders is hiring several positions, including a senior web development engineer, front end developer, Linux systems engineer and firmware engineer.
 
ThermoFisher Scientific is hiring a product services coordinator.
 
Philips is hiring a software engineer to design, implement and document high performance enterprise software applications that support and add value to Respironics’ ventilators and devices that treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
 
Bessemer Alliance is hiring a software engineer to work with their design and development team, take ownership of at least one aspect of the application’s infrastructure and help out elsewhere when needed.
 
LegalSifter is an early stage start-up based in Lawrenceville that is developing an innovative application to help organizations evaluate, analyze and store legal contracts. It is hiring a senior web development engineer who has experience deploying large, complex websites with significant traffic.
 
Highmark is hiring a director of IT to oversee and manage the client, sales and product suite of applications. The position supports three managers and between 60 to 80 application developers and will work to position the client/product technology platform for performance and growth with architectural enhancements and modernized applications. 
 
McKesson is hiring a senior software engineer with at least four years of experience for its Moon Township location.
 
Branding Brand, which powers mobile commerce sites and apps for over 200 of the world's leading retailers, including American Eagle Outfitters, Crate & Barrel, Ralph Lauren and Sephora, is hiring a director of app development. The ideal candidate has experience working with and managing highly skilled software developers, thrives in a rapid, high-energy environment and is up-to-date on the current and future direction of iOS and Android platforms. The best applicant will have experience and success in previous startups that have grown to large, established software companies. 
 

Who's hiring in PGH? The P-G, Casbah, Rhiza and more. . .

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news and job openings via email.
 
Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seeks a creative front-end web developer to work on data and data visualization projects for a new energy vertical, as well as assisting in newsroom-wide reporting projects. The core mission of this position will be on acquiring data and the creative, contextual display of information for a developing must-read energy site. 

Duquesne Light is hiring a SharePoint Architect with at least 10 years of experience with business information systems integration or custom business application design and development and at least seven years of experience with MS SharePoint Server development and infrastructure. Resumes can be sent to Lynn Palen at lpalen@duqlight.com.
 
Beyond Spots & Dots, a full-service advertising agency, is looking to hire a Drupal developer. Applicant must possess desire to work with Drupal modules, theming, distributions and content management, as well as programming skills in HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript to produce quality client websites.
 
Rhiza, a start-up technology company and developer of the award-winning Rhiza Analytics Platform, is hiring several positions, including software engineers, sales administrators and a front end user interaction designer.
 
The Mattress Factory is hiring a part-time accounting assistant with a knowledge of QuickBooks accounting software and at least one year of experience in an accounting or bookkeeping role or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience.
 
The Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh Development Office is hiring a prospect researcher to conduct and provide comprehensive donor research on major gift prospects for the museums’ development officers. The Carnegie Museum is also hiring a director of corporate and foundation relations with at least five years of nonprofit fundraising experience to develop strategies for raising funds from corporations and private, public, and corporate foundations and oversee the writing of fundraising communications.
 
Point Park University is hiring a print and communications services coordinator with at least two years of office experience.
 
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is hiring a regional vice president of operations to develop, implement, and assess council strategies for delivery of a nationally consistent leadership development experience for girls that includes program, membership and volunteer development within the council’s 27 counties of Western PA.
 
Animal Rescue League is hiring a Wildlife Center volunteer manager to provide professional staff support to volunteers and acts as the link between employees and other volunteers
 
Jewish Federation Volunteer Center is hiring a program associate with strong programmatic and entrepreneurial skills to assist the center’s director in program development, execution and marketing.
 
Casbah, a Mediterranean restaurant in Shadyside, is looking for a talented, experienced pastry chef  to lead the team in creating a delicious variety of desserts to compliment Executive Chef Eli Wahl's menu.

Who's hiring in PGH? Zipcar, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, ModCloth and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news via email.

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is hiring a grant writer with five years of related experience. The grant writer is responsible for preparing proposals for submission to potential funding sources to obtain funds for ongoing or special Food Bank projects.
 
Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania is hiring a membership director with strong marketing, organization and communication skills. The membership director is responsible for the development and implementation of plans to increase and retain girl and adult membership
 
Temple Sinai, a Reform synagogue in Squirrel Hill, is hiring an event and venue coordinator. The position is responsible for coordinating events and scheduling logistics for a large volume of meetings, classes, services, life cycle events and private rentals.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring a variety of positions, including a Communications Services web developer with five to six years of experience and an operations manager to coordinate the day-to-day activities of the Latin American Studies Association Congress at the University Center for International Studies.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring a College of Engineering communications manager, an administrative coordinator for the Human Resources office, and a temporary one-year full-time senior systems/software engineer to design systems and software, and code, integrate and maintain new and existing software and scripts for the University Libraries’ UNIX-based information retrieval systems.
 
ModCloth is hiring a senior software engineer, preferably with Ruby/Ror experience. ModCloth is also seeking senior Java and/or Python engineers to tackle complex and challenging development tasks.
 
Zipcar is hiring a marketing associate to focus on the acquisition of new members through a variety of channels and tactics, including: university marketing, Zipcar for Business, sponsorships and experiential events.
 

Who's hiring in PGH? Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pitt and more...

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news via email.

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
Desmone & Associates, an architectural firm located in Lawrenceville, is hiring a self-motivated marketing manager to provide leadership for all firm marketing and public relations activities.
 
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is hiring a communications associate with at least three years of professional experience and a communications manager with at least five years of professional experience.
 
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is looking to hire a program coordinator. PASA works to improve the economic viability, environmental soundness and social responsibility of food and farming systems across Pennsylvania and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. As one of the largest statewide sustainable farming organization in the United States, PASA conducts programs that include farm-centered education, regional marketing and business support, consumer outreach, farmer advocacy and community building strategies. The successful candidate will be an important team player in advancing this overall mission.
 
The University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business is seeking a qualified associate director of career and academic advising to assist full and part-time MBA students and alumni with developing and refining a comprehensive strategy for securing an internship and/or full-time employment. Ideal candidates will have at least six year of relevant experience.
 
Carnegie Science Center is hiring a development manager with at least three years of success as a development professional and excellent written, verbal and interpersonal skills. Responsibilities include overall coordination of development-related special events, including budget and resource management; enhancing existing relationships with donors; generating reports and proposals; and working cooperatively as part of the overall development team. Application materials will only be accepted online through the employer’s website, carnegiemuseums.org/hr.
 
Carnegie Museum of Art is hiring several positions, including a construction and facilities coordinator to provide support for the administration and execution of all aspects of construction-related activities associated with the museum's temporary exhibitions, major permanent collection installations, and special projects.

Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s Technology Department seeks a software systems administrator to oversee all aspects of the Institute’s software inventory, licenses and server farm. Ideal candidates will have a bachelor's degree and four to six years of relevant experience in the IT field. Supervisory experience required. Application materials will only be accepted online through the employer’s website, carnegiemuseums.org/hr.
 
Dress for Success is hiring a branch/development coordinator; the ideal candidate has retail, job training or social services management experience. Dress for Success is a nonprofit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.
 
ACTION-Housing Inc. is hiring a program manager for the One Stop Energy Shop, which works to improve and preserve existing multi-family affordable housing in Western PA through energy performance auditing, energy and water retrofits, and educational services. Candidates should have a bachelor's degree in sustainability or business and a minimum of five years of full-time work experience in building performance and/or sustainability field; master's degree preferred. ACTION-Housing Inc. empowers people to build more secure and self-sufficient lives through the provision of decent, affordable housing, essential supportive services, asset building programs, and educational and employment opportunities.
 
Conversant Labs, which builds applications tailored to the specific needs of the visually impaired, is hiring an iOS Engineer who is deeply curious about speech recognition technologies. Candidates should express interest via the company’s website.
 
American Eagle is hiring several positions, including an associate marketing manager to drive sales and effectiveness of AE Rewards and AE Credit Card programs through solid execution of strong marketing plans, an associate inventory planner with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, supply chain/logistics, finance, or related field, an art director with at least 8 years of professional graphic/web design experience.
 
Dick’s Sporting Goods is hiring a manager of marketing-planning with at least five years of professional experience to manage the integration of category marketing plans for direct mail, email, promotional digital marketing, TV and radio.
 
Writer: Amanda Leff Ritchie

Who's hiring in PGH? The Sprout Fund, Carnegie Museums, Venture Outdoors and more....

A note from the editor: Pop City will soon launch a regular series featuring recent hires and departures in Pittsburgh. Submit your hiring news via email.


Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
GTECH Strategies is hiring a membership and relationship manager with excellent communication skills and a minimum of two years of experience in the development of corporate fundraising partnerships and sponsorship proposals.
 
The Sprout Fund is looking for a business manager with a strong desire to work with diverse communities to leverage Sprout resources to create change in the Pittsburgh region.
 
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is looking for a director of science education and research and event sales administrator.
 
Venture Outdoors is hiring a director of membership and annual giving and a public program administrator who are passionate about the organization’s mission of connecting people to the outdoors.
 
Gateway Rehabilitation Center is hiring a high-energy and entrepreneurial director of development who demonstrates a proven track record in building strong relationships with supporters and meeting fundraising goals.
 
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, opening this summer, is hiring a chief operating officer and administrative assistant to support its mission to provide inspiration and education about the quality of life that can result from teaching people how to live in harmony with the earth.
 
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is hiring an executive assistant (Andy Warhol Museum), assistant director of membership, education department administrative manager, and a part-time communications specialist (Natural History).
 
Carnegie Robots, a spinoff of Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center, is hiring a software engineer and has several openings for technical associates and software associates.
 
The National Aviary is hiring a marketing associate with at least two years of experience. The marketing associate’s responsibilities will include advertising, print production, public relations, social media, web site management, direct mail, promotions, signage projects, and special event and promotion.
 
The Senator John Heinz History Center is hiring a development officer with at least five years of nonprofit development/fundraising experience.

The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), a professional organization located in RIDC Park West, is seeking candidates for multiple positions, including a chief executive officer to ensure the organization’s future success and fulfillment of the mission to promote excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care. In addition, ONS is looking for a staff editor for the publishing department, a digital marketing coordinator, web developers, project managers, a director of development, and a customer service representative. Learn more on the ONS careers website.
 

Are you hiring in Pittsburgh? Email Pop City with links to job postings.
 
 Writer: Amanda Leff Ritchie
 

Who's hiring in PGH? IBM Watson Group, MARC USA, Jawbone and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.
 
Mayor Bill Peduto's office is looking to fill three servePGH 2014-15 AmeriCorps VISTA positions to work on a variety of service initiatives designed to impact Pittsburgh neighborhoods and youth: community & youth engagement associate, neighborhood service associate and sustainabiltiy service associate. Learn more online.

Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh works to reduce the literary gap by providing more than 20,000 of the city’s most economically disadvantaged children with access to self-selected books to create positive environments that motivate children to develop a lifelong love of reading and engage families in reading in the home. The organization is looking to fill two positions, Storymobile co-director and a Fall 2014-15 AmeriCorps KEYS position as children’s literacy outreach coordinator.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is looking to fill several interesting positions, including leadership coach of the Tepper School of Business, manager of workplace safety and Professional Development Services program coordinator.
 
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring a director for its Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. In addition, Pitt is looking to hire a Network Operations Center manager, network engineer with at least five years of experience, donor relations coordinator and an alumni coordinator.

ANSYS, Inc., an engineering simulation software developer that has been recognized as one of the world's most innovative and fastest-growing companies by BusinessWeek and FORTUNE magazines, is hiring a marketing communications manager with at least 10 years of experience as a writer in a technical business setting and at least five years of management experience.
 
IBM Watson Group is hiring 18 positions, including software developers, software test specialists, UX designer, and front end developer. View all opportunities online.
 
MARC USA is hiring an interactive web developer who is proficient in XHTML/CSS, JavaScript, jQuery and has a working knowledge of Photoshop and Dreamweaver.
 
AIReS Corporate Relocation Services, which was named to the 2013 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing independently owned businesses in the U.S., is hiring a Java developer with at least four years of experience.
 
Jawbone, which has developed human-centered wearable technology and audio devices for more than 10 years, is looking to hiring a Java applications developer with 3-5 years of object oriented software development experience.
 
DICK’S Sporting Goods is hiring a mobile product manager for its ecommerce department with at least three years of experience in mobile product management and product development for a consumer website.
 
Writer: Amanda Leff Ritchie

Who's hiring in PGH? Summa Technologies, Heinz, 4moms and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.

CEI is hiring .NET developers/architects, mobile developers, web developers, and SharePoint developers/architects. Interested applicants should contact Laura Oblich at loblich@ceiamerica.com.
 
Carney_Co., a marketing and technology firm in Greensburg, is hiring a full-time designer/art director and full-time backend software engineer. Interested applicants should contact Caroline Moore at caroline.moore@carneyplusco.com.
 
Heinz is hiring an execution specialist and two management positions, a warehousing cost and strategy manager with at least five years of experience and a supply chain manager with at least four years of experience.
 
ThermoFisher Scientific is hiring a digital designer with at least five years of broad graphic design experience and a senior content quality assurance specialist with at least five years of experience in a digital marketing content management and quality assurance role.
 
UPMC Shadyside is hiring a flexible full-time MRI Tech I to help its Shadyside and Hillman Cancer Center locations. This position will work varying days and shifts including weekends and holidays as needed by the department. 
 
Logix Guru is looking to fill several positions, including information security analyst (six-month contract) and project manager (one-year contract).
 
Summa Technologies is hiring a director of delivery operations to provide leadership in our consulting resource planning and delivery management initiatives and a mobile & application modernization solution architect.
 
4moms, a high-tech baby gear company, is looking to hire a user experience designer with at least three years of project leadership experience to join its Pittsburgh team. The user experience designer will lead efforts to integrate the problem-solving discipline of UX Design to deliver intuitive and cohesive experiences across the brand’s consumer touch points.
 
DICK’S Sporting Goods recently posted openings for several positions in its corporate office, including senior designer – store environment, systems analyst, compensation analyst, associate buyer – camping, senior network technician with at least three years of experience, and international logistics analyst.  
 
American Eagle Outfitters is hiring several UX positions, including a UX lead,  UI engineer, and UX architect.

Writer: Amanda Leff Ritchie

Who's hiring in PGH? MAYA Design,Phipps Conservatory and more...

Each week, Pop City brings you exciting job opportunities in Pittsburgh. Read on for this week’s roundup.

Business & Finance
TIAA-CREF is hiring a wealth management advisor.
 
Morgan Stanley is hiring a regional business development manager with 7+ years of industry experience.
 
Education
The University of Pittsburgh is hiring to fill many positions, including an instructional technology support specialist, a graduate enrollment manager, an on-campus recruitment coordinator, and a Latin American Studies Association 
operations manager.
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring to fill many positions, including a director of career services and alumni relations for Civil and Environmental Engineering department, an assistant vice president for media relations, and an information security analyst at the Supercomputing Center.
 
Nonprofits
Sarah Heinz House, a Boys & Girls Club, is looking for a director of business operations and performance management.
 
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh is looking for a site-based enrollment and match support specialist to coordinate one-to-one mentoring programs in partnership with area schools and corporations.
 
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is looking for an advancement coordinator
 
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc. is looking for an event sales supervisor.
 
The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh is now hiring two temporary full-time event managers for Pittsburgh Pride. Send cover letter and resume to jobs@pittsburghpride.org to apply.
 
Tech
MAYA Design is looking to fill five positions, including senior designer in the Visual Design Group, software design engineer, senior design researcher and interaction designer, systems administrator, and virtual interaction designer.
 
YinzCam, the leading mobile developer for sports-team apps in the country, is hiring several positions, including mobile developers, programmers, and .NET/web/JavaScript developers. Apply at jobs@yinzcam.com.
 
Atmosferiq, East Liberty based startup that helps small businesses make smarter marketing and advertising decisions, is hiring software developers with Ruby or Rails experience.
 
Confluence, a global leader in investment data management automation, is hiring several positions, including global software development director, project manager, and technical writer.

Safaba Translation Solutions, Inc. is looking to fill several positions, including director of marketing, director of research and development, research scientist, and two senior software engineer positions. 

Other
A. Merante Contracting, Inc. is looking to fill many positions, including controller, project manager/estimator, administrative assistant, concrete construction foreperson, and others as listed on its website.

 
Have hiring news? Send details to innovationnews@popcitymedia.com.
 
Writer: Amanda Leff Ritchie

A sense of play: Two Pittsburgh toy startups draw attention at national convention

It’s not easy to make a splash amid the more than 1,000 exhibitors at the American International Toy Fair, the giant trade show that ran earlier this month in New York City.
 
But two Pittsburgh startups, both launching highly innovative products marrying technology with play -- and both with connections to Carnegie Mellon and the AlphaLab accelerator -- drew a lot of buzz.

"This is definitely a David and Goliath story of startups grabbing attention from Hasbro, Disney, Leap Frog, etc.," says Terri Glueck of Pittsburgh's Innovation Works
 
PieceMaker Technologies is developing self-service, 3-D printing kiosks for toy stores. The "factory in a store" allows customers to personalize about 100 designs for toys, jewelry and other small gifts. Once they’ve designed their item, an employee produces it at the 3-D printing station in about 20 minutes. Suggested retail will range from $5 to $10.
 
Founded in 2013 by Carnegie Mellon engineering graduate students Arden Rosenblatt and Alejandro Sklar, Piecemaker is getting ready to test the concept at two Pittsburgh locations of S.W. Randall Toyes & Giftes this spring and plans an expanded, 10-store pilot for the holiday season.
 
The prototype on display at the toy fair drew press, including stories on CNBC and in Make magazine, "tons of signups" and interest from Disney for Disneyland locations, reports Rosenfeld.
 
Rosenfeld and Sklar build the kiosks in their quarters at AlphaLab Gear; they are among the first cohort of companies at the hardware and robotics accelerator.
 
Meanwhile, Digital Dream Labs has developed a system that allows children to control videogames by rearranging puzzle pieces. They are ramping up to start production this summer.
 
As grad students at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, Peter Kinney, Justin Sabo and Matt Stewart collaborated on an interactive exhibit for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The dreamTableTop is still in use in Pittsburgh, and the company has since produced three more for other children’s museums.
 
When they launched their company in 2012 and pitched to AlphaLab, the advice they received was that they needed to broaden their market. Drawing on the museum exhibit, Digital Dream Labs created its Ludos system -- a plastic tray that connects to a computer or device, 22 toy blocks and game software.
 
When Ludos starts shipping in late summer, it will be bundled with "Cork the Volcano," a game aimed at children six-and-older that teaches logic and sequencing. Other games for kids as young as four are in development.
 
Stewart says the company has a healthy number of pre-orders and several promising large contracts thanks to the toy show. The company currently employs four people (the three co-founders and artist Aaron Clark, a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh) and Stewart says the goal is to quadruple in-house staff by the end of 2015. Digital Dream Labs has outgrown its digs at AlphaLab and is looking for expanded space in Pittsburgh.

This piece originally appeared in our sister publication, Keystone Edge on Feb. 27.

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Pop City, Siemens and WTAE-TV

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

Pop City is looking for a new editor to cover the arts and culture beat for the publication’s Pop Filter section. The new editor should have his or her finger on the pulse of the local arts community and a keen awareness of the role that art and culture play in the continuing revitalization of Pittsburgh. This is a part-time position ideal for freelancers. For more information contact erin@popcitymedia.com
 
Siemens Building Technologies in Bridgeville is hiring a senior sales executive. The ideal candidate will manage and grow a territory or group of accounts. The position requires a Bachelors degree in engineering, business or a similar field with four to six years of related work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and work experience. 
 
WTAE-TV is hiring a news photographer and editor with two years of experience.
 
Askesis Development Group of UPMC is hiring a full-time marketing project manager to help support the Askesis Pennsylvania Department for its downtown Pittsburgh location. Askesis Development Group, a subsidiary of UPMC Insurance Services, is a software development firm that addresses the specialized needs of the behavioral health industry.
 
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review seeks an experienced investigative reporter to join its staff who is comfortable addressing topics on a regional, state, national and international level.  Candidates should have at least seven years of strong reporting experience.
 
VisitPITTSBURGH is recruiting for On-Call employees in their Convention Services Department.  Positions needed include Registrars, PittsburghHosts, Cashiers, and Information Table Clerks and the pay rate is $10-11.75 an hour depending. Email resumes to hr@visitpittsburgh.com

Have hiring news? Email erin@popcitymedia.com and send the career links.

Meet the new Thrill Mill companies

Big data tools that identify the college courses you need to land your first job. A better dual-laptop. An online music site that wants to be the Craigslist of music.
 
These are among the 13 new startups that moved in to Thrill Mill’s accelerator space this month, full of promise and big entrepreneurial ideas.

Thrill Mill CEO Bobby Zappala couldn’t be more excited about the new group.
 
“The idea is for this to be a growing community, not one that turns over,” says Zappala. “Eventually we want to create an alumni hall so anyone can pop your head in anytime. It keeps the energy going in the space.”
Meet the teams:
 
Because is a third party commenting system for online media sites that encourages civil and on-topic conversations. Two Pittsburgh brothers, Nick and TJ Santillo, are behind the idea.
 
BricoMama wants to be the place where property owners and contractors find labor that meets the parameters of any job. The platform is geared toward both the contractor and consumers, allowing both to input what each are looking for and locate the best person for the job.
 
Campusbuck.com is a web and mobile-based promotional marketing solution for small business owners in college towns, like ours, in helping them to connect with and offer vouchers to the student community. Two MBA grads from IUP are behind the startup, which has already begun to generate revenue.
 
CCChampions is a nonprofit that gives children with cancer an opportunity to meet and develop friendships with professional athletes. The platform, developed by Sidney Kushar, was launched nationally in Pittsburgh in 2013 through the Steelers and the Pirates. So far it has served more than 300 kids.
 
Fittsburgh wants to make Pittsburgh a healthy place to live. Brothers Joe and Anthony Vennare have created a sustainable model that allows people to take care of themselves, from box lunches to corporations.
 
Kreide, founded by Stephanie Kunkel and Katie Imler, provides NCAA member institutions with educational compliance materials. The idea is to navigate the complexities of the system to help athletic staff and athletes in navigating the rules and preventing infractions.
 
LUV Water is creating a self-sustainable, sophisticated water purification device that uses UV LEDs to clean the water.
 
Smart tools from MedZen want to make the electronic compliance system for primary care physicians more user-friendly. The idea is to reduce the burden of documentation while ensuring compliance, reducing overhead, improving efficiency and enhancing the quality of doctor-patient interaction.
 
MeshNet is designing a big data platform that will optimize the interaction between students, educators, and employers and help people (especially students) use software to navigate and make better life decisions such as what courses to take to land a job.
 
Conceived by a group of Pitt grads, it won the Pitt Big Idea Competition and was the grand-prize winner in the most recent Business Bout.
 
MIX is developing a specialty salad restaurant concept for the East Liberty area. The idea is to create a creative dining experience focused on providing access to fast and health-conscious meal options.
 
PittsburghBeats.com wants to be the craigslist of music. Developed by Solomon Ilochi, a Duquesne freshman, it’s an online music distribution company that specializes in the promotion of local talent. Users may sign up, upload, share, and eventually sell their works. Users will also be able to create custom merchandise and sell tickets to their shows.
 
Portal offers premier hardware solutions through the creation of a dual laptop, an attachable mobile workstation that provides additional USB ports, extending battery life and adds an equally sized secondary screen that can be conveniently hidden while not in use.
 
TameraOnline, being developed by Tamera Szijarto, a native of the Philippines who is attending Katz Business School, is looking to build a scalable model to bring cosmetic products to the international marketplace.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Bobby Zappala, Thrill Mill

Yahoo and CMU a potent force for the future of mobile technologies

Yahoo and CMU have joined forces in the development of a new generation of consumer applications for mobile technologies.
 
The collaboration between a tech company and university is the first of its kind in the country, says Justine Cassell, director of CMU’s Human Computer Institute.
 
CMU’s reputation as a powerhouse in the areas of computer science research and machine learning and Yahoo’s mobile technology databanks will generate not only new technologies but jobs for the region.
 
The five-year-partnership is estimated to be worth $10 million. It gives CMU researchers access to Yahoo’s experimental mobile software data in the creation of new products and technologies.
 
In return, Yahoo gains access to human resources at CMU, says Cassel. Yahoo plans on hiring scientists, researchers and practitioners in the area of machine learning and computer interaction as a result of the deal.
 
“They know CMU is stellar in these areas and by many metrics the best,” says Cassell. “This is a way for them to partner with faculty and students to see who is aligned with their interests.”
 
Dubbed Project InMind, the program includes the creation of a Yahoo-sponsored fellowship program at CMU that will provide financial and research support for computer science students and faculty.
 
Yahoo is focused on personalization, the primary focus of the collaboration. In the future, smartphones will predict where you will be driving later in the day and send you information on how to reserve a table at a nearby restaurants, says Cassell.
 
Or your mobile might remind you to re-subscribe for a piece of software on a set date and will increasingly do so without violating your privacy and giving specific access to your data, she adds.
 
The first two awardees are a computer scientist who is looking at how to better target and tailor news deliveries to meet people’s interest. A second researcher is developing usable privacy metrics.
 
CMU will have ownership over all intellectual property created by CMU but Yahoo will own anything developed with the company and will be able to license property owned by CMU.
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Justine Cassel, CMU
 
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? American Eagle, MWCDC and startups

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.
 
American Eagle’s corporate office on the South Side is hiring for ten positions. The national clothing retailer is actively seeking: an art director; analyst for testing and marketing strategies research; assistant buyer, assistant corporate secretary, manager of development operations, manager of quality control, merchandise planner, senior accountant and senior analyst. AE is also looking for a merchandising intern.
 
lontank, an interactive hardware and software developer on Penn Avenue, is hiring for three positions: interactive technician, studio manager and lead developer.
 
The Mount Washington Community Development Corp. (MWCDC) is looking for its next executive director to lead the community development nonprofit.
 
Touchtown is looking for a “top-notch” senior software engineer to build a new product line for the senior living industry.
 
The American Red Cross in Pittsburgh is hiring a communication specialist with three to five years of experience.
 
Allegheny Intermediate Unit, part of Pennsylvania’s public education system, is currently seeking qualified candidates for various teaching, teacher’s aide, and personal care assistant positions throughout the Allegheny County. 
 
The AIU also has immediate openings for substitute custodians, job coaches and a virtual social studies course facilitator. 

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links!

Writer: Deb Smit

Looking for a job in tech or IT? What you need is your own personal talent agent

Job seekers are demanding a revolution when it comes to finding the next great job, says Eric Harvey. So who wouldn’t want their own personal agent to lead the charge?
 
Harvey is founder and CEO of YourTalentAgents.com, a startup that wants to be the eHarmony of the job world, matching specific job seekers with employers through recruiters. 
 
YTA works with what he calls “the passive segment” of the job-seeking population, those with careers in engineering and IT who tend to not take an aggressive approach when seeking a career move.  
 
Recruiting companies cater to the 20 percent of job seekers who are actively seeking employment, says Harvey. The other 80 percent, those who are more laid back in their career approach, tend to be overlooked.
 
“The beauty of our model is we give them (passive seekers) a voice and a vision,” he says. “It allows them to passively look for a job without dealing with the hassle of recruiters, phone calls and emails.
 
“The magic of our system is we are building technology that improves their experience,” he adds. “In the future, everyone will have a personal talent agent.” 
 
YTA is starting small and focusing initially on Pittsburgh companies and jobs. The platform targets those looking to work in the tech space—engineers and IT people. As it rolls out, YTA will be replicated in other markets for other professions.
 
The company has offices in the Riverside Center for Innovation and has a team of 20 talent agents, including interns and volunteers.
 
“The cool thing for us is the general population will have someone dedicated to their career search from cradle to grave,” he says. “It will demystify the job search.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Eric Harvey, YTA
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? AquaTech, ReedSmith, UpTo, Portabeer and more

Looking for work? Each week Pop City reports on the latest company hiring news.
 
AquaTech in Canonsburg, providing clean water tech for the industrial sector, has five openings: buyer, human resources manager, project engineer, project manager and welder.
 
Pittsburgh law firm Reed Smith is hiring a legal director coordinator to work with the marketing department on legal directories.

Federated Investors, a global investment manager, has several openings at the downtown Pittsburgh headquarters and Warrendale location.  Positions range from Internal sales associate, IMO analyst to senior Java programmers and Oracle and SQL database administrators.

UpTo, pop-up marketing, design and public relations firm, is gearing up for its 2014 season and is looking for freelance designers and writers.
 
NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania seeks a program manager to direct and support its Leadership Development Program. The program seeks to empower emerging leaders in low-income, disinvested communities with the necessary skills to advance community-driven change.
 
The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation is expanding its team with two new positions: an economic development program coordinator and a communications and outreach coordinator.
 
Pittsburgh-based Industry Weapon has four openings: an educational services instructor, inside new business account executive, account manager and an HTML 5 developer.  
 
Pittsburgh Startup Webkite is looking for a sales and business development representative to assist in a dynamic new sales effort.  
 
PortaBeer—a draft beer systems for beer drinkers on the go—is expanding and hiring. Word is that big news is forthcoming about this Pittsburgh startup, but until its official release the company is looking for a sales rep.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? A few life sciences companies, PNC, Safaba and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
BlueBelt Technologies, a Pittsburgh developer of robotic surgical tools, is planning for major growth in 2014. The company has announced hiring for 25 new positions this year. The company is currently looking for a software development research engineer and program manager.   
 
PNC Investments has openings for six people in Pittsburgh. Positions range from investment services associates to consultants and financial advisors.
 
Neuro-Kinetics, Inc. a small but fast-growing medical device company, is seeking software and mechanical engineers. 
 
Safaba in Squirrel Hill, on the forefront of language translation technology, is on the lookout for a research scientist and software engineers.
 
Pittsburgh online ticketing company ShowClix is hiring an account manager and software engineer. There are several internships available as well in account services, software engineering, sales and marketing.
 
University of Pittsburgh’s Pitt Magazine is hiring a medical editor and writer. A master’s degree is required.
 
The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural history is hiring a director of visitor services, a highly enthusiastic person able to manage, develop and support the visitor experience.
 
The MEMS Industry Group is hiring a marketing and web associate who can creatively design and execute web marketing and advertising campaigns. The MEMS group is the trade association to promote the micro electrical mechanical systems industry.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Pittsburgh marketing news roundup--acquisitions, mergers and expansions

And now the news on Pittsburgh marketing companies. First up, Campos Inc.
 
A.J. Drexler, former president and lead strategist at Big Picture Communications, has assumed ownership and management of Campos Inc., a firm founded and run by Yvonne Campos for more than 28 years.
 
The Campos name will remain. Drexler, a champion of well-executed market research, says Campos will continue to move in the direction of marketing strategy, research and data analytics. In addition, Drexler acquired Direct Feedback, a former competitor with offices in Station Square, and has integrated the firm into Campos. Direct Feedback specialized in qualitative research and focus group work.
 
Since the acquisition, Campos has hired four people, three from Direct Feedback and a new marketing strategist. Drexler’s message to the rest of the agency community? Campos is not in the business to compete with other agencies.
 
“We will do the strategy work up to a creative brief, but will go no further,” she says. “We are all about marketing planning and strategy all the time.
 
Campos will remain at the firm for another three years. “Our goal has always been to find the story, ask what’s the impact,” she says. “It’s not data for data’s sake but how we can use it to make better decisions.”
 
Portfolio Creative, a creative staffing and recruitment firm based in Columbus, Ohio, has opened an office in East Liberty. The firm specializes in recruiting creative talent for marketing firms, both full-time and freelance work for long and short term projects.
 
Not to be confused as an advertising or design firm, Portfolio Creative instead focuses on locating strong talent in the areas of marketing, creative advertising and graphic design, says Kristen Harris, COO and co-founder.
 
“Pittsburgh has a huge creative community,” she says. “We looked at a lot of cities and saw so much activity here. No one here is doing what we do, helping creative people to find one another.”
 
Founded in 2005, Portfolio Creative has been an Inc. 500|5000 fastest growing firm for the past four years. The office is located at 6101 Penn Avenue and is managed by Katie Speers.

Pittsburgh-based advertising agency Garrison Hughes moved this month into new 7,200 square foot offices the week that will double the firm’s original footprint. The new digs are on the second floor of the First & Market Building in downtown Pittsburgh. Employment has grown to 23.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Campos + Portfolio Creative

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Thar Geothermal, 4moms, mullen and more

4moms in the Strip District has openings for 15+ in several areas. The robotic baby equipment maker is seeking corporate, customer, engineering, IT and marketing support.
 
mullen in the Strip District is seeking an assistant media planner/ buyer to assist in day-to-day media activity on assigned campaigns and clients.
 
Metro Recruiting in Wexford is looking for a director of web content for its online publishing and advertising company. The ideal candidate will have experience in strategically shaping and managing business opportunities, as well as knowledge of SEO and Google Analytics.
 
Wombat Securities in Oakland is hiring a digital marketing manager to create effective digital marketing programs that improve awareness of Wombat Securities.
 
Thar Geothermal seeks a entry-level mechanical engineer for the firm, which designs develops and markets cost-effective heat pump technology and systems.
 
Avere Systems on the North Side is looking for an online marketing administrator, a technical role responsible for maintaining accurate tracking of leads and data as well as conducting research and procuring contracts to supplement the existing database.
 
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is seeking part-time, self-starter who will represent the Symphony in their local community.  The idea is to increase ticket sales to Symphony performances at Heinz Hall from September to June.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Openings in energy, gaming, design, law, real estate and beer

Aquion Energy is ramping up for the production of its new age battery storage units, which can only mean hiring. The manufacturer has numerous openings, primarily in engineers.
 
Eighteen positions are posted in Pittsburgh, Belle Vernon and Mt. Pleasant: battery design engineers, commercial product managers, environmental health and safety manager, production supervisors, test manager, manufacturing engineers, product engineers and a test manager.
 
This week the company received a share of $3.6 million in federal funding for a clean-energy project underway with an Israeli company.
 
Pittsburgh-based Schell Games is on the move to bigger space in Station Square. Schell currently has seven openings and internships: art director, game designers, engineering manager, gameplay programmer and more.
 
“Hiring plans are not set in stone, but it wouldn't be crazy to think we would add 5-10 people in the next 12 months or so,” says Jake Witherell at Schell.
 
Clark Hill Thorp Reed is hiring an associate in its corporate and real estate finance practice group. 
 
BEA, Inc. of Belgium, makers of automatic door sensor technology, is looking for a bilingual (Spanish/English) inside sales rep. Pittsburgh is the headquarters of Bea’s American operation.
 
Three Rivers Waterkeeper is looking for a new executive director, someone with experience with Quickbooks, WordPress and Constant Contact or other email and data management systems. 
 
Landesberg Design is on the hunt for a mid- to senior-level designer. The position requires three to ten years experience, basically someone who is a design thinker and doer. Send a resume or bio plus sampling of work to gainful@landesbergdesign.com
 
Prudential Preferred Realty, a major real estate company in Pittsburgh, is hiring new and experienced real estate agents. Training and scholarships are available for interested candidates.

Portabeer, a Pittsburgh startup and makers of a patent-pending portable keg system, is hiring a sales associate. 

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links!
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh for the new year? Niche, GNC, Songwhale and more

Happy 2014! Do you know where your next job is? Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.
 
Niche, formerly known as College Prowler, is expanding from 20 to 28 employees in the next six months. The firm provides in-depth reviews and analysis on colleges and K-12 schools. Niche is looking for business analysts, database engineers, a sales director, product managers, software engineers and web marketing specialists and analysts.
 
GNC, the nutritional supplement company with corporate offices in downtown Pittsburgh, has at least eight positions open in the region for everything from web and applications developers to merchandise managers, facilities administrators, financial services and marketing.
 
Victory Media in Corapolis, creators of marketplaces and publications that connect the military and civilian worlds, is hiring: digital product manager, web developer, national account executive, marketing director and QA analyst.
 
Songwhale is seeking a qualified part-time English to Japanese translator. The desired candidate must have native-level fluency in both Japanese and English (reading, writing and speaking) and great communication and organizational skills. Send resumes to info@songwhale.com 

Human Capital Consultants, a human resources and recruiting firm, has at least six openings in Pittsburgh for engineers, sales reps, recuitors and more. 

Avere Systems, which moved in new offices on the North Shore, has openings for engineers.

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is hiring a development coordinator who will be responsible for supporting the museum's overall fundraising efforts.

The Western Pennslvania Humane Society is looking for a director of marketing and publicity.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Innovation that Mayor Bill Peduto wants that Pittsburgh needs

While the weather outside was frightful, the inauguration of Pittsburgh’s 60th mayor on Monday couldn’t have been warmer. 
  
From rocker Joe Grushecky intoning “…won’t you be my neighbor” with backup from the CAPA chorus, to poet Vanessa German inciting us to rise up and become change agents on our own front porches, to gospel singers and homemade pierogies, the Pittsburgh promise generated a heat all its own. 
 
“There is nothing wrong with the institutions of this city that cannot be repaired by good faith, square dealing and hard work,” Peduto told the gathered crowd at Heinz Hall.
 
“I will not make the mistake of assuming that my ascension to the office of mayor is, in itself, political reform. It is my job to turn this moment into an opportunity for reform.”
 
A self-described data-driven guy, Mayor Peduto moves into the office armed with 1100 pages of notes generated by a citizen-lead advisory committee that worked through the holidays on ideas to lead the region forward.
 
He has an ambitious to-do list of his own, as well, no less than 100 highly-detailed ways to lead the region, often tapping technology to get the job done.
 
Here’s a sampling of a few of the items on his innovation checklist, things Mayor Peduto wants that Pittsburgh needs:
 
· User-friendly government, beginning with a new cabinet position. Among the first hires will be a chief performance and innovation officer, a job expected to go to Debra Lam. Bring on big data!
 
· City streets with smarter traffic signals. Streamlined digital building permit systems and equal opportunity technology for all.
 
· A green tech and clean tech investment fund.
 
· Quality education and growing STEM opportunities for students.
 
· Showcasing neighborhoods through pedestrian way-finding. It will be interesting to see what this looks like.
 
· And GPS tracking for snow plows.
 
Let the new year and new season for the region begin.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Photos copyright by Brian Cohen.

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Lots of year-end openings: Avere, Songwhale and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
Avere Systems, a developer of storage solutions for enterprise data centers, is hiring several positions for its Pittsburgh office: technical support engineer, software engineer, software QA engineer and technical inside sales.
 
Songwhale, a fast-growing interactive tech company that enables brands and companies to reach consumers with their message across multiple digital touch points, is hiring an iOS developer, Android developer, senior software engineer and senior project manager.
 
The Heinz History Center in the Strip District is hiring for six full-time positions: web and social media content writer, exhibit/experience designer, events coordinator, conservation services manager, Fort Pitt Museum customer service associates and a security officer.
 
The MAKERSHIP Project in Pittsburgh is hiring. The project is developing a new concept in tools training for next generation firms with the help of a Dept. of Labor Workforce Innovation Fund grant. The project seeks a training program coordinator responsible for building and operating a rapid training program to equip workers with the skills necessary to excel in digitized manufacturing and startup environments.
 
Neighborhood Allies is a new nonprofit set to launch in early 2014, replacing the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development (PPND) that began in 1982 as a community development funding intermediary to support community development in the region. The nonprofit seeks a dynamic individual with the vision and strategic sensibilities to pick up its mission and move the organization into the future.
 
Rivers of Steel Heritage Corp. is hiring a director of receptive services to identify, generate and evolve business development opportunities in the promotion of the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.
 
TAKTL, a Pittsburgh-based, international designer and manufacturer of facade panels and high-tech architectural elements, is hiring an architectural projects and sales coordinator for its Glenshaw office.
 
The Resumator, a self-described “quirky software company that is reinventing the way employers hire,” is hiring. The Resumator is looking for a customer success engineer with great technical know-how who will engage customers, deliver outstanding support and exceed expectations.

The Jewish Community Center has an immediate need for a digital marketing specialist, someone proficient in using content management systems and website analytics.
 
TowerCare Technologies seeks a skilled website developer and customer support manager for its Wexford office. The successful candidate will join their team to provide web services to non-profit organizations.

Immunetrics, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based bio-simulation company that creates mechanistic mathematical models of biological systems to accelerate the development of drugs, clinical diagnostics and medical devices, has six openings: a user-interface software engineer, mathematic modeler, data administrator and software engineers.
 
BlueBelt Technologies is hiring a software quality assurance engineer. The firm is developer compact, handheld robotic tools for orthopedic surgeons.
 
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review seeks a seasoned business reporter to provide sophisticated coverage of the region’s economy.
 
Have hiring news? Ring in the new year and email us with your firm’s latest job listings. Happy Holidays!
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? IKM, Pittsburgh Parks, Chatham University, ASSET STEM and more

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

Pittsburgh-based architectural firm IKM is hiring a marketing coordinator with strong organizational and writing skills. Stay tuned for more job openings in the future as well.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is hiring a director of finance and administration who will be responsible for the effective management of the conservancy’s finances, business administration, human resources, information tech and risk management.

ASSET STEM Education, a national education improvement nonprofit, is hiring a communications coordinator to increase ASSET's brand awareness and donor and membership levels through marketing communications, event planning and social media.

The RJ Lee Group in Monroeville, providing industrial forensic and engineering solutions, has several openings: certified industrial hygienist, XRD scientist I, senior software engineer and instrument technician – technician III.

Smith Brothers marketing agency on the North Side is looking for a senior content creator and copywriter, someone with a portfolio full of digital examples with well-crafted copy.

Carlow College is looking for an executive assistant of academic affairs, a position that requires strong professional administrative and communications skills with a customer service orientation.

Chatham University is hiring a program assistant for interior and landscape architecture.

The Ward Home, a nonprofit devoted to training at-risk adults in practical life skills in safe, nurturing environments, is looking for a director of development with a minimum of four-years experience in a related field. 
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Forever, Axiom Health, Romeo Delivers and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
Glen Meakem’s new company, Forever Inc., a provider of personal social storage for family mementos and documents, is hiring three for its downtown office: a marketing associate, marketing manager and senior product manager.
 
RE2, a developer of intelligent modular manipulation systems and drones for the defense industry, is hiring a principal electrical engineer to lead a team of electrical engineers, designers and technicians.
 
GiftCards.com, one of the largest makers of personalized gift cards from Visa or MasterCard, is growing and promises the hiring of 15 to 20 people in the coming year. The company currently has one opening for an eCommerce product manager.
 
Axiom Health Intellect Systems, a growth stage start-up company focused on hospital analytics and business analytics software products, is hiring two: a sales account executive to push initiatives across the U.S. and a CMIO and CTO to help create cutting edge products for hospital analytics and business. Candidates for the latter position should email a resume and cover letter to Murugan Subramanian at msubramanian@axiomhealthbi.com
 
Pittsburgh startup Romeo Delivers is seeking part-time studio assistants to help deliver happiness and spread perpetual kindness to the world. The AlphaLab Gear company in East Liberty sends romantic toolkits to men on a monthly basis with personalized messages and creative and personalized bits and bobs to bring joy to significant others.
 
Duquesne University is hiring a web communications manager responsible for managing and editing the university’s website, Intranet and other online communications.

The Tepper School of Business at CMU is looking for an office manager, someone with more than five years of experience working in a corporate or university environment.
 
CMU is also hiring a personal/administrative assistant to assist CMU’s school of design.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? The City of Pittsburgh, Avere, MARC USA, Pittsburgh Steelers and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
Pittsburgh Mayor-elect Bill Peduto is posting 30 city jobs on a new website created by The Pittsburgh Foundation called Talent-City.com.  The jobs are in the areas of the Mayor’s Office, Finance and Administration, Public Safety and Urban Affairs, and Planning and Innovation; annual salaries range between $60,000 and $106,000.

Avere
has four openings in Pittsburgh: director of cloud business development, technical support engineer, software engineer and software QA engineer, this from the fast-growing company that recently introduced Cloud NAS, reinventing the way data is stored in the cloud.

Rue21, in the news for going private, has 10 openings at its corporate headquarters in Warrendale, Pa. including buyers, district managers, store analysts and ecommerce merchandising.
 
MARC USA is hiring a PR/ social media account to manage the social media conversation for leading brands, plan innovative social promotions and also be involved in a wide range of media relations, event planning and cause marketing activities, in addition to day-to-day client service and project management.
 
The community newspaper of Pittsburgh’s Northside, The Northside Chronicle, is seeking a new managing editor. The monthly community newspaper has a circulation of 8,000 and delivers to 18 Northside neighborhoods.
 
Chorus Call in Monroeville, provider of audio and video conferencing and streaming solutions for an international market, seeks a video account executive to grow the company’s telecasting services including webcasting, multi-point video conferencing events, and endpoint video equipment.
 
Compunetix, also in Monroeville, a manufacturer of multipoint collaboration equipment and web collaboration software s hiring in for technical sales, software development, customer support, facilities maintenance, and electronics assembly.

Grantmakers of Western PA is looking for a program and communications coordinator, someone responsible for a wide range of responsibilities from communications to programming and service.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are hiring a corporate partners manager. The position will be responsible for generating revenue through the sale of Pittsburgh Steelers marketing platforms, media programs and events through existing corporate partners and by cultivating new local and national partnerships. 

Is your company hiring? Email Pop City and include the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit

AlphaLab Gear is here--Pittsburgh's industrial-chic space for hardware startups

 
What do you get when you put nine enterprising hardware tech startups into an industrial-chic space in a former bowling alley in East Liberty?
 
AlphaLab Gear, the cool tech startup accelerator brought to us by Innovation Works and created around the idea—modeled after AlphaLab on the South Side—of entrepreneurs making great hardware together.
 
About 150 curious well-wishers attended the open house Monday night, which lifted the veil—or should we say garage doors—on the first class of companies.
 
The 10,000 square-foot space is an inspiring version of tech shop with touches like chain-link fences, barn doors, splashes of wall color, couches and a long wall of 12, 52-inch monitors that form a giant flat screen.
 
Gear taps the region’s prowess in robotics, software and hardware tech design, bringing entrepreneurs and artists together in a collaborative space to provide intensive business mentoring, financial assistance up to $50,000, a membership to tools and equipment in nearby TechShop and mentorship, for which IW is known.
 
“If Pittsburgh knows one thing, it’s how to make things,” said Rich Lunak, CEO of IW. “We are the original industrial town. We have the supply chain and talent to make this successful.”
 
The companies include:
 
FreshTemp, creating a temperature monitor and alert system for the food, medical and manufacturing industries.
 
IdentifiED, based on tech developed at the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab, designing unmanned aerial systems for data gathering in remote and hazardous environments for military, oil and gas exploration.
 
KyteLabs, two entreprenuers from Puerto Rico who are working on 4.0 software/hardware products with low-energy Bluetooth.
 
LifeShel, making smarter smart phone cases that protect more than just your smartphone.
 
Piecemaker, offering retailers 3D technology to create their own low-cost customized products in a matter of minutes.
 
Rapid PTC, automated platform technology for manufacturing thermoplastic composite parts.
 
Romeo Delivers, a monthly subscription service for men who need a little assistance with sending romantic notions to their significant other, like “kisses in a bag.”
 
Saturday Garage, applying robotics to the tool industry for tool challenged do-it-yourselfers who need assistance in operating industrial-grade precision and design tools.

Two artists-in-residence are also a part of the mix: documentary filmmaker Kalpana Biswas and woodworking furniture designer Jonathan Shapiro.
 
“People are working in this space. Sparks are flying,” says Illana Diamond, managing director of AlphaLab Gear. “Being a maker has become cool again.”
 
AlphaLab Gear was created with support from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, URA, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Innovation Works

Pittsburgh innovation news you need to know

The entrepreneurial and innovation sector in Pittsburgh continues to heat up. Here’s a quick look at the news going down around town.
 
CMU reports the creation of a record number of new startups this year, 36 to be exact, an economic milestone for the region by all accounts. CMU, its faculty and students have spun out more than 130 companies over the past five years and have attracted approximately $400 million of outside investment. 
 
CMU also announced a shift to a “spin-in” approach to working with entrepreneurs through organizations like Carnegie Innovations. The model allows companies to function as a venture-supported startup and receive financial support from CMU while the university retains 90 percent equity in each.
 
“It really is an example of us getting into the business of our business in the tech development space,” Mark Kamet, CMU Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, told the audience gathered at LaunchCMU last week.
 
Five subsidiaries are underway: Acrobatiq, an open learning initiative; Acatar, a distance learning platform; Panopto, a video recording, transmission and content platform for enterprise; Clearmodel, focused on developing best-practice and model-based improvements; and iCarnegie, an older company developed in the ‘90s that works with government and businesses on workforce development.
 
The University of Pittsburgh announced this month the opening of The Innovation Institute to advance entrepreneurship, commercialization and economic development at the university, bringing everything together under the existing Office of Technology Management, Office of Enterprise Development, and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. 
 
Built in PGH has announced the creation of Citywide Standup, a monthly meetup to bring entrepreneurs together for regular facetime. Participants will have 30-seconds to expound on their wins and losses over a beer. 
 
Taking a page from Silicon Valley and “Shark Tank”, UPMC is holding another two-day Health Data Palooza," bringing more than 130 engineers, designers and analysts together to create cool tools and products for health care. Last May, a similar event created a device that fits in a shoe to get employees at desk jobs to get up and move. The event will be held on Nov. 20th and 21st at Bakery Square’s offices of UPMC’s Technology Development Center. Judges will be present and funding will be awarded.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: CMU, University of Pittsburgh, Built In PGH

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? ModCloth, Songwhale, Steeltown Entertainment and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
ModCloth, the online vintage clothing retailer, is looking for a director of engineering for its Pittsburgh location. This is a forward-looking position that requires basic technical knowledge of the company's technology stack to help inform decisions.

Songwhale, a fast-growing, interactive technology company in Pittsburgh, is hiring developers, engineers and project managers.
 
The Efficiency Network (TEN) is hiring an entrepreneurial energy engineer to provide expertise in assessing, designing, calculating savings and scoping pricing energy efficiency projects. The company is a next-generation energy efficiency integration firm that hopes to change the way customers achieve energy and water efficiency goals.
 
University of Pittsburgh is hiring an academic community engagement advisor for the University Honors College. The position is responsible for directing the office and advising UHC students as well as other responsibilities.
 
Safaba in Squirrel Hill, a fast-growing machine translation firm, seeks a senior MT software engineer to play an integral role in its product development roadmap and customer project delivery.
 
Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery seeks a full-time gallery assistant who will be responsible for daily gallery management, creating PR and marketing materials, packing and shipping glass, and installing work for exhibition openings. A BFA/BA in art history or studio arts, or a background in gallery management is preferred. Send resumes and cover letters to Amy Morgan at staff@morganglassgallery.com.
 
Steeltown Entertainment Project is seeking a part-time (20 hours a week) youth & media program administrator to support its projects. Steeltown’s Youth & Media Program works to empower teens by inspiring, promoting and facilitating the creation of teen-produced media and provide the skills they need.
 
On the North Shore, Webkite, a content management platform developer, is hiring three: business development technology sales representative, outbound sales representative and a senior developer.
 
Branding Brand seeks a technical recruiter to work in the Pittsburgh office and lead the development of the team. The ideal candidate is entrepreneurial in nature, a true people person, and someone who lives and breathes mobile. 

Immunetrics, a bio-simulation company in Pittsburgh, on the cutting edge of in silico modeling, seeks a mathematical modeler.
 
AllFacilities Energy Group, an energy efficiency analytics company in Pittsburgh, is hiring an account associate with a Bachelor’s degree in a business or technical discipline, or 1 – 3 years of related experience.  Energy efficiency experience is preferred, but not required.
 
Bechtel Bettis seeks an entry level technical editor/writer in its West Mifflin office,  someone with experience or a degree in mechanical, marine or related engineering.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit


This week in startup news: the fast skinny on everything going down around town

Pop City innovation news offers a roundup this week of all the news you need to know:

Business Bout is back, Thrill Mill’s business plan competition that not only sinks venture capital to new startups but secures them a spot in Hustle Den’s incubator in East Liberty.

New this year, the top 15 companies selected will receive a cash prize; $25,000 for the winner and $5,000 for the top 14 companies selected. The deadline for submission is Dec. 6th at midnight. The funding was made possibly by the success of the Thrival Festival this fall and funding from the RK Mellon Foundation.

The first round of finalists, about 30 to 50 companies, will attend a weekend bootcamp that will provide training on the basics for building a company, says Bobby Zappala, CEO for Thrill Mill.

“We’re taking some serious strides to add value to the companies beyond giving them access to the space (Hustle Den),” says Zappala.  “Adding so much substance only increases the chance for companies to achieve something really great.”

Across the hall from HustleDen, AlphaLabGear is getting underway. The first nine companies are expected to be announced next week.

Pittsburgh’s big data startups will meet with regional big data investors for a mega session on investing and building companies in the field of data analytics. The interactive format will provide a meaningful dialogue and an opportunity to facilitate relationships between entrepreneurs and investors, says Samman Haqqi, organizer on behalf of Pittsburgh DataWorks.

National VCs like Accel, Atlas Ventures and Google Ventures will be on hand along with locals Draper Triangle, Innovation Works, and Birchmere Capital.

CMU has announced the launch of the Simon Initiative to accelerate the use of learning science and technology to improve student learning. The faculty-led initiative includes the formation of the Global Learning Council (GLC), a group of experts from academia, industry and foundation who will develop best practices in the open sharing of data across sectors to improve learning outcomes for all.

In addition, CMU will provide open access to the world’s largest bank of educational technology data, which it collected with the University of Pittsburgh as part of LearnLab, a Science of Learning Center funded by the National Science Foundation, says a CMU spokesperson.
 
Applications are now being accepted for the Steel City Codefest, a city-wide app-building competition to create apps that assist local nonprofits by promoting their mission and saving time and money. For more information or to apply click here.

The Energy Technology Center at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute officially opened its doors in North Fayette. The $3.5 million, 15,000 square-foot space is headquarters for the school’s energy programs, serving companies that are exploring and developing Marcellus Shale and Utica Shale.

Earlier this year, PTI announced a new certificate program in welding technology and the addition of an oil and gas electronics concentration to its electronics engineering technology associate program in science degree. The institute's oil and gas program is the first associate degree program in the region that concentrates on electronics for the energy sector, school officials said.

Finally, CMU invites the public to LaunchCMU Pittsburgh, a research and entrepreneurship showcase on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the University Center, Rangos 1,2 and 3. Startups presenting include Surtrac, Sharp Edge Labs, PECA Labs, ActivAided Orthotics and Duolingo.

Writer: Deb Smit

What is UpTo? For starters, the community social accelerator is up to a regionwide expansion

Look for UpTo to pop up all over Pittsburgh and beyond, thanks to support from two local organizations.
 
A neighborhood experiment launched by marketing firm Shift Collaborative, UpTo stages pop-ups in underserved communities by bringing businesses and nonprofits together with freelance designers and writers who can turn work around quickly and at an affordable cost.
 
Successful pop-ups were held in this fall in East Liberty and Butler. Intrigued, Idea Foundry has adopted UpTo as part of its Intersector Accelerator Program, which funds businesses that have social or environmental benefits.
 
In addition, the Allegheny Conference is considering including UpTo as part of its Strengthening Communities Partnership, an initiative designed to address disparities in communities in the Pittsburgh region.
 
UpTo was created as a side project by marketing firm Shift Collaborative in East Liberty. It’s a way to challenge ourselves and do-good in local neighborhoods, says Sarah Mayer, a principal at Shift along with Eric Sloss.
 
The pop-ups are staged as community social events in the heart of main street communities--barber shops, Italian restaurants, ice cream shops, dry cleaners are all great candidates that have benefitted.
 
“People can walk in, walk around, meet people and make an appointment,” says Meyer.  “We want to educate people on the process and the importance of quality design work. Then we follow up to see how they are putting these designs into action.”
 
A menu of services is available to business owners, with rates of between $25 and $150 for content writing and design work, such as a business logo.
 
“This is an underserved population that doesn’t usually invest in quality design,” says Meyer. “We don’t hope to profit from it, we want to see it impact Main Street America. That’s our primary goal.”
 
With the expansion of the program, UpTo is building out its team, which consists of locally sourced freelancers. It’s a good opportunity for designers to fill out their portfolio, Meyers adds.
 
Scouting is underway for future locations, possibly Wilkensburg, McKeesRocks, Latrobe and Erie.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Sarah Meyer, Shift Collaborative

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Industrial Scientific, Mattress Factory, Seegrid, CMU and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
Industrial Scientific has broken ground on a new 200,000-square-foot global headquarters in Robinson Township, allowing the the company to consolidate its operations into one location. Hiring is expected in the coming year. IS is currently advertising five positions in Pittsburgh: credit account manager, electronics technician, senior director, senior electrical engineer and senior software developer.
 
Pittsburgh-based Seegrid, maker of robotic industrial trucks, is hiring four positions: field service technician, senior software engineer, a director of product development-robotic industrial truck product line and a mechanical engineer.
 
The Mattress Factory on the North Side is hiring a communications and marketing manager. The position is responsible for the implementation of strategies to increase visitor attendance and promotion of the museum nationally and internationally. 
 
South Side skincare startup FutureDerm has two openings for a software development consultant and financial consultant. The company recently announced the expansion of its product line beginning with a new skin cleanser.
 
Smith Brothers is hiring a senior content creator/ copywriter, someone who’s "a kickass copywriter with the portfolio to prove it."
 
RE2 in Lawrenceville is seeking a principal electrical engineer to join its team. A minimum ten years of experience is required. RE2 recently announced funding by the Dept. of Defense to commercialize its high-speed inspection robot, the ForeRunner, an unmanned ground vehicle.

BEA of Belgium, makers of automatic door sensor technology, has an opening in its Pittsburgh office for a director of marketing, someone with experience in product management. Pittsburgh is the company's North American headquarters. 
 
Carnegie Mellon University is hiring a publications coordinator and webmaster with three or more years of experience in writing, desktop publishing and multimedia.
 
Flying Cork Media is looking for a creative writer to assist in all client campaign writing. A bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising or public relations and 1-2 years of experience is preferred.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links.

Writer: Deb Smit

Pittsburgh schools take students on wild rides through science, teach video game design

Students today are hungry for a challenging learning environment that not only engages them, but also prepares them for the 21st century workplace. So what does this look like?

Two high schools in the Pittsburgh region are embracing innovative educational models that teach STEAM skills in creative ways. One is a classroom that looks more like a place you might find at Epcot in Disney World; the other is an academy for future video game designers.

At Shaler High School, students are stepping into an immersive, virtual world called Dream Flight Adventures where they embark on their own missions that take them into the scientific realms of outer space, human body or deep sea.

Before the day of the mission, teachers prep the students. When the day arrives, the excited class takes its spot in a room that is designed as a command center, and moderated by an administrator who serves as flight director. The students manipulate the mission on iPads and follow the journey on a wide screen at the front of the room.

“When kids walk in, many think it will be like a video game, with scripted outcomes, says Gary Gardiner, CEO and creator.  “They quickly realize this is more of a real life experience. There is a lot of screaming and yelling.”

“Once the kids come in here, they are no longer are fifth graders, they are engineers, and hackers and physicists,” adds Michael Penn, GATE teacher and flight director. “They own these jobs. Time stops for them; they are so reluctant to leave.”
Dream Flight Adventure hopes to expand to other area school districts, says Gardiner, who is also manager of education and entertainment initiatives at Idea Foundry.

At Elizabeth Forward High School, Zulama’s Gaming Academy offers students a high school level curriculum based on course work offered at CMU’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). The academy teaches STEAM skills through classes on game design, 3D modeling and modern storytelling.
 
In its second year, the program has grown from 30 to 190 students.
 
“It’s changing the way teachers are teaching,” says Nikki Navta, founder and CEO. “It gives students practice for jobs that exist in the real world.”
 
Zulama addresses soft learning skills including working in teams, learning to communicating and collaborating effectively. It’s not about just math, science, art and history, says Navta. It gives students a tangible portfolio of work.
 
“The collaboration and the creation that students get to do is far more intrinsically motivating than any other course that I’ve seen offered in my mere 10 years of education,” says Heather Hibner, a teacher at Elizabeth Forward.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Zulama and Dream Flight Adventures
 
 
 
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Shoefitr, Precision Therapeutics, Carlow University and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.
 
Pittsburgh startup Shoefitr, the former AlphaLab company that helps customers to make sure the shoe fits when they are buying online, is hiring for eight positions: footwear taxonomy specialist, front-end engineer, graphic designer, QA engineer, senior inside sales professional, software engineer, technical sales engineer and UX researcher/developer.
 
Precision Therapeutics on the South Side and Lawrenceville, a diagnostics company that provides cancer patients and their doctors with personalized cancer treatment, is hiring for seven positions: immunohistochemistry technician, software developers, finance, automation specialist, clinical information analyst, laboratory accessioner, part-time and clinical lab technician.
 
Combinenet, a SciQuest company, in the Strip District is looking to hire a full time unix administrator with five or more years experience in maintaining a production environment.  

Dick's Sporting Goods is hiring a marketing content editor to support the brand's mission.

Carlow University is hiring a communications strategist for a 12-month position to support a full range of Carlow's communications efforts.

The Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania are looking for a cookie sales coordinator to plan and implement the overall sales strategy of this major annual fundraiser. 

Looking for a little extra work for the holidays? FedEx Ground is hiring about 100 workers to support its operation on Neville Island, off I-79. Pay starts at $10 an hour.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit

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

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Clark Hill Thorp Reed, ExOne, Fireman Creative, UpTo and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
UpTo touts itself as the region’s first pop-up creative firm. It’s looking for freelance designers and writers with an entrepreneurial spirit who can turn around work quickly for small businesses and nonprofits. The organization is holding a pop-up this week in East Liberty, Oct. 14-18, at 6101 Penn Avenue, in the Liberty Bank building.
 
Clark Hill Thorp Reed is hiring a mid-level associate attorney, litigation associate with at least five years of experience.
 
Fireman Creative is an innovative design and technology agency based in Pittsburgh’s Southside. The firm is looking for a PHP Web Developer/Engineer with 1 to 3 years of agency experience (or equivalent). 
 
Safaba in Squirrel Hill is hiring a director of marketing to help develop, implement and lead the execution of the company's marketing strategy. The fast-growing company helps global companies to translate corporate materials into many languages.
 
Mylan in Canonsburg is hiring a senior marketing and advertising review council specialist responsible for the timely and accurate review, approval and production of all Mylan specialty promotional materials.
 
Industry Weapon is in need of an HTML 5 developer/interactive "genius" who can create cutting edge, interactive experiences for customers.
 
ExOne in North Huntingdon, a fast-growing firm in the 3D printing space, has openings in eight areas:  mechanical designer, technical writer and trainer, program manager (chemistry) and service technicians,
 
Intrigue Technologies, a CMU spin-off, is developing the next generation of imaging cameras and systems for surveillance, automotive and robotic vision applications in Bridgeville. The company is hiring an electronic hardware design engineer.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career link.

Writer: Deb Smit

Bring on the fire-eaters. The Tech 50 Awards celebrate the region's finest

Bring on the fire-breathers and the leotard-clad dancers. Roll in the Shakespearian stage sets and tribal drummers. It’s Pittsburgh Tech 50 time.
 
The region’s annual party, thrown by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, celebrated the best and brightest tech and life sciences companies in typically campy style. Held at the Wyndam Grand downtown, the evening is all about the growing success of local companies and entrepreneurial endeavors in the areas of life sciences, machine learning, manufacturing, gaming and IT.
 
"After 16 years, Tech 50 is still the apex of recognition for technology visionaries," said Audrey Russo, CEO, in her opening remarks.
 
Among the highlights:
 
Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi of Compunetix, Chorus Call and Compunetix in Monroeville was named CEO of the Year. The Italian-born businessman started his first company in Pittsburgh 45 years ago, growing it into three companies and more than 460 employees today.
 
ALung Technologies on the South Side won Life Sciences Company of the Year. In accepting the award, ALung’s Jim Sweeney wondered if he should have toted along their Hemolung breathing technology for the fire breathers in the show.
 
Schell Games on the South Side was no surprise as the Interactive and Application Developer of the Year, a company that has been going strong 11 years running. As Jesse Schell noted, “People believe in the vision that games can change the world.” 
 
Shortest speech of the night went to soft-spoken Luis von Ahn of Duolingo, whose team picked up Startup of the Year. "We're From Carnegie Mellon and we’re a bit shy,” von Ahn whispered into the mike. “Can we go now? Thank you."
 
Several of the company CEOs were out of the country and unavailable to accept their awards personally, which can only be taken as a good sign.
 
Other winners were:
Advanced Manufacturer of the Year: Industrial Scientific Corporation
Innovator of the Year: Aethon, Inc.
Tech Titan: ANSYS, Inc.
Solution Provider of the Year: Avere Systems
 
Writer: Deb Smit

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

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

PNC is posting 14 jobs for full-time finance positions in the downtown Pittsburgh office. Positions include: auditors, analysts and finance project managers and coordinators.
 
PNC Investment Services is posting four jobs in the downtown Pittsburgh office for investment services associates and a senior investment associate.
 
The Oracle office in Pittsburgh is hiring for at least 10 positions in IT including client specialists, IT security and consulting professionals.
 
Phipps has several full-time openings for people with a passion for the green world. Positions include: a display horticulturalist; events sales administrator; building maintenance technicians, a grower/production to provide care and propagation of plants and seedlings; an integrated pest management specialist; and a science education and research administrative assistant.
 
Wyndham Hotel and Resorts is looking for an executive chef who will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the hotel’s food production and services.

Pittsburgh-based NuRelm, a developer of business websites, is seeking a web developer to build content managed websites.
 
Gillece Services is launching a new home maintenance program, expanding its training and hiring 10-15 employees: electricians, master plumbers, service plumbers, HVAC technicians and journeymen. The company will also partner with the Pittsburgh Technical Institute to offer high-tech training to students in the coming months.
 
The Mountain Watershed Association is hiring a community advocate. Candidates must have a J.D. Degree with a certificate or experience in environmental law, be enthusiastic and motivated self-starters, and be outgoing and able to work with diverse groups of people. The job is based in Melcroft, Pa.
 
Allies for Children, a newly organized nonpartisan advocacy nonprofit, is hiring a communications director, someone passionate about improving the lives of children and youth.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Pittsburgh college entrepreneur wins national competition for Sequoia Waste Solutions

Charlie Dolan, a 21-year-old college senior and co-founder of Pittsburgh-based Sequoia Waste Solutions, took first place in the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards’ regional competition.
 
Dolan will go on to compete for the global title in Washington, D.C., this November.
 
Dolan and several friends, all graduates of Central Catholic High School, started the waste solution company in 2012. The company creates client-specific waste solutions that matches building materials with a network of partners and service providers. In the end, customers save both money and the environment.
 
Dolan entered the competition as a senior at Villanova University, where he runs the company while attending school.
 
“They (judges) were really impressed with the idea and the method,” says Dolan, company CTO. “Just to be in the running with amazing young entrepreneurs from around the world is an honor.”
 
Sequoia’s customers are primarily restaurants, educational facilities and corporate offices. Not only does each company typically save between 5-15 percent annually on their trash and recycling costs, but less trash ends up in landfills, he says.
 
The company is expected to surpass $5 million in revenue this year.  “Our goal is to be the data hub of trash in Pittsburgh,” he says. “And to create local jobs.”
 
The GSEA competition recognizes student entrepreneurs from around the world who are successfully running a profitable business while attending school. It is organized by the Entrepreneur’s Organization, a global business network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Charlie Dolan, Sequoia Waste Solutions

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Alcoa, Rhiza, ModCloth and the Business Times

In addition to celebrating its 125th birthday this week, Alcoa is hiring. The company is looking for more than 15 people at its technical center, mostly engineering and science staff positions, and has another four jobs in procurement and finance at its corporate center.
 
Rhiza, a fast-growing software company on Ellsworth Avenue, is hiring four: front end and user interaction designer, front end developer, a junior software engineer and a software engineer.
 
The Pittsburgh Business Times is hiring an experienced reporter to cover the energy beat in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Experienced reporters who have covered this area on a daily basis are preferred, especially those with an extensive portfolio of related clips and senior-level industry contacts.
 
CBS TV/ KDKA is hiring a full-time tech specialist to assist with operator training for all equipment located within the KDKA facility. A degree in engineering electronics or equivalent experience is required.
 
ModCloth in Pittsburgh is hiring a fashion-writing editor. The ideal candidate will have excellent written and verbal skills, instinctive brand awareness and strong social networking skills.
 
The Frick Art & Historical Center is hiring a curatorial assistant to provide general support to the curatorial department as it relates to collections care and the temporary exhibitions.
 
Enterprise Forum Pittsburgh is hiring a part-time program director/ board administration to represent the the organization to the public, orchestrate monthly events, facilitate daily operations and serve as the front office. The workload is 15 hours a week and is very flexible except on the day of an event. Interested candidates should email mitefpittsburgh@gmail.com for more information.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the career links! 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
 
 

Alcoa celebrates 125 years of innovation on the North Side

The story of Alcoa, like many an entrepreneurial tale, began 125 years ago with a few 20-something chemists in Pittsburgh knocking around with science and figuring out a formula to simplify the way metal is made.
 
Charles Martin Hall, with an assist from his sister, Julia, a chemist in her own right, discovered the process of aluminum reduction through electrolysis. The year was 1886.
 
Within 15 years, Alcoa was pioneering aluminum cooking utensils under the Wear Ever brand, the beginning of 12 decades of innovation that started in Pittsburgh.
 
This week 400 employees and a handful of dignitaries gathered at Alcoa on the North Shore to kick off a week-long celebration of the company’s 125th birthday.  Alcoa employees at operations around the world are blowing party horns and wearing royal blue tees in celebration.
 
“These are giants whose shoulders we are standing on,” said Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO, of the early pioneers. The company continues to grow year-over-year by 7%; the metal has been an integral ingredient in some of the greatest innovations in the world, he added.
 
Among the historic highlights:
 
The Wright Brothers’ plane might not have gotten off the ground without a lighter cast aluminum crankcase made by the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, later known as Alcoa.
 
The 1923 Ford Model T was the first mass-produced car to feature an aluminum body. Henry Ford, who refused to be financially dependent on one supplier, later switched to steel.
 
Charles Lindbergh made his historic transatlantic flight in a plane made from a new Alcoa alloy and aluminum cast engine.
 
In the 1930s, H.J. Heinz began using the first commercial aluminum closure made by Alcoa, called the Goldy, to seal sauces and ketchup.
 
The Alcoa Building downtown, with its thin stamped aluminum panels forming the exterior wall, was the world’s first aluminum-faced skyscraper in 1953.
 
Alcoa Mastic revolutionized the modern home with the invention of vinyl siding in 1961.
 
Alcoa helped NASA during the 1970s and 1980s develop a reusable transportation system for the Space Shuttle.
 
In 2004, Alcoa joined Pittsburgh Brewing to make the first beer in an aluminum bottle for the North American beer industry.
 
To mark the occasion, the Alcoa Foundation announced a $1.25 million internship program for 500 students in eight countries over the next two years. The initiative will give unemployed youth a chance to launch successful careers in manufacturing.
 
While Alcoa’s is based in New York City, the Pittsburgh office is the R&D center for the global operation. The company continues to develop and promote green industry technologies. 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Alcoa

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Carnegie Robotics, One Planet, Western Pa. Conservancy and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company hiring news.
 
Carnegie Robotics will be hiring more than 25 people over the next two years as part of the expansion of its world-class robotic manufacturing center and headquarters in Lawrenceville.

The company seeks product-oriented, highly driven engineers, technical associates and interns who will be an integral part of the company’s long-term hiring strategy. CR specializes in building robotic products for commercial, industrial and defense markets.

PPG Industries has announced that its North American Architectural Coatings headquarters will be located in Butler County and promises at least 300 jobs in the future. Currently, PPG has openings for more than 20 positions in operations, systems, recruiting, customer relations and engineering.
 
One Planet, which takes a human approach to the translation of medical, science and business materials, is hiring freelance translators, an account executive, software localization engineer and project managers.
 
Lunametrics on the South Side has five openings: office manager, google analytics data analyst, SEO project manager, online media strategist and an inbound sales expert.
 
St. Clair Hospital Foundation is hiring a director of development, someone to take the lead on the solicitation of major gift prospects, strategies, grant and proposal generation, major donor gifts and more.
 
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has two full-time openings in its Community Gardens/Greenspace department for field staff, based in Pittsburgh. The position supports field work at community gardens and greening projects throughout the region. To apply, send a resume, cover letter and salary expectations to wpcjobs@paconserve.org and list Garden Staff in the subject line.
 
Dick’s Sporting Goods is looking for a copywriter with three years of editorial experience in advertising, marketing or related with an ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced, employee-friendly office.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Celerity, SnapRetail!, The Resumator and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news in the region.
 
Celerity, a business consultancy that delivers web, mobile and business IT solutions, has acquired 3PC Media in Wexford, a digital agency that specializes in mobile app development and strategic branding. The company’s expansion means four new jobs for the Pittsburgh office including front end developers and native iOS mobile developers. Prospects should email hmoffitt@celerity.com
 
SnapRetail! in the Strip District is looking for “snappers” to join its team. The buy local, digital marketing solutions firm has 15 openings in sales, engineering and marketing. An open house “snapdraft” with Charlie Batch will be held on Sept. 26th for potential recruits.
 
The Resumator, a digital platform that facilitate's a company's hiring needs, is hiring. The startup is looking to fill roles in engineering, support, sales and marketing.
 
Kennametal Inc. in Latrobe has acquiried a tungsten materials business from Allegheny Technologies Inc. for $605 million. The company is posting 15+ jobs at its global headquarters including positions in engineering, software IT, finance, sales and internships. (Note: the career page can only be accessed using Foxfire or Internet Explorer.)
 
Lawrenceville-based Astrobotic, providing affordable robotic technology options on planetary missions, is recruiting qualified candidates in the following technical fields: avionics, structures, propulsion, thermal, operations and communications.
 
The MEMS Industry Group, a nonprofit industry association to promote micro-electro mechanical systems across global markets, is hiring a program and events manager.
 
Energy+1, yet another company out there working to convince the general public to switch their utility supplier, is hiring upward of 50 people to sell their plan in the region. The company claims the pay is lucrative for ambitious sales types.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Nearly everyone. More than 100 jobs posted.

Each week Pop City reports on the latest local hiring news. It must be job season as nearly a dozen companies are hiring: Songwhale, Holtec, Think Through Math, ShowClix, College Prowler, Kextil, K&L Gates, Lucas Systems and Cheetah Technologies. 

Songwhale in Lawrenceville, an interactive tech company that sends brand messages via smart phones, computers and tablets, is hiring software engineers, project managers and developers.

Holtec in Turtle Creek, a manufacturer of dry fuel storage canisters and high tech racks for nuclear utilities around the world, has a handful of open positions: quality engineer, product line manager, burn operator, welder, supervisor and maintenance manager.

Innovation Works reports a record-breaking year, good news considering the year is only halfway over. The region’s largest investor in seed-stage companies has invested $3.7 million in 47 companies so far. Even better, IW reports that there are more than 30 jobs at area startups, many in software engineering, software development and sales.

There are four openings at Think Through Math. The math instructional tutoring company is hiring a bilingual math teacher, inside sales rep, IT manager and senior software developer. The company recently closed on a $5.6 million funding round and plans to move into a larger office on the North Shore, across from PNC park.

Online ticketing company ShowClix has four full-time and three internship positions.

Niche, better known as the online college resource College Prowler, is hiring three people who will join a staff of 20: database engineer, director of sales and a software engineer. The company expects to grow to 30 by next year.

Kextil, featured in this week's issue of Pop City, is hiring a lead architect. 
 
The law firm of K&L Gates is looking to fill two positions within its global marketing team in Pittsburgh: a PR and communications assistant and CRM Data Steward who is primarily responsible for assisting with data security throughout the firm.
 
Cheetah Technologies in Pittsburgh is looking for a software quality assurance analyst and firmware engineer.

Lucas Systems, a provider of voice logistics solutions for retailers and warehouse operations, is hiring seven full-time and two interns. The positions include: product engineers, software engineers, software support supervisors, and software and engineering interns.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority has two full-time openings for an IT network administrator for its growing IT Division and an accounting manager with a CPA certification to join its Finance Department.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City pretty please and include the career links.

Writer: Deb Smit
 
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Green Building Association, Branding Brand, Reed Smith and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
The Green Building Alliance (GBA) in Pittsburgh is looking for a property specialist to lead its efforts in the Pittsburgh 2030 District. The program is designed to encourage and empower small commercial property owners in the city to reduce energy, water consumption, transportation emissions and improve indoor air quality while putting money back in their pockets.

Branding Brand is looking for a technical recruiter to work in the Pittsburgh office and lead team development. The ideal candidate is entrepreneurial in nature, a true people person and someone who lives and breathes mobile. 
 
Communities In Schools of Pittsburgh-Allegheny County is hiring an executive director. This nonprofit serves at-risk students by encouraging them to stay in school. The program works with local school districts to provide alternative education, after-school programming, mentoring and more.
 
The Sarah Heinz House, a center that supports local youths and families, is looking for a director of finance and business operations. The chosen candidate will join a dedicated staff committed to giving youths the tools they need to reach their potential.
 
Pittsburgh Public Market is hiring an assistant market manager to assist with market operations at the expanded Pittsburgh Public Market at 2401 Penn Ave. in the Strip District. PPM is a year-round market bringing shoppers together with locally grown and sourced food; it offers programs and classes as well.
 
Reading Is FUNdamental Pittsburgh is looking for an energetic, entrepreneurial individual to join its new Storymobile team. RIF is working to narrow the literacy gap in the region; the Storymobile program offers an opportunity to engage low-income families and children in their own neighborhoods.  
 
The law firm of Reed Smith downtown is hiring a document specialist, a position that entails the accurate completion of work submitted to the document processing department. Administrative support skills are preferred.
 
The Port Authority of Pittsburgh seeks an experienced PeopleSoft application systems developer to develop and maintain systems and programs using current technologies. The job requires a BS in Computer Science and/or related experience. Interested applicants should send a resume and salary requirements to mramsey@portauthority.org
 
Dress for Success, a nonprofit serving disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, is looking for a communications intern and fashion consultant for its Washington County branch. While unpaid, the internship will offer experience to those considering a career in public relations, fashion, event planning and social work.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Sprout Fund, Pipitonegroup, Bombardier and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest hiring news.

The Sprout Fund is launching the Remake Learning Corps, a new program to connect tech-forward experts with afterschool and out-of-school educators to move education into the future. Sprout is looking for a program associate to work closely with Sprout's community-building team and direct the Digital Corps and their toolbag of resources. Tech-savvy people who are passionate about innovative learning need apply.

Pipitonegroup is looking for a digital marketing expert, preferably someone who knows their SEO from a hole in the ground. Experience with digital marketing tools is key.

Conservation Consultants is hiring a weatherization program coordinator responsible for the Peoples Natural Gas Weatherization program.  Applicants should send resume and cover letter to: micheller@ccienter.org.
 
Wrecking Crew Media in Pittsburgh is hiring a director/producer/editor with strong concept and writing abilities. Motion graphics experience is a must.
 
Mylan Inc. is looking for a promotion review editor to ensure consistent application of copy standards in multiple marketing projects across various brands among other tasks.
 
Bombardier in Pittsburgh seeks a mechanical engineer with five years of experience to assist in project evolution from the bid phase through design.

Kurt J. Lesker in Jefferson Hills has more of an entry-level mechanical engineering position, requiring two years of experience in mechanical design.

Robert Morris University seeks a program coordinator for the School of Nursing and Health Services.
 
Vocollect in Penn Hills seeks an elearning project manager to manage the development of elearning training offers. The positions requires lots of experience in elearning instructional design and development.  
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? ModCloth, Animal, Carnegie Learning, evolveEA and more

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

Animal VFX in Pittsburgh, a production company and post production house, is looking for a full time motion designer. Animal creates commercials, short films, music videos and documentaries and was behind "Blood Brother," a film that won the Grand Jury and Audience Award at Sundance.
 
LightSide in Shadyside, a startup building tools to automate the assessment of writing in academic and business settings, is hiring a web and JAVA developer. A special interest in web platforms for educational technology is required.
 
ModCloth, the online vintage retailer, founded by Eric and Susan Koger of Pittsburgh, has announced the hiring of 50 new employees at its Crafton office and fulfillment center. Not all are posted as of yet. Current openings range from software engineers to freelance creative stylists, models and project managers.
 
Red House Communications on the South Side has four open poisitions: a junior and senior account executive, a director of account services and a social media manager. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume.
 
Carnegie Learning, makers of educational tutoring software, is hiring a game programmer and a research programmer.
 
evolveEA, self-described as a “nimble” practice at the intersection of sustainability and built design, currently has two positions, a building rating systems manager and building rating assistant.
 
WYEP-FM's Allegheny Front is looking for a reporter/producer with at least three years of professional news experience, particularly in reporting on the environment in Pennsylvania.
 
Nutrition and health company GNC is hiring a franchise communications and marketing coordinator to enhance franchise communications.
 
Edison Learning in Pittsburgh seeks a technical writer and documentation specialist to assist both technical and non-technical applications for this educational solutions provider.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

HEArt Online launches to work for human equity through art

Leslie Anne Mcilroy is focused on “building a community about artists and activists” in Pittsburgh. With the August 15 launch of HEArt Online, she is well on her way.

Co-founded by Mcilroy and Daniel Morrow in 1997 as a quarterly print journal that ran until 2002, HEArt—Human Equity through Art—is reemerging this week as an online journal with funding by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund.

HEArt Online will continue the print journal’s two-fold goal of producing “well-written art about social justice issues,” says Mcilroy, as well as merging the roles of artists and activists.

HEArt Online plans to publish ongoing submissions about every two weeks, with poems, essays, photos, interviews and other media—all supporting that “art is an approachable way to challenge your beliefs,” Mcilroy says, adding that the online platform will be “a much easier way now to reach a larger audience.”

A larger audience means more dialogue and participation within the Pittsburgh community and beyond about issues ranging from identity to domestic violence.

The blog format will encourage readers to respond to works through online comments. In addition, readers will be able to submit their own work through the site.

“Pittsburgh was incredibly receptive to the original HEArt,” says Mcilroy who expects that the launch of HEArt Online will help to continue its mission on a broader scale.

The launch will include a poem on social justice by Tim Seibles, interviews with poets Jericho Brown and Jan Beatty, works by Pittsburgh poet Terrance Hayes and photos by local photographer Scott Roller covering the Freedom Riders’ trail. Each will in some way challenge discrimination and promote social justice.

HEArt Online will also bring its work to the stage for its 2013-2014 Reading Series, funded by the Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative. Beginning on October 9, the three-part reading series will feature artist-activists at The New Hazlett Theater, a partner of HEArt.

Check out HEArt Online on August 15, and subscribe for free to follow its HEArt Beat.

 
Writer: Maeve McAllister, Pop City intern
Source: Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Heinz History Center, School of Rock, Eaton and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
The Heinz History Center and Sports Museum, the Fort Pitt Museum, and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village have a range of full-time and part-time job opportunities: development events manager, museum shop and visitor services assistant manager, security officer, events associates and a part-time customer service associate.
 
The new School of Rock in Wexford—you heard right—is looking for talented instructors in voice, piano, guitar, bass and drums. The school, founded in Philadelphia, has expanded to 100 schools in five countries.
 
Eaton Corp. is hiring a senior software developer for its electrical sector headquarters who will serve as a lead analyst in IT.
 
Allegheny County Economic Development has an open for a project manager 1 position and authorities administration manager. 
 
Looking to get into manufacturing? VEKA, the German maker of PVC profiles used for windows and doors, has selected Fombell, Pa., for its U.S. headquarters. The facility will bring 38 new jobs to the region so stayed tuned.
 
Tucker Auto-Mation is expanding its operations with a 10,000-square-foot facility for its headquarters and manufacturing in Beaver County. Twenty-five new jobs will be in the offering soon.  
 
Pittsburgh-based The Resumator is looking for a director of business development to power the company forward through a broad array of activities.
 
Vandalize says it's turning the keyword universe into one of crowdsourced tags. What does this mean? Check out the listing for a full-time technical co-founder and CTO; college students need apply.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

LaunchPGH, a comprehensive online guide to the city's startup scene

Navigating the groundswell of entrepreneurial activity in Pittsburgh is easier with the arrival of LaunchPGH, an online resource that has streamlined a wide range of information for the startup community.  
 
The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Powerup Pittsburgh created an easy to navigate, visually appealing portal for entrepreneurs, investors and developers looking for information on startups, incubators, accelerators and networking opportunities in Pittsburgh.  
 
“Our hope is to make it easier and more dynamic for entrepreneurs in the city to gain access to not only organizations but also people,” says Tom Link, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the URA. “Our goal as an economic development organization is to help small businesses grow, all the co-working spaces, accelerators and meetup groups.”
 
The mobile-friendly website is divided into three circles—Biz, Buzz and Burgh—providing users with event and company listings, fun facts and a photo gallery. One of the most dynamic features is the Startup Genome, a map that puts the entrepreneurial activity on a city map and includes sliders for details like company size and money raised.  
 
Over time, the information will grow and become more comprehensive as more startups and entrepreneurs sign on, notes Link. So far 118 companies are listed along with the names 236 rising entrepreneurs.
 
The website was designed by Wall-to-Wall studios with the help of an advisory panel including entrepreneurs and business leaders with a vested interest in creating a more robost environment for entrepreneurs.

It was intentionally designed to work best on an iPad or on a mobile phone, giving anyone a quick read of where to go and find investment opportunities, says Link.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tom Link, LaunchPGH

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? MAYA, Reed Smith, The Design Center and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company expansion and hiring news. 
 
Cardinal Resources, a manufacturer of solar-powered water purification systems, has closed on a $65 million deal to supply its system to Nigeria and two others to build systems in Senegal and the Republic of Cameroon. As a result, the company is hiring and doubling in size, adding 12 people to its staff of 14. Hires will be in the areas of technical and financial support, engineers and scientists.
 
MAYA Design downtown is hiring five. The firm has a unique opportunity for an entry-level motion designer and filmmaker to be a part of a team within MAYA Design that will help clients tell compelling stories about the future of their products and services. Other positions include: IT support, a senior visual designer, software design engineer and lead researcher.
 
Industry Weapon, now in Greentree, has seven openings: web developer, technical support engineer, sales administrator, inside account executive, software engineer, quality assurance agent and an in-house Windows developer.
 
Reed Smith is looking for a document and application specialist, someone to assist with administrative support with a range of duties firmwide.
 
Lucas Systems, provider of voice-directed logistics solutions for retailers, wholesale distributors, and manufacturers, is hiring six and looking for two interns:  software and product engineers, technical support analysts, project manager, software test engineer and a software support intern and software engineer intern.
 
PPG Industries is looking for a corporate marketing manager to manage all aspect of PPG’s global corporate brand and reputation.
 
The Design Center, a community planning and urban reinvestment nonprofit, is looking for a community programs manager to provide project management and technical support to consultants with the program.
 
Axiom Health Intellect Systems, a startup company focused on hospital analytics and business analytics software products, is hiring two sales account executives.
 
Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based manufacturer of aqueous hybrid ion batteries, is looking for a strong writer with a marketing or related degree to assist the marketing director in moving out the message of this sustainable industrial battery.
 
Deeplocal in the Strip District is hiring a treatment writer and designer, a part-time contract position.
 
Flying Cork Media, a strategic marketing communications firm, seeks a full-time creative writing to assist in client campaign writing.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the job links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? H.J. Heinz, Alcoa, Lunametrics, USC School District and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company hiring news.
 
Lunametrics on the South Side, a growing boutique firm with a fun work ethic, has three full-time positions in search engine optimization (SEO) for an online media strategist, SEO project manager, technical SEO as well as a digital marketing Intern.
 
H.J. Heinz Company in Pittsburgh is hiring an associate director of government affairs, crisis & reputation management, a senior position that requires 12 years of experience as a senior level public relations and government affairs professional.

Alcoa is hiring a senior payroll analyst responsible for working with the payroll outsourcer to ensure accurate payroll for the U.S. employee population. 
 
K&L Gates is looking for a junior graphic designer responsible for performing production design, information design, layout, stock photo research and creative design for lawyers and administrative departments throughout the firm. 

Upper St. Clair School District is hiring a director of advancement, a part-time position (25-30 hours per week) created to compliment the charitable giving effort of the school district with an emphasis on individual giving, major giving, grant seeking and corporate partnerships. 

Pittsburgh Green Innovators, a nonprofit focused on growing a vibrant green economy in the region, is hiring a program development director responsible for leading the organization forward and advancing key programs and activities. 
 
Skyword, based in Boston, has an opportunity for a technical writer to join the product management team in its Pittsburgh office. The technical writer will work collaboratively with our product managers, user interface designers, web designers, developers and support team.
 
The University of Pittsburgh, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, seeks a highly motivated individual with strong communications skills for the full-time position of asistant director of media relations. 
 
The Center for Women in Pittsburgh is hiring a part-time mentor and internship manager is responsible for the development, management and evaluation of the Mentoring and Internship and Job Shadowing programs for the Center for Women program participants. The center serves women throughout the region with issues relating to economic independence.
 
The Technology Development Center at UPMC is hiring regular, full-time intermediate designers to work regular business hours, Monday through Friday, at its Bakery Square location.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links to the jobs.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Branding Brand poised for major expansion and more

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

Branding Brand, the Pittsburgh-based creator of mobile sites and apps for some of the largest brands in the world, is expanding and hiring more than 13 people in a variety of positions: director of engineering, account manager, front-end developer, iOS developer, lead engineer, lead software engineer, production support engineer, systems analyst and junior feasibility engineer, vice president of finance and vice president of mobile commerce project management.

Oh, and for recent grads, an entry-level integration tester and quality assurance engineer.

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review is hiring an assistant metro editor to manage the metro desk.

Pittsburgh economic development nonprofit Urban Innovation21 is hiring a vice president, a person responsible for overseeing programs and services and assisting with day-to-day operations. The position requires an effective leader with excellent organization and management skills, an ability to be culturally competent and equipped with excellent communication skills.

Innovation Works is seeking a Program Manager for its AlphaLab accelerator program, a position responsible for many of the day-to-day operations of the program including managing key partner relationships, programming of educational talks and networking events, application process management, internal systems and processes, and facility logistics.
 
Pittsburgh marketing agency Brunner is looking for a social community manager and trend spotter, a position that will be responsible for helping brands manage their social media presence and engage their followers.
 
Songwhale in Lawrenceville is looking software engineers, product managers and developers.

PPG Industries is looking for someone with corporate communication and relationship building skills to be its next corporate communications manager.
 
Carnegie Speech is looking to hire a software engineer to help develop and maintain its language teaching products.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Film Forum--JFilm--is looking for a dedicated, detail-oriented, experienced administrator to help coordinate all phases of this big-thinking, small arts organization including a successful and critically acclaimed annual film festival and numerous other year-round activities. The position is part-time averaging 20 hours per week (except for peak times) and includes evenings and weekends as needed. 
 
SCA Technologies, a leading provider of category sourcing and cost management solutions, has openings for three including a office manager, sales account executive and customer service rep. Those applying should have enterprise level software sales experience and experience in selling supply chain solutions to the food industry.

USA TODAY Sports Media Group is seeking a reporter for its high schools division in Pittsburgh to cover the field  24/7 and has a proven background of producing industry-leading coverage.

Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (3RWIB) has rolled out a new online tool that connects job seekers to free or low-cost training programs designed to prepare people for quick entry into well-paying jobs in health care, energy, and manufacturing.  Called Quick Train for Jobs, the site is a  clearing house for free or low-cost, high-quality, brief training programs with some of the region’s most recognized institutions.

Is your company growing and expanding? Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links!

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? NetHealth, Panopto and City of Asylum

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company expansion and hiring news.
 
Panopto, a growing company working to bring people together in industry and education through software for webcasts and video presentations, is looking to expand its team of developers, marketers, sales and support. The company recently raised $2.4 million for further product development and international expansion.
 
Two positions are currently posted for application engineers.
 
City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, the writers' residence that is building an international community of writer’s, artists and readers, is hiring three: account manager, administrative assistant and program-project manager.
 
Strip District-based Net Health, developers of health record systems for specialty outpatient clinics, has announced major expansion plans. The firm plans to double its workforce of 110 by next year, a company spokesperson confirmed. Positions will be announced soon, says a company spokesperson.

Industry Weapon, a digital media and communications firm, has seven openings: technical support engineer, web developer, sales administration, inside account executive, software engineer, quality assurance agent and windows-contractor.
 
Thermo Fisher Scientific is hiring a digital designer, a position that requires a bachelor’s degree and five years experience working in a corporate environment. The position requires the ability to provide brand guidance for all digital projects. 
 
Dick's Sporting Goods in Findlay is getting ready to recruit staff for its new Field & Stream store opening in August in Cranberry Township. Dick’s has announced the hiring of outdoor enthusiasts, especially hunters and anglers able to offer professional assistance in selling a wide range of outdoor gear.
 
West Penn Allegheny Health System is hiring for many medical positions: medical technologist, echocardiography technologist, respiratory therapist, phlebotomist as well as nurses and nursing assistants and administrators.
 
Quantum Theatre is looking for a part-time social media consultant to raise brand awareness and deliver traffic to the theatre company's website, social media destinations, live productions, and special events.
 
Chemistry Communications is looking for a Fall Intern to begin in September working with the public relations and social media department.  Responsibilities will include building media lists, daily media monitoring, drafting press releases, and social media work. Candidates must be able to receive credit and should e-mail Darice Case at darice@visitthelab.com.  
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? A+ Schools, PMI, Wrecking Crew Media and more

Each week Pop City reports on hiring news in Pittsburgh.

A+ Schools is hiring for two positions, a community organizer and a program manager. The Community Organizer is responsible for building, managing, and mobilizing adult networks to improve public education in Pittsburgh. The position requires passion for social justice and a strong generalist skill set.
 
The Program Manager, a new position, will be responsible for developing program materials, training parents, facilitating parent volunteers through decision making processes and assisting them in designing, implementing and evaluating their program.
 
PMI-TV has two openings. The broadcast and video studio is seeking an experienced digital strategist with a background in advertising, public relations and digital work. Also an experienced interactive-UX developer capable of leading projects and teams. (Read all about PMI in Pop City this week.)
 
Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH), an employer-led, non-profit coalition of organizations representing various business segments including private and public employers, government and education, is hiring an executive director to take the helm of the company.
 
Marc USA, a national advertising and integrated marketing agency, is hiring a freelance interactive designer charged with all aspects of integrated design.
 
Lucas Systems has six openings in engineering and IT and two internships. Positions include: project engineers, software engineers, project manager, software test engineer and two software engineer interns.
 
Wrecking Crew Media in Pittsburgh is looking to add a full time director/producer/editor to our growing staff. Strong concept and writing skills are very important, as well as motions graphics (AE) and better than good lighting skills.

Chester Engineers, an industry leading engineering firm, is still looking for engineers for its Pittsburgh office. Chester provides energy, water and wastewater solutions to public and industrial clients across the United States and internationally.  
 
WordWrite Communications has a paid part-time position for an intern this fall, a journalism, public relations or communications college junior or senior.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links.

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? ExOne and Walking Thumbs and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in hiring news and company growth.
 
3D manufacturing company ExOne in North Huntingdon is hiring eight for a range of positions: accounts payable clerk, custodian, machine build/ mechanical technician, program manager in chemistry, program manager-FEA, QA inspector, research and development associate and research materials science scientist.
 
Oakland startup Walking Thumbs is looking for five people to take on leading roles in Android and iPhone development within our team. Under the radar to date, the startup is “stable and growing” as it builds its messaging platform and ecosystem of applications surrounding it, says founder John Feghali.
 
Positions include chief technical officer, android developers and iOS developers. For more details applicants may email Feghali at john@walkingthumbs.com.
 
In case you were under a rock and missed it last week, Dick’s Sporting Goods is expanding again on the heels of having opened a spanking new offices no less than two years ago. Naturally hiring is indicated. Dick’s has openings for 12 at present, including developers, analysts and a marketing content manager.

Attack Theatre is looking for a finance and development associate who can work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
 
Towercare, developers of a suite of products for nonprofits, is hiring a software developer.
 
Business Forward, a business process improvement consultancy, is looking for solutions analysts who are able analyze, design, develop and implement cross functional business solutions.
 
Bombardier in West Mifflin is hiring a technical writer and trainer to research and author technical manuals and corresponding training manuals to support Bombardier products. 
 
Pittsburgh-based Intermedix, providing technology-enabled solutions in health and safety, is hiring a technical writer to prepare and maintain assistance materials for several emergency preparedness software products. 
 
The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for a staff writer for a multimedia internship for the Fall of 2013. This position is unpaid and based at the Consol Energy Center.
 
Having hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career link.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Google Pittsburgh announces major expansion and more

Each week Pop City reports on hiring and job news in the region.
 
Google Pittsburgh is expanding again and will hire between 100 to 200 people in the coming year. Google Inc. announced this week it is leasing another 50,000 square feet of office space in Bakery Square and will begin aggressively hiring for 75 open positions, many in the shopping and commerce division.
 
Google Pittsburgh has grown rapidly since establishing a presence in Pittsburgh, having hired 50 people in the last year alone. Positions include software engineers as well support staff.

Across the way, a new restaurant called Social will be holding open interviews on Thursday, June 13th, from 12-8 pm for all positions: waitstaff, cooks, hosts, managers. Social is located at 6425 Penn Avenue.

ThoughtForm, a communication design consultancy working at the crossroads of business strategy and creative thinking, is currently recruiting people for six permanent positions and one contract position. The positions include designers, developers, writers, an image specialist and project manager.

The Congress of Neighboring Communities, better known as CONNECT, is hiring an outreach and program coordinator. CONNECT, part of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, works to bring the region’s urban municipalities together to enhance and deliver important public services.
 
MARC USA is hiring an advertising account executive and looking for a PR/social media apprentice. The ad exec/ new business development specialist will focus on many aspects of the agencies new business program.  The PR/social media apprentice is a paid position for a college grad in advertising, marketing business or a related degree.

Pop City is looking for a part-time person to size and load photos in Pop City's content management system every week. Deadline day is every Tuesday so availability is important on Mondays and early Tuesdays. Position requires approximately 7 hours every week. Previous online experience with photos is very helpful. Photoshop skills are a necessity.  Must have photo software.  For more info email info@popcitymedia.com

Quantum Theatre is looking for a part-time consultant to raise brand awareness and deliver traffic to the theatre’s website, social media destinations, live productions, and special events. 
 
KDKA-TV is looking for a commercial videographer with skills as a sound mixer and lighting director, able to support all studio and set productions in preparation for productions.
 
Think Through Learning is hiring a senior editor, K-2. The position is responsible for the production of web-based mathematics and instructional materials for elementary-aged students.
 
A.C. Coy Company in Pittsburgh is hiring a technical writer for its technical writing department to work on a complete overhaul of their documentation and must have experience with Doc-to-help and authoring tools.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is opening a customer service center in Greentree that will create 150 jobs. The servicing operation offers services and counseling to student loan borrowers. Many of the positions are related to loan counseling and human resources. A recruitment event will be held on June 25. 

Still looking for the perfect job? The Allegheny Conference this week unveiled a re-imagined Imagine Pittsburgh website, a gateway to more than 30,000 jobs in the region. New features take the site beyond that of a mere job board, including  stories about the people who work and live in our region.
 
Have hiring news? Email Pop City. Sign up for Pop City on our homepage and receive hiring news each week.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Several companies announce major expansions

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news:
 
The big news at Duolingo, the CMU  language translation spinout, was the release of its Android app. The Shadyside-based startup is busting at the seams and plans to move next door to its current digs on Walnut Street to make room for more people. Major hiring is planned. Jobs currently posted include an infrastructure engineer, UI/UX designer and UI/UX design intern.  
 
Financial services firm Hefren-Tillotson will be moving from its Upper St. Clair branch office in the South Hills to a new 7,339 square foot office space in Southpointe. Major hiring is expected to follow. The firm is currently hiring for four positions: financial assistant, junior accountant, investment advisory administrative support supervisor and portfolio analyst.
 
Baby product maker Thorley Industries recently announced plans for a $1 million expansion of its Strip District operation and major hiring. Thorley—which goes by the name 4Moms—employs 97 and will add 75 positions this year in sales, engineering, marketing and supply chain. 

Thorley is on a fast track for major growth with the popularity of its techy baby gear. It’s power-folding stroller collapses with the touch of a button and its popular mamaRoo infant seat imitates the gentle rocking sway of a parent’s arms.
 
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is posting seven new positions, among them a guest services manager, finance assistant, greenhouse technician and event sales supervisor.
 
BEA of Belgium, makers of automatic door technology, is hiring a marketing coordinator, staff accountant, information systems manager and outside sales position.  Pittsburgh is the headquarters of Bea’s American operation.

Chester Engineers, an industry leading engineering firm, has 3 openings in Pittsburgh.  Chester provides energy, water and wastewater solutions to public and industrial clients across the United States and internationally.  

Meakem Becker Venture Capital is hiring a financial systems analyst in its downtown office.
 
Highmark is hiring a communications consultant to work on human resources communications programs.

The SMC Insurance company is hiring an account manager/ client specialist.
 
Finally, The Moving the Lives of Kids Community Mural Project, which has create murals from the city to Larimer to the Strip District and the East Busway, is hiring for its summer program. Artists and youth are paid by stipend.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links!

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? One click to a career in IT, architecture, sales and more

IKM Incorporated—Architects, Planners & Interior Designers is a Pittsburgh firm that offers architectural, planning and interior design services to companies in the mid-Altantic region. The firm has three staff position openings: architect I, project manager and architectural intern III & Illustrator.
 
The architect position is a full-time registered position and requires a professional with experience on institutional-type projects. The project manager should have 8-12 years of project management experience and a degree or master’s degree in architecture. The intern, full-time, is for an architecture grad on the path to licensure with three to five years of experience.
 
Social Media Information(SMI), developers of B2B information solutions for companies, is hiring two: a lead software developer and sales executive for their office on the North Shore. The firm is looking for a programmer to lead its development team on day-to-day coding for the front and backend systems that power SMI’s data-gathering and analysis systems.
 
The ideal sales professional will generate leads and new customer revenue targeting small and medium-sized business customers. Inside sales or field-based selling experience is required, plus a B.A. or B.S. degree.
 
West Penn Allegheny Health System is hiring a senior data analyst, quality and patient safety. The job entails facilitating activities to improve patient safety and the best clinical outcomes within the hospital setting. The provider seeks at least five years of data/business analysis experience.
 
UPMC on the South Side is hiring a systems analyst, intermediate report writer who will help support the Acceleration Epic Initiative Dept. This involves experience in analytical and or programming and IT experience.
 
The Resumator, which helps companies with their hiring needs, is hiring a director of customer success, director of product management and a sales intern.
 
Pittsburgh life sciences company Omnyx is advertising four positions: regulatory affairs specialist, principal scientist, principal quality engineer and project compliance and purchasing.
 
Wrtier: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Safaba and Bossa Nova. Openings for qualified teachers!

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
Safaba, a tech company that uses machine translation to help global enterprises localize and transcend the language barrier, is hiring four in leading product development, project delivery, marketing and sales. The positions include: sales lead, research scientist, senior software engineer and senior MT software engineer.
 
Carnegie Speech, developers of software that assesses and improves the pronunciation of non-native English speakers, is looking for a software engineer to help develop and maintain its language teaching products.
 
The Environmental Charter School in Regent Square has openings for 20 positions, many for teachers. ECS especially needs a bookkeeper and office manager. Note that applicants are urged to apply by May 15, which is today! Click here for further information.
 
Powercast is developing radio wave energy, harvesting technology that is breaking new ground in the remote and wireless power industry by increasing the efficiency of converting radio waves into DC power over a wide operating range. Powercast is hiring an electrical engineer.

Bossa Nova Robotics, a Carnegie Mellon spinoff, which recently pivoted its focus from robotic toys to personalized robotic products for the world, has three openings in R&D for an embedded software developer, localization/ navigation scientist and software engineer.

Aethon, a leader in autonomous mobile robot delivery technology in healthcare, is looking for an electrical design engineer to help develop advanced robotic vehicle electronics, controls and systems for autonomous mobile robotic vehicles. 
 
EDMC, a provider of post-secondary education across a wide range of careers, is hiring a director of business analysis and reporting, someone with strong computer literacy skills and experience with financial software programs.

Think Through Learning, a provider of online math tutoring for students, is hiring two math editors and a content development intern.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the career links. Check previous Pop City listings too!

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Ariba, Branding Brand, Wombat Securities and more...

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
What began with creative inspiration—and the purchase of Pittsburgh-based Freemarkets—is Ariba today, a software and IT company with an office in Pittsburgh. Ariba is hiring 12 in a range of positions, including a customer support specialist who can speak Mandarin Chinese.
 
The positions include: IT support positions and engineers, tax analysts, electronic supplier integration manager, staff accountant and several internships in IT support, technical support and customer support.
 
Branding Brand on the South Side, creators of mobile apps that power major retailers in the country, is looking for six people: account manager, director of sales, iOS developer, project manager, software engineer and web developer.
 
Premier Innovations Group, the Strip District importer of private label liquors, including Clique vodka, is looking for web developer to enhance the fast-growing company’s online presence.
 
Oakland-based Wombat Security Technologies is seeking five people for an array of jobs, with immediate need of an experienced product manager to strategically and tactically manage their products. Other positions include a channel manager, technical support rep. software developer and sales associate.
 
SMC Business Council, an organization that pools resources to assist smaller businesses, has two open positions at its Pittsburgh office: a director of the SMC Insurance Agency and a staff accountant for the council. The director job requires a BS in business or related field plus seven years of relevant work experience.
 
And finally, radio station WESA is looking for a general assignment multimedia reporter and weekend host, someone who is well informed in a wide range of topics and current events, especially as it pertains to Pittsburgh.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City!
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Looking for an internship? Read on...

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

Interactive tech company Songwhale is hiring developers, engineers and product managers. Check it out!

The University of Pittsburgh Press is hiring an editorial director, a creative person with at least 10 years of experience in scholarly publishing. A bachelor’s degree is required and graduate degree is a plus. This is a senior executive position.
 
DeepLocal is posting seven jobs including four internships: a part-time copywriting summer intern, visual design intern, mobile development intern and a software engineering intern. Other open positions include: android mobile developer (intermediate), iOS mobile developer (intermediate) and web developer (intermediate).
 
Lunametrics in the South Side is hiring an online media strategist, a content manager to create link bait and other SEO-related content for customers.  The job will involve working with the client’s social media in order to enhance rankings, but also involves several other skill sets. It requires someone who can embrace variety and flourish in it.
 
The World Affairs Council is hiring a program coordinator. The ideal candidate should be interested in international affairs. The position involves planning of education programs for middle school and high school students and teachers on a range of global issues.
 
Calgon Carbon Corp. is hiring an associate field service engineer for its Coraopolis office. The company manufactures and services products that generate high power Ultraviolet (UV) light used in disinfection and Oxidation processes (OX).
 
Point Park University is hiring a marketing and public relations coordinator with experience in marketing, arts marketing or working in higher education. Familiarity with social networking and social media marketing practices is a plus.

Carnegie Mellon University is looking for a media tech specialist for its Academic Technologies Services group, a person who specializes in video production and post-production. Qualified candidates are those able to coordinate all aspects of video production in capturing academic courses and special events.
 
The Pittsburgh’s Mayors Office of Service and Civic Engagement has extended the application deadline for Americorps Vista to May 17th. All positions are a one year service commitment to serve the city’s neighborhoods and youth. 

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the online link to the job.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Cast your vote for the next DATA winner, the coolest art tech party in Pittsburgh (you're invited)

The 2013 Data Awards return to the Grand Hall at the Priory, one of the biggest innovation celebrations of the year in honor of the coolest design and tech projects in the region.

Nearly 50 companies are in the running for the region's highest (and only) honor for great art, entertainment and design technology, sponored by The Pittsburgh Technology Council.

New this year, the general public, that's you dear reader, will get a vote on the top projects. 

From now until the polls close on May 1st, readers may vote once for a project in each category. The public vote will be tabulated and weighted along with the decisions made by a industry professionals, says Kim Chestney Harvey of the Tech Council, 

Also new this year, tickets are offered at two price points. The early evening will be dedicated to the awards ceremony and presentations, which will end at 7 p.m. After that, the interactive exhibition party begins. The public, and non-PTC members, will be admitted for $25.

“It’s all about engaging the public and pulling interest from beyond the business community this year,” says Chestney Harvey. "It’s really important to keep the community element, which is what the DATAs are founded on.”

As for the contenders, there are many new names and technologies. While a few favorites from years past are back—Schell Games and Lightwave—many are new. There’s SloGo. An intriguing entry from Slippery Rock called “God Particle.” Walking Thumbs’ Blab Cake.

The student category, also new this year, has eight entries from CMU.

The evening’s presenter will be Bill Stankay,  journalist, author, filmmaker and former CNN Bureau Chief. Pittsburgh’s own Chip Walter will host the Awards Gala, drawing on his own explorations of human creativity and curiosity.

Cast your vote today!  Polls close May 1, 2013.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Kim Chestney Harvey, Pittsburgh Technology Council

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Shale coalition seeks executive director, teaching jobs and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company hiring news.
 
Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), the region’s new nonprofit coalition of shale companies, nonprofits and environmental organizations, is seeking an executive director.  
 
Based in the EQT building downtown, the CSSD hopes to improve and innovate shale practices through performance standards and third-party certification. The ideal candidate will be responsible for directing all aspects of the Institute’s operations.
 
Pittsburgh-based AllFacilities Energy Group, an energy efficiency analytics company serving businesses, government agencies, municipalities and school districts, is hiring a drupal developer. The candidate should be a junior or intermediate drupal developer able to work on web-based applications for energy efficiency management.
 
The Penn Hills School District is looking for a secondary mathematics teacher.  Appropriate certifications are required, along with a working knowledge of mathematical concepts, common core standards and an ability to design and teach engaging lessons to middle school students.
 
Pine-Richland School District is advertising several openings including an assistant principal of the middle school and a world language and reading teacher for Eden Hall Upper Elementary.
 
The Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania is hiring a development associate. The ideal candidate is a veteran with honorable discharge with an undergraduate degree in communications and marketing experience.Send resume, cover letter (with salary requirements), and writing sample to employment@vlpwpa.org by May 1, 2013.
 
Downtown advertising company Brunner is hiring a copywriter, someone with at least five years experience working in advertising or a similar environment with the ability to write engaging copy and work across several areas, account service, creative and media.
 
North Side Smith Brothers Advertising is looking for a social media copywriter with a portfolio full of digital samples, including provocative, well-drafted copy. Accomplished wordsmiths who appreciate the power of social media need apply.
 
American Eagle Outfitters on the South Side is looking for an assistant buyer, online, with at least two years experience in retail merchandising. The position involves assisting the buyer to develop all aspects on online strategies. 
 
The Frick Art & Historical Center is hiring an executive assistant, someone with five years of experience. Knowledge of the arts is desirable, along with Windows computing experience, word processing, spreadsheets and email skills. The Frick is also looking for a director of finance and administrative services.
 
Pittsburgh startup FutureDerm, an online beauty health products firm, is looking for scientific writing interns to add to the production of daily, high quality content for a website that receives 250,000 views per month.

And lastly, kayak season is upon us and Venture Outdoors is looking for a Kayak program supervisor for the summer. 
 
Have hiring news to report? Contact Pop City and send the link to the posting.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Bombardier, Luma Institute and the Mayor's office...

Each week Pop City reports on the latest company and hiring news.
 
Global transportation company Bombardier is posting eight jobs and two internships at its West Mifflin operation. The positions range from an assortment of engineering jobs to project management. The firm is also looking for project management intern and software engineering intern.
 
Luma Institute is hiring a senior program director, a position that seeks world-class designers, innovators and teachers to run Luma programs around the world. The ideal candidate should have at least seven years experience as a design or innovation professional.

Flying Cork Media, a strategic marketing communications firm, is seeking a full-time creative writer. This position will assist in all client campaign writing, ensuring all initiatives are strategically and creatively aligned to clients’ needs, while being delivered on time and on budget. 

The Pittsburgh’s Mayors Office of Service and Civic Engagement is hiring for four Americorps Vista positions in July. All positions will involve the development, expansion, and streamlining of various servePGH programs.
 
PULSE, the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Experience, seeks a part-time, high energy person to coordinate the office and help the small non-profit as it grows.  PULSE cultivates a community of young servant leaders who are working to transform Pittsburgh.
 
Metro Family Practice is looking for a triage nurse for its family practice located in Wilkinsburg. The ideal candidate should be flexible and able to work both evenings and weekends.
 
Carnegie Mellon University seeks a senior writer/editor for national media outreach. As part of the public relations team, this position contributes to strategic public relations and internal communications in support of CMU’s Software Engineering Institute.
 
WPXI-TV and Cox Enterprises is looking for an experienced hard news reporter with energy, the skills and a passion for breaking news. Multiple talents are required and being a star on social media is a must.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and include the link to the job on your company website.

Writer: Deb Smit

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

Pittsburgh among the top performing regions in country says Allegheny Conference

A record crowd attended the annual luncheon held at the Fairmont yesterday to hear highlights of the Allegheny Conference's 2012 annual report with speakers ranging from PNC's Jim Rohr to Acquion Energy's CEO Scott Pearson.
 
David Malone, vice chair of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, reported on wins and current areas of focus. "If the last 30 years were focused on job creation," said Malone, the next 30 years will be focus on education, training and re-training for jobs.

The number of "wins" reported this year "underscore the confidence companies have in this region," and underscored the fundamental strengths of the diverse economy, said Malone in his introduction."I know you will find these numbers exciting," he said then cracked, "along with my presentation."

In the wrap up, Dennis Yablonsky reported on 2013 priorities, which include the dual infrastructure challenges of sewage problems and transportation.

Among the takeaways:
·       The 10-county Pittsburgh region is one of only three U.S. metros to have fully recovered from the recession, according to the Brookings Institution.
 
·       The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) reports 269 economic development deals (or wins) in terms of investment and development projects. The deals are expected to create 8,388 new jobs in the region over the next few years and retain 3,422 jobs to a total employment impact of 12,000 jobs.
 
·       A total $3.2 billion in capital investment was reported in 2012, the highest amount since 2007 when the record-keeping began. Investment projects were $1.8 billion, $750 million more than 2011. Development projects totaled $1.4 billion.
 
·       2012 marked a year of record-high employment and Pittsburgh position as a national leader for job growth in high-wage industries.
 
·       Existing regional businesses that are expanding remain the backbone of the economy and account for the majority of announced deals. In 2012, 72 percent of the deals (151) involved the expansion or retention of existing companies. Expansions on average account for two-thirds of investment wins over the past five years.
 
·       Manufacturing was the biggest winner last year. In 2012, there were 59 deals in this sector, an increase from 53 in the previous year, making the industry sector the strongest. 
 
·       In other sectors, energy had 53 wins, 21 of which were in the coal and natural gas sector. 60% of energy wins came from outside the natural resources sector.
 
·       Financial and business services is the largest contributor to the region’s gross regional product.

Writers: Tracy Certo and Deb Smit

Haunting documentary-style video game Atomic Zone recalls the bombing of Hiroshima

The first atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945.
 
Inspired by survivor testimonials and actual photography of the bomb site, CMU Entertainment Technology Center grad students have created an interactive documentary video that recreates the explosion site and depicts the deadly aftermath that killed more than 100,000 people.  
 
Atomic Zone might be the first post nuclear Hiroshima educational tool on the effects of nuclear weaponry, says Rodrigo Cano, one of six students who worked on the project as part of a class with Professor Scott Steven last fall. The other students are Nick, Noreen, Anabelle, Eric, Jason.

The video game was created for the Dept. of Defense to prepare military personnel for the realities of radiation during the aftermath of a nuclear war. It was funded by the Army’s Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC).

Atomic Zone is a 3-D simulation of both the natural and human destruction that occurs after a nuclear blast. Visitors walk through the blast zones and listen to stories told through photographs and haunting music of how so named “Little Boy” nuclear bomb wiped out the inhabitants of the city.  
 
The animation is graphic; the students rendered the landscape using historical materials and maps to tell the story authentically. It is not recommended for anyone under a high school age.
 
“This is something that people are slowly forgetting about,” explains Cano. “Especially the younger generation. Maybe this will help them to remember.
 
“Most of the feedback has been positive,” he adds. “Many people were surprised by the imagery we used. Some were surprised by the different effects of fallout.. We tried very hard to stay a political of the issue.”
 
Many ETC class projects have gone on to become game simulations, such as PeaceMaker, a simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Rodrigo Cano, Atomic Bomb
 

Announcing Pittsburgh DataWorks: Establishing the region as a big hub for Big Data

A new consortium of companies in Pittsburgh are joining forces to establish the region as a major hub for "big data" with the official launch of Pittsburgh DataWorks this week.
 
In stealth mode since last fall, DataWorks surfaced two weeks ago at the MIT Forum held at IBM in Squirrel Hill. IBM initiated the idea and is joined by five founding members: Carnegie Mellon University, Google, Management Science Associates, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Medical Center.
 
A long list of private companies and economic development organizations are on board as well.
 
Pittsburgh companies and universities are already working and established in this space, explains Bob Monroe, associate professor at the Tepper School of Business at CMU and member of the DataWorks advisory board.
 
This is the logical next step, bringing everyone together and unifying the effort to establish southwestern Pennsylvania as a leading region for this industry. By 2014, big data will gain an $81 billion foothold in the market and create 1.9 million jobs in the U.S.
 
“The opportunities are huge,” says Monroe. "As a region, we have many of the assets that will help us to become a capital for big data.”
 
DataWorks will share space in the business incubator Rev Oakland. In addition to promoting the region as a leading destination for big data education, the initiative will develop research, entrepreneurial and regional economic development opportunities.
 
The coming out party will be held Thursday, March 21, at the University Club on Pitt’s campus from 6 to 8 p.m.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Bob Monroe, Saman Haqqi, Pittsburgh DataWorks

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Rhiza Labs, Industry Weapon, The Frick and more...

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

Industry Weapon is hiring for six positions and has an opportunity for an intern. The positions include: sales administrator, customer support, quality assurance agent, motion graphics animator, software engineer, window developer and a social media/ branding intern. 
 
Learn more about these positions and the company at one of several open houses on one of four days, from March 19-22, at 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at the company’s offices at 900 Parish Street in Pittsburgh. Dress is casual.

Pittsburgh tech company Rhiza Labs is hiring for four full-time positions and an intern: front end user interaction designer, front end developer, software engineer, junior software engineer and a software engineering intern. Rhiza has also announced a Data Visualization Contest, challenging anyone to take any public data and turn it into a map, chart, or game. First prize is $350.
 
Pittsburgh grocer Giant Eagle is hiring for a wide range of positions in both retail and corporate environments. Current openings include a manager of digital strategy and a sourcing manager. The digital strategy manager will provide a roadmap to support customer loyalty and drive profitable sales; seven years of digital marketing experience and a bachelor’s degree is required. The sourcing manager will handle strategy and supply stream management. From three to five years of sourcing experience is required.

Etcetera Edutainment, a CMU spinout that is applying gaming principles to educational tools for a wide range of businesses and industries, is hiring a software/game developer responsible for leading software development as part of a team with game designers and artists. Interested applicants should contact the company by email careers@etcedu.com
 
The Mattress Factory on the North Side is looking for an office manager to provide support to the various departments of the museum.
 
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is seeking a marketing and special events manager to assist with their work to advance initiatives that foster economic vitality and improve downtown life.  
 
The Frick Mansion and the Art and Historical Society is looking for its next director of finance and administrative services. 
 
Tobacco Free Allegheny, established in 2002 by the Allegheny County Health Department to manage the county’s tobacco prevention and control program, is seeking an executive director. 
 
The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, in the midst of developing a 460 acre botanical park and education center, is seeking an environmental/ social work intern who will work with leadership to design a comprehensive youth development and vocational training program for youth ages 10 through 18 among other duties.
 
In other career related news, the Oakland Career Center will open on March 13th at 4 p.m. in central Oakland with tours of the newly renovated space. The space, a reclaimed vacant building on a neglected city corner and part of the Oakland Planning and Development Corp., will house JobLinks and School 2 Career programs. It will also accommodate job fairs and events for area employers.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City and send the links to the jobs.

Writer: Deb Smit
 
 
 
 
 

CWE's MyBoard, helping women entrepreneurs to grow their companies to $1 million and beyond

While many women in business today are successful, they often struggle when it comes to growing their businesses to greater profitability. 
 
A new program at Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) hopes to change that. CWE MyBoard is helping women entrepreneurs to not only succeed in the startup of their business but to sustain and grow it, which is often the hardest part.
 
Statistics show that while 50% of privately held companies in the U.S. are owned by women, only three-fourths of those women grow beyond $50,000 in gross revenues. MyBoard strives to make a difference by helping women gain the confidence they need to take on greater risk, hire more personnel and raise the necessary financing to push their businesses toward the $1 million mark, says Rebecca Harris, director of CWE.
 
MyBoard, an extension of the programming already offered by CWE, has paired 10 mentees with successful professionals who are serving as mentors, both women and men. The virtual platform offers the flexibility to meet at convenient times for everyone.  
 
“Being an entrepreneur myself, I wanted to make sure I had the time (to be a mentor),” says Gloria Blint, president and CEO of Redhouse Communication. “It’s a very cool way of maximizing people’s time. When professionals get involved, you want to be both effective and productive.”
 
Beth Slagle, an attorney with Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, serves as a mentor to Chef Kate Romane’s of the popular Highland Park restaurant E2. The program is helping Romane tackle the many business issues involved that will elevate her business to the next level, Slagle says.
 
The program is assisted through funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation with additional support from both the Alcoa Foundation and Bridgeway Capital.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Image: MyBoard mentors and CWE Staff members meeting with mentee Kate Romane of E2 restaurant.

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

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Highmark, Mylan and Google (again)

Each week Pop City reports on the latest in company and hiring news.
 
Pittsburgh Google in Bakery Square, the office with theme-park seating and a ceiling hammock, reports three new job openings that sound like engineers on a buying spree, but actually have more to do with online advertising and data feeds: partner operations specialist, shopping; partner technology manager, shopping and partner solutions manager.
 
Pittsburgh-based insurance company Highmark has 17+ openings across several departments:  accountants, case management support specialists, business analysts, registered nurses, practice managers, health coaches, fraud analysts, software services and more.
 
Highmark is also seeking energetic college undergrads and grads for a variety of internships: a finance undergrad intern, pharmacy undergrad interns and graduate interns. All will gain hands-on, practical experience through direct exposure to the business and day-to-day operations.
 
Mylan, the Canonsburg-based pharmaceutical company, has six new postings: tax analyst, copy editor, executive assistant, internal audit staff, legal secretary copy writer. 

Mylan also is looking for a market research intern to support the daily priorities of the global creative function within the marketing department.
 
PNC Financial Services is looking for a manager of external communications. The position involves building a positive external image and reputation for PNC through strong communication to key audiences, primarily new media representatives.
 
Immunetrics, a Pittsburgh bio-simulations company in the drug discovery space, is hiring a software engineer with a minimum of two years experience in the industry.
 
The Ellis School in Shadyside is looking for a director of development, an enthusiastic professional to work with the school’s leadership to assist in the strategic planning process and plan for its Centennial celebration in 2016.
 
Newton Consulting is hiring a director of digital marketing. The ideal candidate will be a power user of social media communities, network and tools with a solid understanding of how to increase the company's visibility, influence, interaction and sales acceleration through online networks. 
 
The Fairmont Hotel downtown has full-time openings for 15+ people: receiving clerk, receiving/purchasing manager, assistant front office manager, paymaster/labor analyst, income audit/general cashier, assistant banquet manager, concierge, steward and cooks.

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

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Looking for an internship? Summa Technologies and more

Each week Pop City reports on the latest hiring news in the region. This week we include a few internships too.
 
IT consulting and software company Summa Technologies is hiring at least a dozen people for a variety of positions: developers, technical consultants, senior product managers, administrative assistants and more. The company has been on a growth spurt and doubled in size in the last five years. 
 
Tech Shop, the new membership-based workshop studio opening in Bakery Square, is hiring talented people with teaching experience to join its pool of instructors. Instructors not only teach machine skills but safety, etiquette and responsibility. This is a part-time job and offers opportunities to create and teach your own classes. Read all about Tech Shop in Pop City this week.
 
Dick’s Sporting Goods is looking for a community relations coordinator responsible for creating, supporting, executing and evaluating community Relations events, charitable programs and corporate giving strategies as well as additional responsibilities. 
 
NHS Human Services is hiring a communications specialist for its Coraopolis office, a professional in the field of speech and hearing to provide assessment, program recommendations and communication training for those with speech and language deficits. Flex time is available.
 
Chatham University is looking for someone to teach its organizational behavior class, a part of their MBA program in the Fall of 2013. The seven-week class is held from 6 to 9 .m. on a day to be announced.  Qualified instructors may inquire or send a resume/CV directly to Bruce Rosenthal (brosenthal@chatham.edu).
 
A new child advocacy nonprofit, Allies for Children, is seeking its first executive director. The organization is an advocate for children and youth with a focus on the well-being of the children most at-risk.
 
United Way of Allegheny County is looking for a corporate relations manager. Three to five years of outside account management, sales presentations skill, fundraising and volunteer management is sought.

Beyond Spots and Dots has an internship for an aspiring web developer with programming skills in HTML, CSS, PHP & Javascript. A strong desire to produce quality client websites is key. The internship involves maintaining and updating client websites, creating new websites and a desire to learn and implement new technologies.

Pitt Ohio with offices in the Strip District is hiring a summer intern who is a major in safety. Applicants must have a minimum QPA of 3.0 and be proficient in MS Office.

Looking to hire or attract a qualified summer intern? Email Pop City and include the links.
 
 
Writer: Deb Smit

TechShop opening in Bakery Square, a playground for Pittsburgh entrepreneurs

If the smell of sawdust and the hum of a milling machine are calling your inner entrepreneur, TechShop may be in your future.
 
The Menlo Park company is opening its seventh workshop studio in the country in early March in Bakery Square, across from Google’s office.
 
The 16,000 square-foot space is shaping up to be a lively and inviting one, splashed with color and tall windows that give curious shoppers a peek within. TechShop is a membership studio, offering sophisticated tools and machinery to make products and prototypes, everything from 3D printers to laser cutters and machines for textiles and quilt making.
 
“We have all the tools you need to make just about anything on the planet,” says Mark Hatch, CEO, who was in town last week giving tours of the emerging studio. “We want to make sure any maker has access to a facility like ours.” 
 
The idea for the creation of nationwide workshops that encourage budding master crafters emerged from Richard Florida’s theory of creative class cities, says Hatch.
 
“We do a complete analysis of where creatives in the city live and lay it against the city’s grid, looking for retail locations with a flexible landlord,” he says. “Most of our neighborhoods (where TechShops are located) have a technology bent.”
 
In addition to gaining access to equipment for a monthly fee ($100 a month), TechShop will offer classes and training (such as how to launch a kickstarter campaign) and opportunities to nonprofits.
 
The studio already has its success stories. Hatch recounts how Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, designed and made his first Square at the Oakland TechShop, the small, plastic piece that allows smartphone users to swipe credit cards.
 
The Pittsburgh TechShop was supported through an investment partnership with DARPA and the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. The collaboration gives veterans across the country a free one-year membership to the nearest Tech Shop.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Mark Hatch, TechShop

Image: Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop in Pittsburgh

Tech Bytes: startup incubators, data mining, $17 million and more

It was a busy week on the local startup scene. Among the highlights:
 
* Innovation Happens was held at the Alpha Lab office in the South Side, bringing five startups together with business leaders in Pittsburgh. The goal of the program is to introduce local startups to local companies, which is a win-win for the region in helping to build great businesses, says Sean Ammirati, partner, Birchmere Ventures. The companies included: Community Elf, Acrinta, WebKite, Appcertain and Legal Sisters.
 
* Birchmere Ventures plans to make a big announcement later this week regarding the first local startup selected for Birchmere Labs, a seed and studio fund.
 
* More than 200 people attended the grand opening of Hustle Den, the new East Liberty incubator for entrepreneurs. Project Aura claimed the $25,000 prize for Thrill Mill’s first Business Bout, two CMU design students who are working to make the streets safer by illuminating bicycle tires in an array of colors depending on how fast the bike is traveling.
 
* Cohera Medical, the company that is bringing absorbable surgical adhesives and sealants to patients, helping them to heal and recover faster from large flap surgeries, has secured an additional $17 million round through private investors. Cohera will use the funds to expand into the European markets.
 
* Big Data is changing the world.  Learn all about it from a panel of local experts on how they are involved with 'big data' and what changes and opportunities they see emerging at the next MIT Enterprise Forum on Feb. 20th starting at 5:30 p.m. The panel, moderated by Raul Valdes-Perez, founder of Vivisimo, includes Mickey McManus, president and CEO of Maya Design, Saman Haqqi, a leader in the efforts to create the “Big Pittsburgh Data Mill,” John Dick, CEO of CivicScience and Susan Bachman of Management Science Associates.

Writer: Deb Smit

2013 Carnegie Science Awards recognizes outstanding innovators in the region

The 2013 Carnegie Science Awards were announced this week, an illustrious list of educators, researchers and business leaders working to improve the lives of others. The awards celebrate the accomplishments of individuals working in the fields of science, technology and education in Western Pennsylvania.
 
The winners include:   
 
The ExOne Company’s David Burns, Advanced Manufacturing Award 
Burns was recognized for positioning this promising North Huntingdon company as a leader in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. ExOne recently announced a public offering.
 
Edward Argetsinger, Jonathan Stinson, Paul Turner, Paul Jablonski, National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), Advanced Materials Award NETL assisted in the design of a new alloy for coronary stents used by physicians to open blocked or restricted arteries.

Nancy Minshew, University of Pittsburgh, Catalyst Award
As the head of the Center for Excellence in Autism Research, Minshew has extensively studied autism and applied the findings to practice and public policy. Her work has led to the region’s recognition as a world-class center for autism research.

Tracy Cui, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, Emerging Female Scientist Award Cui is researching smart biomaterials for neural implants and neural tissue engineering.

Raul Valdes-Perez, Jerome Pesenti, Vivisimo, Entrepreneur Award
The Squirrel Hill-based company, recently acquired by IBM, has taken an untraditional and creative approach in helping companies and governments discover, analyze and navigate large volumes of data.

Bob Enick, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, Environmental Award
Working in collaboration with a GE Global Research Team, Enick has developed a unique method of capturing carbon dioxide from the stack of coal-fired power plants, a technique that may cost far less than current technologies.

Patrick Daly, Cohera Medical, Start-Up Entrepreneur Award
As president and CEO of this promising Pittsburgh startup that grew out of research conducted at Pitt, Daly is helping to move the company’s first product, TissuGlu, into the market. The adhesive is designed to reduce the need for surgical drains in plastic surgery procedures and speed healing time.
 
David Vorp, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering and NETL-RU, Life Sciences Award Dr. Vorp's work on aortic aneurysms has changed the way clinicians view this disease and research on vein graft modification may one day change arterial bypass surgeries.
 
Peter Lucas, Joe Ballay, Mickey McManus of MAYA Design, Science Communicator
MAYA is helping the world to think more scientifically about design through informational films and interactive websites as well as the book, "Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology."
 
Check out the complete list of 2013 Carnegie Science Award winners.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

Award recipients Dr. Robert Enick and Dr. Tracy Cui, courtesy of Carnegie Science Center 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, LunaMetrics, Schell Games and more...


Each week Pop City posts the latest company and hiring news:
 
The architectural and design firm of Rothschild Doyno Collaborative is in need of talented and motivated team members with one to five years of post-degree professional experience.  The ideal candidates must also possess excellent communication and graphic skills with both hand-drawn and digital media. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in urban design.
 
Lunametrics has three openings for a digital analytics manager, a PPC (paid search) manager and sales manager for digital consulting services. All are full-time positions at the firm's South Side office. Lunametrics claims to be the the only Google Analytics Certified Partner in the region and one of three companies that do the GA Seminars for Success training in the US.

The Pittsburgh Magazine, the region’s flashy monthly publication with offices on Washington’s Landing, is looking for a new Editor In Chief. The ideal candidate will have a journalism degree or related field and a minimum of 10 years of experience in publication editing and management. The pub, founded by WQED, was acquired by Denver-based Wiesnermedia in 2009.
 
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is hiring a vice president of special events and development, a position that requires the dedication necessary to ensure that Pittsburgh remains a vibrant destination for employees, residents and visitors. The successful candidate will have a strong background in event production and sponsorship development and carry on successful traditions such as Light Up Night, Project Pop-Up Night Market and the Holiday Market in Market Square.

NuRelm, a provider of web software and services based in Uniontown, is seeking an entry-level programmer to build content managed websites. Recent college grads may apply! An Innovation Works portfolio company, NuRelm is looking to acquire space and move downtown this year.
 
Schell Games is seeking an exceptionally skilled online community manager to guide their current team working on projects that range from the creation of online worlds and handheld games to themed interactive attractions. The ideal candidate possesses outstanding communication, organization and passion for video game development.
 
Chatham University is looking for someone to serve as director of corporate, foundation and government relations. The ideal candidate will be responsible for developing and following a strategic fundraising plan and all that goes with it. He or she will also lead the effort to expand government funding opportunities. A Bachelor’s and Advanced degree is preferred, as well as a demonstrated ability to raise funds from corporations and foundations.
 
Dick’s Sporting Goods is hiring a graphic designer responsible for collaborating with the creative manager to develop graphic communications. Must have a strong eye for design and experience in integrating photography, typography and copy to enhance the DSG brand.
 
Moon-based global energy company Eaton is hiring a marketing communications manager. The successful candidate will lead all aspects of the Residential Products Division and work closely with business unit personnel.
 
American Eagle is looking for an aggressive and passionate person to work as an assistant online buyer, someone who possesses a keen sense of fashion exhibited through personal taste. The ability to assist the buyer in analyzing, merchandising and making communication decisions to develop online strategies is key.

Having hiring news? Email Pop City and include the links.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

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

Akustica rolls out new HD microphones and names Horst Muenzel as new CEO

Bosch-Akustica rolled out a digital family of four high-definition microphones this month for consumer devices that promises to dramatically improve sound quality.
 
The latest additions to the company’s product line of HD voice microphones for smartphones, tablets and other consumer electronics was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month.
 
“A lot of the accuracy for speech recognition today depends on the quality of the microphones, which are continually getting better,” explains Davin Yuknis, vice president of sales and marketing. “They are getting so clear you can hear a pin drop.”
 
The South Side Akustica office has announced a managerial shift within the global company as well. Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, former CEO of Akustica, has moved to Germany to lead Bosch Sensortec, a sister company to Akustica.
 
Dr. Horst Muenzel has taken over as CEO and general manager of Akustica. Muenzel, who has been with Bosch since 1989, was previously regional president of the Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
 
His many years in MEMs research and technology makes Muenzel an excellent choice for continuing Akustica's mission to deliver innovative microphones and products that meet changing market requirements, says Yuknis. 
 
“Stefan was the integrator within the Bosch structure, a $70 billion company.” Yuknid says. “Horst has run the research and technology center for all of Bosch and is very familiar with Pittsburgh.”
 
New management marks the next phase of bringing new products to market for both the cell phone and consumer products. Akustica will remain in a growth phase and hiring is expected in the coming year.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Davin Yuknis, Akustica

CAPA student lands role in shale drama, "Promised Land." The debate ignites anew.

“Promised Land” brings the fracking debate to the big screen this month and along with it a film role for CAPA freshman Cain Alexander.
 
Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by actors Matt Damon and John Krasinski (with an assist from Dave Eggers), the film tells the story of two gas company landmen (Damon and Frances McDormand) who are on the frontlines of securing gas leases from farmers and landowners in a small fictional town that happens to be Avonmore, Westmoreland County.
 
“Promised Land” drew 80 percent of its filming crew from Pittsburgh and employed 100 to 400 locals as extras.
 
Westmoreland County--Avonmore along with Apollo, Worthington and Slate Like in Armstrong County--serves as a backdrop for the story of the landmen who find themselves up against the environmental concerns of a community and a fiesty environmentalist (Krasinksi).
 
Alexander plays McDormand’s son in a scene, brief but poignant, that reveals her primary motivation in working for the gas company, the support of her son.  
 
“Working with Frances was very inspirational,” says Alexander. “She is so down to earth, which made me very comfortable. My scene is a pivotal one, giving you a better look into her character.”
 
Alexander, 15, lives in Brookline. He credits his grandmother, who keeps him abreast of acting opportunities, with helping him land the role. After an initial audition in Pittsburgh, he was one of three actors who received a callback.
 
Earlier this year, the budding actor played a lead role in the Thoroughline Theatre Company premiere “Book of Tricks” by Mt. Lebanon playwright Alex Galatic. It was a challenging role playing a child who has Asperger’s Syndrome.
 
While Alexander feels the movie attempts to present both sides of the story, the gas industry has raised concerns about the film’s overall anti-fracking message.
 
(Note: The film actually offers more in the way of insight into how different people view and respond to gas drilling than debate the pros and cons of the industry.)
 
The Marcellus Shale Coalition announced this week that it has bought on-screen time in 75% of all movie theatres in Pennsylvania and will run a short piece before the movie asking viewers to read a recently created website, Learnaboutshale.org, which presents the industry’s side of the story.
 
A public forum that shares “many sides of the issue from the environmental to the economic,” including the basic science behind the process, will also be presented at Mt. Lebanon Library by RiverQuest on January 16, 2013.
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Cain Alexander; Marcellus Shale Coalition, Mt. Lebanon Library
 
 
 
     
       
 
 
 
 
 

Rail Girls teaches rookie female developers new web tricks (sorry guys)

Want to learn the language of the Internet? Think code is only for computer science geeks and undercover agents? If you’re female and want to get into on the action, Rail Girls is for you (sorry men.)
 
Rail Girls is an international organization that got its start in Helsinki, Finland, 2010, as a one-time event for women. It proved so popular that the teaching workshops spread to other cities around the globe: Shanghai, Singapore, Krakow, and now Pittsburgh.
 
The weekend workshop brings small groups of women together and empowers them to acquire the tools necessary to conquer the online frontier, or at least build a website, says Amanda Brown, an organizer of the local chapter.
 
The classes teach Ruby on Rails, or Rails, an open source, full-stack web application framework for the Ruby programming language. If this makes absolutely no sense to you, it soon will.
 
The weekend event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19th, and is free and open to all girls and women. An installation event will be planned for the day before.
 
“If you don’t have any programming experience, you should be able to follow along and orient yourself. It’s geared toward the beginner level. We really want it to be a growing and learning experience while building community.”
 
ModCloth is a major sponsor of the event along with Confluence and NuRelm. Innovation Works has donated the AlphaLab space on Carson Street the South Side for the workshop.  
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Amanda Brown, Rail Girls

Pittsburgh marketing guru Dan Droz rocks the AMA awards

“Effective marketing campaigns personify the value of a product or company in some way,” says Pittsburgh marketing guru Dan Droz. “It’s a gift that keeps on giving.”
 
The founder of the downtown boutique firm Droz and Associates is obviously on to something. Last Friday the firm rocked the local American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 6th Annual Marketer of the Year Celebration, capturing no less than seven of the 10 awards presented.
 
The AMA awards recognize the top campaigns in the region for creativity and successfully strategy in 10 categories--including education, consumer services and technology. For the 32-year-old firm, it was a slam dunk.
 
“It was ‘oh no, not Meryl Streep again!'” Droz admits.
 
How do they do it? Take the Pittsburgh-based ProGrass campaign. When the makers of artificial turf for stadiums and sports facilities wanted to take on the mega-brand AstroTurf, Droz and Associates created a company mascot, a bauble-headed rhino named Rocky with a great physique.
 
Not only did the campaign put ProGrass on the artificially turfed map, but business shot up more quickly than real grass. The company could barely keep up with demand.
 
“It’s not about being different, it’s about being meaningfully distinctive,” says Droz. “Coming up with something that actually touches people. That’s the hard part.”
 
Droz has handled strategy and branding campaigns for more than 500 companies during his years in the business. He lectures and consults around the world, too, and has won numerous awards. But marketing wasn’t his first career. Droz was an adjunct professor at CMU, a position he held for 17 years until he retired.
 
He made a mark in this field as well. During the 1980s, he co-founded the Interdisciplinary Product Development Program at CMU, the first school in the country to offer a program that brought three distinct disciplines together: engineering, marketing and design.
 
Today, interdisciplinary programs are standard practice.
 
The recent spate of awards not only gave the firm seven awards, but a Grand Marketer of the Year nod for a campaign that expanded hospital linen company CleanCare. The campaign included the clever placement of humorous slogans on the company’s fleet of trucks.
 
Another winner was the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures campaign, which publicized the non-profit speakers series through large banners that were displayed across an Oakland construction site.
 
“Within three weeks, the series was sold out,” says Droz. “Now there’s a waiting list for tickets that were readily available a year ago.
 
“Part of what we’re doing is making an emotional connection,” he adds. “When we’re personifying a brand, we’re helping people to make an emotional connection. Creating light, designing with a sense of humor. “
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dan Droz, Droz and Associates
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Pittsburgh, The Aviary and more

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

Hopital Alfred Schweitzer in Haiti/ Pittsburgh is looking for a Major Gifts Manager. This position is ideal for a fearless and passionate fundraiser who is committed to strategic fund development for nonprofits through traditional and new vehicles of fundraising. The accomplished candidate will work with donors at a national and international level for this respected healthcare hospital in Haiti.
 
The successful candidate should have five years as a successful gifts officer, a bachelor’s degree and advanced degree preferred, strong interpersonal skills, the ability to travel and more.

The Darpa Robotics Challenge team 'Tartan Rescue' of the National Robotics Engineering Center at CMU is hiring for a Senior Research Programmer position. NREC is developing a complex humanoid platform capable of performing various disaster response activities. The ideal candidate is a strong, self-motivated person who wants to work in a fast-paced environment and push forward state-of-the-art technology.

Celerity, as reported this week in Pop City, is expanding its Pittsburgh office and web team with the hiring of six, mostly software developers and web and mobile analysts. Most of the positions require a software engineering at least three to five years of experience.

The National Aviary is seeking a full-time grant writer who will assist in uncovering private funding sources for new and existing activities and operational needs. The idea candidate should have three years of demonstrable grant writing experience and will report to the Director of Development.

Pittsburgh startup FutureDerm is looking for a science and beauty blog writer and intern. Writers who are interested in learning more about the science behind  skin care, hair care and makeup are encouraged to apply. Writers may be compensated up to $15 per article depending on previous experience.

Have hiring news? Contact Pop City.

Writer: Deb Smit


Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Sarah Heinz House, Advanticom and more

The Sarah Heinz House, a nonprofit providing a nurturing environment for local youth and their families, is looking for an executive director.
 
The ideal candidate shall provide visionary leadership and support to the board in setting and achieving organization goals, obtaining and allocating resources and carrying out established organizational policies. Additional tasks include managing and working closely with staff.
 
As reported this week in Pop City, Astrobotic Technologies is moving to the Strip District, which will make room for two additional hires in the coming months, including a principal software engineer.
 
Advanticom in Pittsburgh is looking for a full-time sales engineer. The position is a combination of sales, support, technical writing, inside sales and sales engineering. Strong networking, visualization and data center technology understanding is essential.
 
Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside is hiring a Technology Support Professional immediately to provide support to the Director of Technology. The position requires an Associates Degree or Bachelor’s degree or equivalent and experience in academic computing environments. Knowledge of Microsoft and Apple operating systems and software, Google Apps for Education, Blackbaud, Active Directory, and multi-platform environments is preferred.
 
UPMC is hiring a technical writer to work regularly business hours full-time or as needed.
 
Smith Micro Software is hiring a Senior Technical Recruiter, responsible for managing positive relationships and hiring mid to executive level job candidates.

Got hiring news? Contact Pop City! 

Writer: Deb Smit


Who is Paolo Pedercini and why has Pittsburgh embraced him?

The Pittsburgh gaming industry is buzzing with the news that Paolo Perdercini is here to stay. 
 
The internationally recognized and controversial artist and games designer took a full-time tenure-track faculty position with the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University this month. He was formerly a Fine Foundation Visiting Professor since 2009.
 
Perdercini's commitment to CMU and Pittsburgh is appealing, in part, because of his fresh take on the social mission behind gaming. His work is considered radical and forward-thinking, beyond the cutting edge if that’s even possible, his fans say.
 
“What makes Paolo special is that his games pose difficult questions not only about the society in which we live, but also the very industry and medium of video games themselves,” says John Carson, head of the CMU School of Art. 
 
“Paolo's work is fantastic, and I'm thrilled that he's coming to stay!” adds an enthusiastic Jesse Schell, of Schell Games on the South Side.  

Only 31, the Italian game designer has produced controversial games that have circled the globe, gathered a cult-like following and invoked the wrath of Apple, which banned his game Phone Story about the hidden social cost of smartphone manufacturing.
 
His other works include the a radical gaming project called Molleindustria and games like Oligarchy, McDonald's Videogame, The Free Culture Game and Unmanned, as well as several books. He is a sought-after lecturer and judge for international conferences devoted to games that make a social impact.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: CMU

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Fireman Creative, SWSG, the FISA Foundation and more

Fireman Creative, a technology and marketing agency focused on engaging audiences through digital and traditional media, is hiring a mid-level position. Qualifications include a passion for the mobile user experience and significant experience with modern architectures, frameworks, and tools relevant to web development. 
 
The Scholars in Local Government Program is looking for the best and the brightest (with advanced degrees) to enter into careers in public service.  The program “allows talented individuals to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to local government by applying their skills and creativity to real world problems and using their leadership abilities to influence policy and practice in the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, an agency hailed as a national model for innovative and effective government.” 
 
Recent grads of masters and doctoral level programs of social work, public policy, public administration, law, business, and related fields graduating within 18 months of the application deadline are eligible to apply. 
 
The FISA Foundation, a charitable grantmaking organization working to improve the lives of women, girls, and people with disabilities in the ten county area of southwestern Pennsylvania, is looking for a program officer. The position is full time and involves a range of duties: soliciting, reviewing, monitoring and evaluating the impact of a diverse portfolio of grants.
 
Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG) is seeking its next president. SWSG is a national mentoring organization with a model to empower today’s girls and young women to grow into tomorrow’s strong leaders who will create positive social change. 
Applicants should be dynamic and passionate.

The new President will bring visionary leadership and management experience, operational excellence, and the ability to cultivate strong relationships. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of and commitment to the needs of girls and young women across the country, as well as the ability to nurture fruitful partnerships in all parts of the country and across all sectors of society.
 
This is a full-time position that can be based out of Pittsburgh (or the Boston or South Florida location).

Rinovum, makers of an over-the-counter fertility kit to help couples conceive in the comfort of their own home, is hiring in January 2013. Positions range from quality and regulatory manufacturing to operations.
 
The Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone (ARTEZ), Inc. is seeking a full-time Executive Director to begin work January 2013.
 
ARTEZ is seeking an executive director to assist with broadening the economic development activities of the organization to include not only job creation and retention activities, but land use and planning, real estate development, and river trail expansion.
 
German manufacturer Hydrotechnik has signed a lease in Sewickley and will be launching operations later this year. The company, which makes specialized measuring instruments, will initially employ 15 people.

Got hiring news? Contact Pop City.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? The Resumator, NoWait, ShowClix, GASP and more

Each week Pop City posts the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 
 
Rock star startup, The Resumator, is growing and hiring to keep up with an exploding demand, looking for 10 new hires plus an intern.
 
The company grew 600% in 2011, CEO Don Charlton told the audience at the AlphaLab/ i6 University preview last week. They are hiring engineers, product, graphic and interactive designers and expanding their sales team.
 
The Resumator also recently landed a Series B round for $2.1 led by Pittsburgh-based Birchmere Venutres, Series A lead investor, and Rincon Venture Partners and Salesforce.com. The Resumator counted both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney as clients this year, helping to recruit volunteers.
 
NoWait, the Pittsburgh-based startup that provides wait-list and seating tools to casual restaurants, is adding six to its team of 14. The former Alpha Lab company plans to roll out new features soon. Jobs include a director of national accounts, inside sales reps, engineers and developers.
 
Group Against Smog and Pollution, better known as GASP, is hiring a coordinator for a new campaign, Athletes United for Healthy Air. The non-profit citizens’ group plans to expand its role as a lead advocate on environmental issues through a campaign that will educate athletes—from the professional to the casual—on the region’s air quality and how to limit their risk of exposure to air pollution.  
 
The AU Coordinator is a part-time position with the potential of becoming fulltime in the next six months and will be responsible for managing all aspects of GASP’s campaign.
 
Online ticketing company ShowClix has openings for technical people as well as an online advertising specialist, a Technical Writer and a Director of Marketing. In November ShowClix will hold an "Engibeering" event for all those interest in technical positions with the company. 
 
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is hiring a Sports Copy Editor. The ideal candidate should have strong language skills. The position requires night and weekend shifts and should be familiar with InDesign and have at least three years’ experience at a 50,000-plus circulation paper. 

Have company hiring news? Share it with Pop City!
 
Writer: Deb Smit
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Sierra w/o Wires, 4Moms and more

Each week Pop City posts the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 

Sierra w/o Wires is hiring five people for IT and engineering positions. The company is an IT services provider specializing in remote systems monitoring and remote systems management, cloud/virtual systems hosting, software development and hardware and software reselling.
 
Positions include Server Operations Engineer, Senior Server Operations Engineer, Network Operations Engineer, Application Development Engineer, and Entry Level Project Manager.
 
Robotic toy and baby product company 4moms, makers of innovative solutions for parents, is hiring eight or more in Pittsburgh including a Director of Marketing, Brand Manager, Mechanical Engineers, Sales Assistant, Software Engineers and a Supply Chair buyer.
 
Family House in Pittsburgh provides an affordable home away from home for patients and their families seeking medical treatment for serious or life-threatening illnesses.
 
The nonprofit is seeking a full time Director of Finance.  The ideal candidate requires a talented professional who will be the CFO of the organization and a member of the strategic leadership team.
 
Maya Design is seeking a staff accountant for their downtown office, a full time position that requires experience in budgeting, forecasting, collections, invoicing and working on financial statements. A bachelor’s degree in accounting and two to four years of experience are preferred.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City

Writer: Deb Smit
 

Pittsburgh is growing younger and has one of the most educated younger workforces in the country

 
The long-held belief that Pittsburgh's younger workforce is declining was shattered this week with the official news that the exact opposite is true.  

A report released by the University of Pittsburgh’s University Center for Social and Urban Research and local think tank, Pittsburgh TODAY, confirmed what many have been saying for awhile: Pittsburgh is not only attracting more young people to the region but it is successfully retaining its own.

And they are a highly educated bunch.

Pittsburgh leaders came together on Pitt's campus on Tuesday to celebrate the news in "Young Adults Report 2012," one of the most comprehensive studies to date on youth and the region.
 
Among the highlights:
 
The population of adults ages 20-34 rose by 7 percent in the past five years and is on track to grow another 8 percent by 2020.
 
The region has a young adult workforce that is among the best educated in the country. Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the U.S. for workers aged 25-34 with at least a four-year degree and is one of only three regions where more than 20 percent of young workers hold advanced degrees.
 
Nearly half of young adults earn at least $50,000 or more and 22% earn $75,000 or more.
 
“It’s a great time to be a young person coming out of school in your twenties and living in Pittsburgh,” said Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald, who vividly recalled the dark state of the local economy when he graduated in 1984. “We need more policies that will continue to attract the kind of talent that will move this region forward.”
 
Young people today aren't buying cars at the level of previous generations, he noted. They want better public transportation. They ride their bikes. They enjoy the arts.
 
Bike Pittsburgh advocate Scott Bricker agreed. Pittsburgh is attractive to many young people as a place where they can get involved and make a difference, he noted. 
 
There’s a lot of buzz about the health of the arts community in Pittsburgh outside of the region, both nationally and internationally, added Jon Rubin, CMU art professor and the director of Conflict Kitchen. Rubin recently returned from China where Pittsburgh was among three American cities recognized, alongside Los Angeles and New York.
 
Work remains to be done, others said. The region must continue to attract and welcome diverse talent, said Melanie Harrington of Vibrant Pittsburgh.
 
Young adults have the lowest rates of voter participation of any age group, others noted. One in four young adults reports never voting, even in presidential elections.

The report was released to coincide with the arrival of the One Young World conference in Pittsburgh this week, bringing some 1,200 young delegates from around the world here to learn more about what's working in the region and discuss a wide of range of pressing global concerns.

Read the report.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: PittsburghTODAY

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Lucas Systems, Schell Games and Wall-to-Wall Studios

Each week Pop City posts the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 

Wexford-based Lucas Systems is hiring 11 people. The  fast-growing software company provides retailers with a voice-based headset system that is worn by employees in warehouse and distribution centers, helping to improve accuracy and operations in warehouse logisitics tasks. The jobs include: engineers, product and software engineers, sales support manager, inside sales rep, and a vice president of engineering.
 
South Side game developer Schell Games has openings for MMO Server Programmer, Web Programmer and Senior Flash Engineer. While the Web Programmer is an entry level position, requiring a degree in computer sciences or related experience, the other two are for software engineers with at least three years of experience.
 
The Fred Rogers Company of Mister Rogers fame is looking for a Director of Finance. The successful candidate must demonstrate a broad understanding of financial and television production accounting/financial systems and reporting and proficiency in Excel and Quickbooks. 
 
The Mattress Factory is hiring a full-time Marketing manager in the Development Department, responsible for developing, managing and implementing the Mattress Factory’s strategic marketing initiatives and working closely with museum leadership.
 
The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR) is hiring an Executive Director. PCCR is a sustainable resource conservation company that promotes keeping materials out of the landfills through creative reuse. The position requires five or more years in non-profit or related experience as well as a range of management and fundraising skills.
 
Wall-to-Wall Studios is hiring a Front End Web/ Interactive Developer and a Motion Graphics Designer/ Animator. Those with strong communication skills and a passion for the Web will thrive at this strategic creative and branding firm.

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Alcoa, Williams, Pittsburgh Zoo, Andy Warhol and more

Pop City's weekly roundup of hiring in Pittsburgh ranges from Alcoa to Williams Company to several arts and animal care organizations.

Alcoa is posting 15+ jobs in Pittsburgh including engineers, supply chain specialists, senior technicians, field sales consultants, associate counsel and territory sales reps. 

Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams Company, a natural gas firm, has 115 positions opening up in their Pittsburgh offices. Positions are a wide ranging, from engineers, technicians and safety specialists to internships.

Magee Womens Hospital of UPMC is hiring an administrative coordinator to support the Foundation Board of Directors and Research Administration for its Oakland location.

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is hiring a Director of Development. The new director will orchestrate the Zoo’s $20 million capital campaign in 2013 and everything that goes with it. Qualifications include excellent oral and written communication skills and eight-plus year's progressive experience in financial development with non-profit organizations and prior supervisory experience, for starters.

The Andy Warhol Museum is seeking a Director of Development who will be responsible for developing and implementing fundraising strategies and tactics to generate support from foundations, corporations, governments, and individuals in conjunction with Carnegie Museums’ Director of Development for Art and The Andy Warhol Museum’s leadership staff.

Animal Friends is looking for an Adoption & Customer Service Coordinator.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is hiring a Finance Director and Librarian.

The Ward Home in the South Hills, offering independent-living services for at-risk teens, is looking for a Director of Development.

See the previous job listings in Pop City.

Writer: Deb Smit

CMU's Chris Harrison named a Top 35 Innovator Under 35 by MIT Review

CMU’s Chris Harrison, a creator of technologies that takes digital devices to unexpected places—like your forearm—was selected by MIT’s Technology Review as one of the world’s Top 35 Innovators Under 35.
 
Harrison has been finding new ways for humans to engage with technology for several years. In the beginning, there was Skinput, a project that challenged the way we use cellphones, allowing users to dial by tapping a projection of numbers on our skin or a table.
 
Then there's Lean and Zoom, a system that automatically adjusts the magnification of a computer monitor based on the distance you sit from the screen. This idea has already been commercialized by CMU’s QoLT Foundry.
 
Touché is a sensing technique Harrison helped to develop as part of a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, that enables objects to sense how they are being touched.

“I’m pretty stoked and honored,” says Harrison, who recently returned from a six-week honeymoon in Tanzania. “It’s one of the top awards young scientists can receive early in their careers. It’s a huge honor, as good as it gets.”

Harrison, 28, is a native of England and Ph.D. student in CMU's Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII). The idea is to take everyday devices—a computer mouse or a keyboard—and give it a nuance that makes it easier and more convenient to use, he says.
 
Harrison sees a future where desktops will become dinosaurs and play a waning role in everyday life. Mobile technologies will be found everywhere, from the workplace and hospitals to our kitchen appliances.

“The big high level tagline is empowering people to interact with small devices in big ways,” he says.
 
The list of the illustrious 35 was selected by a panel of experts and the editorial staff of Technology Review based on a evaluation of more than 250 nominations. The 35 winners for 2012 will be featured in the September/October issue of Technology Review.
 
Harrison will join other TR35 honorees in discussing their achievements at the EmTech MIT 2012 conference, at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge Oct. 24-26.

 Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Chris Harrison, CMU

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Industrial Scientific, Highmark, Bayer, Sprout Fund + WYEP

Pop City's weekly roundup of hiring in Pittsburgh features a wide range of jobs at Industrial Scientific, Highmark, Bayer, the Allegheny Conference, The Sprout Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation and Landesberg Design.
 
Industrial Scientific in Pittsburgh has more than 40 job openings in Pittsburgh. Positions range from engineering, manufacturing, product management, service operations, software development, supply chain and customer service.  
 
Highmark has 166 jobs posted for a diverse range of positions in IT, business analyst, management, managed care, finance and accounting, marketing, purchasing and professional staff.
 
Bayer currently has eight jobs openings in the areas of project manager mergers and acquisitions, IT Analyst, senior human resources, and compensation and cost specialists.  
 
The Allegheny Conference is looking for a Workplace project manager. The position provides research, communications and direct project support to the Conference’s Workplace program. 
 
The Sprout Fund is hiring a development officer, a new full-time position that will plan, manage, and execute all of Sprout’s fundraising efforts for its Annual Campaign, with a principal focus and responsibility on revenue received from individual donors and individually-directed gifts from companies and personal/family foundations.

The Pittsburgh Foundation is hiring a development officer to work with other members of the team to attract, cultivate and maintain strong relationships with new donors and current donors for purposes of accomplishing the donor’s philanthropic objectives as well as building the foundation’s assets.

Landesberg Design is seeking a graphic designer for its Pittsburgh office. The company is considering candidates with 3 to 10 years of experience in print and web. Inventive, articulate, perceptive, playful, typographically sensitive, culturally literate. 

WYEP is looking for a Morning Mix Co-Host/Digital Services Coordinator for 91.3 WYEP to assist in hosting a weekday morning show from 6 to 10 a.m. and is responsible for the direction and implementation of all social and interactive media content. This is a full-time position.
 
Check out previous job listings in Pop City.

Writer: Deb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? American Eagle, Matrix Solutions + GTECH

Each week Pop City posts the latest job openings in the region. Businesses and companies are invited to send their career postings to debrsmit@gmail.com.
 
American Eagle Outfitters has 18 job openings at its corporate office in the South Side. Positions range from merchandisers and buyers to positions in marketing, finance, human resources, planning and allocation, graphic design and IT.

Matrix Solutions is has three openings: software developer, customer support manager and senior sales executive. As a provider of sales strategy management software for the media sales industry, Matrix is in business to meet the unique advertising demands of newspapers, TV stations, radio and cable. 

AT&T has openings for 26 people in Pittsburgh. While many of the positions are for full and part-time retail sales consultants, AT&T is seeking those with experience or degrees in engineering, finance, and management. Among the jobs is a Director Technology and Strategy, which requires at least 10+ years of relevant experience. 

GTECH is hiring an office manager to provide administrative, marketing, and bookkeeping support.  The position entails a combination of administrative duties as well as marketing tasks. Energetic personalities with a good sense of humor who can work in a fast-paced environment are sought.
 
One of Pittsburgh’s premier sustainable initiatives, the nonprofit aims to help Pittsburgh grow by transforming vacant land, connecting people to the green economy, and using green strategies to provide economic and community development opportunities.

Let’s Move Pittsburgh is looking for a program director to lead its Southwestern Pennsylvania chapter. Modeled after First Lady Michelle Obama’s Lets Move! Campaign, the local chapter is a collaboration of organizations here committed to addressing childhood obesity.

The program director reports directly to the executive director of Phipps Conservancy and Botanical Garden.  Prospective candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field, master’s degree preferred.

To see previous postings for ShowClix, Deep Local, Google and more, go here.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: AE, ATT&T, GTECH, Matrix Solutions, Phipps

Photo of AEO in the South Side courtesy of AEO

StartUptown ignites the renewal of Uptown, expanding to the Paramount building this fall

Can an urban campus that fosters the growth of technology and social innovation startups accelerate economic redevelopment in the rest of Uptown Pittsburgh?
 
Dale McNutt believes in the domino-effect beginning with StartUptown, an idea he envisioned more than five years ago with the purchase of a shuttered building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Jumonville Street. 
 
McNutt, a graphic designer, and his wife remodeled the vacant, 100-year-old structure, converting the 12,700 square feet into a home for themselves and a cool space for some of the region’s most promising startups, many of them Alpha Lab companies graduating from the Innovation Works program. 
 
By formalizing StartUptown as a nonprofit, McNutt hopes to attract further funding from public and private resources. The incubator has already received $250,000 from an Allegheny County CITF Grant.
 
This month, it was awarded 501c3 federal nonprofit status, a critical turning point, says McNutt.
 
Economic development happens through a culture of innovation, says McNutt. The best way to spark interest in the revitalization of Uptown is by attracting young companies who bring innovation, diversity and energy to the neighborhood—and maybe a few coffee shops and restaurants. 
 
 “It’s about developing Uptown through the creation of this campus, making it a destination, trying to bring in investors and raise public money,” McNutt explained during a BBQ last week that showcased "The Big Room" and the surrounding garden, an oasis of hope in a neighborhood that has struggled with urban blight.
 
With the help of UPSTART Collaborative, a loose group of people who are helping McNutt to enlarge the campus, StartUptown will expand its campus to the Paramount Pictures Film Exchange this fall. The Paramount addition will expand StartUptown’s footprint by 5,200 square feet, making room for up to 62 employees and a café. 
 
Seventeen startups have worked over the past four years in StartUptown’s space, featuring high ceilings and below market-rate rent. Subsidized rents allow fledgling companies to get their footing. The model is proving successful and companies are growing.

A few, such as AllPoint and NoWait, may be ready for larger space soon. Career Imp, acquired in July by Professional Diversity Network, has moved to Chicago. 
 
Instrumental to its success is the support of organizations like Urban Innovation21 and the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ), Innovation Works, UPSTART Collaborative and Carnegie Mellon University.
 
"With Dale's visionary leadership, we are seeing entrepreneurs play a significant role in the transformation of Uptown,” says Bill Generett, president and CEO of Urban Innovation21. 
 
“I’m excited that the companies in StartUptown are also concerned and working on solutions to connect the residents of that community to the transformation."
 
“The only problem is I’m a child of the 60s,” McNutt adds with a smile. “I want it to all happen now.”
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dale McNutt, StartUptown; Bill Generett, Urban Innovation21

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? ShowClix, DeepLocal, Pitt and Chorus Call post openings

Each week Pop City provides the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 
 
We’d like to note in doing so, we will only post jobs considered to be professional, life sustaining positions offered by many of the region's fastest growing companies.
 
Naturally, we don’t have room each week to tell you about every job out there. For example, the fact that the Fairmont Hotel is hiring 16 full and part-time positions, including bellman/doorman, cooks and business travel and sales managers.
 
Whoops. Okay, occasionally we’ll reserve the right to make exceptions.
 
And now the jobs. The following companies are hiring this week in Pittsburgh: ShowClix, Deeplocal, Chorus Call, Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, Gigapan, and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. 
 
ShowClix is hiring seven and is on the lookout for a software engineering intern. 
 
Positions include mobile software engineer, front end software engineer, applications engineer, account manager, account executive and a customer care rep. 
 
ShowClix is the region’s premiere online ticketing company, working with venues and performers to offer the latest software and apps for online ticket sales.
 
Deeplocal is hiring a programmer/software engineer and a creative to join their team, someone who can work with clients, engineers and designers and has excellent communication skills. 
 
With Nathan Martin at the helm, the company has spent the last 10 years redefining the world of media through its “gutter technologies,” creating real world experiences that blur the boundary between technologies, digital space and the human spirit.
 
Chorus Call has three jobs in Pittsburgh for an audio conference specialist, video conference specialist and software engineer. The company, based in Monroeville, is raising the bar on video and audio teleconferencing technologies.
 
Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering is posting nine jobs for faculty positions. Jobs are in the Center for Energy, Center for Medical Improvement, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences.
 
Gigpan is hiring a web developer and QA engineer for its Pittsburgh satellite office at the CreateLab at CMU. 
 
Gigapan Systems makes interactive high-resolution imaging, hardware and digital services products for creating and displaying images in large formats. The company is based in Portland and serves customers like National Geographic, Major League Baseball, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel.
 
And finally, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy is looking for a full time marketing manager. Job seekers should Email info@pittsburghparks.org.

To post a job, shoot us an email.
 
Writer: Deb Smit

And from previous weeks...

Google is hiring for a variety of technical positions, engineers all, including software engineers, data scientists and evaluators, product managers, system engineers and technical program managers. Also a human resources business partner.

PNC is posting 340+ jobs across all sectors, everything from mortgage and technical specialists to business bankers and systems analysts. 

Sierra w/o Wires reports this week the hiring of eight people, everything from experienced engineers to an entry level support analyst. 

PNC is posting 340+ jobs across all sectors, everything from mortgage and technical specialists to business bankers and systems analysts. 
 
Aquion Energy is hiring more than 20 people including a director of research and development. In fact, the company, which plans to establish a manufacturing center in Pittsburgh, is always on the lookout for intelligent, committed innovative thinkers to join their world-class team of scientists, engineers and business people. 
 
Avere Systems, developers of high performance storage solutions for data enterprise centers, is at 75 and continues to grow. The company has 10 job openings including: product marketing manager, technical writer, regional sales manager, inside sales rep and various engineers. 
 
The Pittsburgh headquarter of ANSYS in Canonsburg is always hiring, the company reports. Currently the developer of engineering simulation software has more than a dozen postings for its home office, including software developers, engineers and human resources.

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Google and PNC for starters...

The top hiring story for this week is the news of Google Pittsburgh hiring eight.
 
Earlier media reports that Google  may be moving from Bakery Square were inaccurate, reports Jordan Newsman, Google spokesman.
 
“We are definitely growing, but we have no plans to expand,” he said. “We have been hiring for awhile and we continue to grow. There’s a ton of great talent in the city.”
 
The company, currently at 220 people, is hiring for a variety of technical positions, engineers all, including software engineers, data scientists and evaluators, product managers, system engineers and technical program managers.
 
Google is also seeking a human resources business partner.

PNC is posting 340+ jobs across all sectors, everything from mortgage and technical specialists to business bankers and systems analysts. 
 
Sierra w/o Wires reports this week the hiring of eight people, everything from experienced engineers to an entry level support analyst. 
 
While construction on the Shop N Save grocery store in the Hill District has been pushed back to 2013, Massaro, general contractor, reports that interested parties will be collecting applications for a number of construction, hospitality, restaurant, banking and grocery store jobs opening up.
 
The Hill House will hold an orientation and application intake session Wednesday night, Aug. 1, at the Hill House, 1 Hope Center, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

And from last week...
As reported last week, Aquion Energy is hiring more than 20 people including a director of research and development. In fact, the company, which plans to establish a manufacturing center in Pittsburgh, is always on the lookout for intelligent, committed innovative thinkers to join their world-class team of scientists, engineers and business people. 
 
Hundreds of jobs are projected at Aquion by 2014; current postings are in every area for those with extensive experience in the fields of electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing, mechanical design, fabrication, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and physics.
 
Avere Systems, developers of high performance storage solutions for data enterprise centers, is at 75 and continues to grow. The company has 10 job openings including: product marketing manager, technical writer, regional sales manager, inside sales rep and various engineers. 
 
The Pittsburgh headquarter of ANSYS in Canonsburg is always hiring, the company reports. Currently the developer of engineering simulation software has more than a dozen postings for its home office, including software developers, engineers and human resources.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Google Pittsburgh, PNC Bank, Sierra w/o Wires, Aquion Energy, Avere Systems, ANSYS and ImaginePittsburghJobs.com
 

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh?

This week Pop City begins a regular roundup of just who’s hiring in Pittsburgh.
 
Whether your company is hiring one or many, we encourage you to contact us for inclusion in our regular list. We'll report on a handful of companies or more looking for talent. Up this week:
 
Aquion Energy is hiring more than 20 people including a director of research and development. In fact, the company, which plans to establish a manufacturing center in Pittsburgh, is always on the lookout for intelligent, committed innovative thinkers to join their world-class team of scientists, engineers and business people. 
 
Hundreds of jobs are projected at Aquion by 2014; current postings are in every area for those with extensive experience in the fields of electrochemistry, materials science, manufacturing, mechanical design, fabrication, electrical engineering, chemical engineering and physics.
 
Avere Systems, developers of high performance storage solutions for data enterprise centers, is at 75 and continues to grow. The company has 10 job openings including: product marketing manager, technical writer, regional sales manager, inside sales rep and various engineers. 
 
The Pittsburgh headquarter of ANSYS in Canonsburg is always hiring, the company reports. Currently the developer of engineering simulation software has more than a dozen postings for its home office, including software developers, engineers and human resources.
 
News radio station 1020 KDKA Pittsburgh is looking for an afternoon Show Host to anchor the KDKA Afternoon News. The position calls for a talent with a distinctive style, someone with strong writing skills and the creative dexterity to go from a discussion of pop culture to breaking news.
 
Dobil Laboratories in Pittsburgh, an audiovisual systems integrator since 1971, is hiring experienced AV technicians and project managers. Email resumes to info@dobil.com

And last but not least, MAYA, design consultancy and technology research lab now housed at Four Gateway Center, is hiring designers, researchers and engineers. Check it out here.
 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Aquion Energy, Avere Systems, ANSYS, CBS News, Dobil Labs and ImaginePittsburghJobs.com

Heinz Negotiation Academy launches to help women get what they want, need and deserve

Women only make up 14.1 percent of executive officer positions at Fortune 500 companies and only 17 percent of the United States Congress, placing the U.S. behind both Afghanistan and China in women legislators.
 
Why aren’t women better represented in key leadership positions?  Part of the reason is women's lack of negotiation skills.
 
Dr. Linda C. Babcock, the James M. Walton Professor of Economics at Heinz College and author of the best-seller, Women Don’t Ask and Ask For It, and MJ Tocci, principal of Trial Run Inc. have just launched the first of its kind Heinz Negotiation Academy for Women to help women take the lead and become more effective in the workplace.
 
Under Carnegie Mellon University’s PROGRESS,  Program for Research & Outreach on Gender Equity in Society, this newest certificate program, they say, can transform every women's ability to ask for what she wants, needs and deserves to be successful, influential and productive in all aspects of her life.

"I truly believe this will change the world," says Tocci who won the Athena award last year.  "Arming women with better negotiation skills won't solve all the problems in the workplace but I believe it to be the intervention that will make the difference."

They will be looking at issues through two lenses, she adds. One is the negotiation lens and the other is the gender lens to appraise where things are different for women.

In a morning-long preview last Friday,  participants were presented with the case of "Zoe Tronson," a fictional character with various career dilemmas.  Zoe allowed the presenters from the faculty to showcase their specialty areas in solving her problems through multiple perspectives.

It's really about "creative problem-solving," suggests Tocci who understands that the word "negotiation" gives some women the heebie jeebies.

While negotiation in the workplace is typically associated with pay raises and money, it goes way beyond that to include a myriad of  skills, from smart networking and being a leader among colleagues to managing one’s job more efficiently, she adds.
 
In some cases, as Program Coordinator Rachel Koch points out, negotiation means “not simply asking for a raise, instead, it's asking for the right resources."
 
The first class at the Academy will be open to 29 to 34 students and run January through May, 2013. It will feature 80 hours of intensive workshops filled with interactive group work and personal one-on-one learning.
 
Applications for the Academy were distributed at the preview and will be available online soon.
 
 
Writer: Alanna Haefner, Pop City intern
Source: Rachel Koch, Program Coordinator
 

Branding Brand sees the future and it looks mobile. Expanding and hiring.

The future is mobile. To survive we need an effective tool that connects us with the consumer revolution. In other words, a mobile phone, says Branding Brand CEO Chris Mason.
 
Founded in 2008, the South Side company has grown from three CMU friends and grads--Chris Mason, Joey Rahimi and Christina Koshzow--to 62 people today. The expansive growth is credited, in part, to the company's success in mobile app and website development.
 
It was Dicks Sporting Goods that gave Branding Brands an opportunity to show the world what it could do in the emerging social media and mobile space. Today clients are local, national and international, including Sephora, American Eagle and GNC. 
 
Nearly 25% of all the commerce coming to a company’s website today is through the mobile phone. Our growth is a reflection of confidence in Branding Brand’s ability to successfully connect with an important segment of the buying population through mobile and social media, says Mason.

Branding Brand recently moved into a new space, 14,000 square feet near the Birmingham Bridge, below Schell Games, in a former pool hall. In addition to a soon-to-be-announced round of funding, the company is in hiring mode and plans to be up to 70 people soon.
 
There are job openings in several areas including software engineering, account managers, project managers and technical writing, says Mason. 
 
In addition to retail, Branding Brand is talking with the transit sector about mobile needs for subway systems. A new billboard campaign is also driving growth.
 
Being in Pittsburgh gives us a competitive edge, Mason says. The local universities offer access to talented computer science graduates. 
 
Retailers used to think of the consumer in a compartmentalized sense, says Mason. Business was seen as being generated by the store, catalogues and online store. 
 
Mobile creates ubiquity. It has that Apple effect of just working, Mason says. This translates to billions of dollars going through mobile POS systems. These seamless experiences are part of what’s changing the world. 
 
“Everyone who is slow to the gate will suffer,” he adds. 
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Chris Mason, Branding Brand

Seegrid's business is booming, hiring 20-30 this year; Castle Co-Packers expands

Seegrid’s CEO Anthony Horbal can’t say enough about the company’s accelerating trajectory and commitment to Pittsburgh.
 
“In talking with friends in business, my observation is that the economy is far better in the U.S. than the media would lead us to believe,” says Horbal. “From Seegrid’s perspective, we have sold more machines this year than in the last two to three years combined.”
 
Horbal has been named CEO of the company, a developer and manufacturer of industrial forklifts; Scott Friedman, formerly CEO, has assumed the title of president. The company expects to add 20 to 30 people this year, bringing the total company to between 90 and 100 people. Seegrid is looking to hire electrical, mechanical and software engineers and plans to expand its sales force. Truck drivers are also in demand.
 
Driving growth is a partnership with Raymond Corp., a subsidiary of Toyota, and another European partner, two of the largest manufacturers worldwide of industrial trucks, tractors, forklifts and pallet jacks, machinery that is used indoors, often in warehouse settings.
 
The company also hopes to establish a presence in Asia and possibly China, but more hiring needs to take place first, Horbal says.  The company will be shipping to three continents out of Pittsburgh. 
 
Founded in 2003, Seegrid’s robotic technology was developed by Dr. Hans Moravec, a professor at CMU, considered a godfather of artificial intelligence.  The company remains committed to Pittsburgh.  
 
“The point is we have to do more to invest in ourselves globally here,” says Horbal. “We have to feed the fires that are burning in the local economy and keep the jobs here.”
 
The biggest challenge is finding enough good workers, he adds. It’s a systemic issue that goes back to how we educate students. To address this, Seegrid is supporting STEM (science, math, technology and engineering) curriculums in schools and has begun offering a scholarship to students pursuing an education in robotics.
 
In other business growth, Castle Co-Packers has purchased the former Le-Nature’s plant in Latrobe. The 230,000-square-foot, seven-acre property will be the company’s second beverage bottling plant. It recently expanded a similar-sized plant in New Kensington, said Brian Dworkin, president of Castle Co-Packers.
 
Castle Co-Packers, at 122 people, will add 10 to 15 new staff to Latrobe. The New Kensington plant will began making vintage sodas, including Boylan Birch Beer.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Anthony Horbal, Seegrid; Brian Dworkin, Castle Co-Packers 
 

Last chance to nominate for Athena Awards

Time is running out to nominate women for the 2012 ATHENA and Young Professional Awards—the deadline is Friday, June 29 at 5 p.m.
 
Sponsored locally by the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the ATHENA Award honors women who are leaders in their profession, give back to their communities and act as mentors to other women. The Young Professional Award is designed to recognize an up-and-coming leader, age 35 and younger, who is a role model for her peers.
 
The 2012 event is being chaired for the second consecutive year by Maris Bondi, who emphasized how critical the nomination process is for finding the very best that Pittsburgh has to offer.
 
Bondi said, “The Host Committee and Selection Committees do not have the ability to know everyone and what they are doing.  By nominating a woman for one of these awards, you can really bring them to light—make Pittsburgh aware of the great things they are doing and give them the recognition that they deserve for being such an impactful part of our community.”   
 
Award winners will be honored at a luncheon, to be held on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 at the Westin Convention Center.
 
To nominate a candidate, or for more information on the awards and event, please visit http://www.athena-pittsburgh.com/. There, you can find tips on what makes an outstanding nomination, read the nomination forms of last year’s winners, and watch video from the 2011 awards ceremony.

Writer: Breanna Smith
Source: Maris Bondi

Venture for America is coming to Pittsburgh with its army of entrepreneurs

Job creation is the new sustainability enterprise.

Graduates today are looking for careers that give them the personal satisfaction of giving back, says Andrew Yang.  In the brave new world of business, it’s not all about the money or working for a big finance or banking conglomerate in New York City. 

Yang is the founder of Venture for America, a new initiative, launched last year, that is coming to Pittsburgh in 2013. 

Modeled after Teach America,  VFA offers the best and brightest college grads an opportunity to immerse themselves for two years as fellows, working in the trenches of  local startups, with the goal of becoming better business builders and creating jobs for the region.

The program graduated its first class of 40 fellows this year. They, in turn, are are heading out to cities across the country to continue the training and spread the message of the power of success businesses.

“We’re particularly excited about Pittsburgh because of the robust entrepreneurial community that has taken root there,” says Yang. “We’ve always regarded Pittsburgh as a naturally appealing place given the assets the community has.”

Interested companies and graduates need only to apply online by August 1.  VFA is looking for early stage startup and growth companies that have the clear potential to create additional job growth in the region, Yang says.

“We’re getting positive feedback on all sides,” says Yang of the program. “The graduates are all looking for opportunities to give back and develop companies as business people. The companies are looking for access to talent and mentors.  

“We think it’s a win win win all the way around and it’s the reason everyone is so excited about what we’re doing.”

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Andrew Yang, VFA

CMU's Luis Von Ahn tackles languages with Duolingo, wins prestigious Google prize

CMU's Luis von Ahn, the wiz behind the ubiquitous computer puzzle reCAPTCHA, was awarded a $35,000 Google-sponsored prize for his work in bridging human and computer understanding.
 
The computer science professor will be honored as the outstanding young computer professional of the year with the Grace Murray Hopper Award by the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM).  
 
Von Ahn, 33, earned his doctorate in computer science at CMU in 2005 and joined the faculty in 2006. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006 and a Packard Fellowship and Sloan Research Fellowship in 2009. Last year, Spanish Foreign Policy magazine named him the most influential new thought leader of Latin America and Spain.
 
His latest venture is a company called Duolingo, In typical von Ahn fashion, the CMU spinoff accomplishes several things at once; it helps people to learn a foreign language and simultaneously translates text while teaching foreign language skills to others. Duolingo is in limited-beta testing.
 
A Spanish user, for example, learns English through the process of translating a newspaper, such as the New York Times, into Spanish, he explains. "It kills two birds at once. The Spanish speaker is helping other people who don't speak English to read the New York Times. The twist is while you are learning a language, you're also translating useful stuff from the web."   
 
Many translation tools don't work well because the task is not one well suited to computers,  he adds. With Duolingo, translations are done by humans and not a computer, which is better.
 
More than 400,000 people are already on the waiting list to use Duolingo.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Luis von Ahn, Duolingo + CMU
 

Knopp Biosciences and Carnegie Speech expand; Pittsburgh's job prospects brighten

Growth spurts at two Pittsburgh-based companies are driving hiring at Knopp Biosciences and Carnegie Speech.
 
Drug discovery and development company Knopp Biosciences, working on a breakthrough drug for Lou Gehrig's disease, recently announced executive hires and a company expansion.  Knopp has doubled its research and development lab space to 20,000 feet, now occupying almost two floors at 2100 Wharton Street.  
 
The company grew from 15 to 27 in 2010 and now employs 33, having hired mostly Ph.D.-level biologists and medicinal chemists who have relocated to Pittsburgh.
 
Joining the team is Steven Boyd, Ph.D., formerly of Array BioPharma and Abbot Laboratories, who will lead the newly launched chemistry effort. Ian Reynolds, Ph. D., formerly of Merck & Co. and the University of Pittsburgh, is leading the expanded biological research effort.
 
In other expansion news, Carnegie Speech has appointed Paul Musselman as its new CEO and moved to a larger, new space on Liberty Avenue. The firm has also closed on a $3.4 million series B round of financing, led by Golden Seeds, contributions from New York Angels and returning investor group Osage Venture Partners. 
.  
Musselman joins Carnegie Speech with more than 15 years of executive management and global experience at major technology firms including Intel Capital, IBM, Net Perceptions, Misys and Amdocs. 
 
The companies growth comes at a time of good news for jobs in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh job growth in March was the strongest of any city in the U.S. outside of Texas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment and unemployment figures for March 2012 reveal a bright job growth picture for the region and the lowest unemployment rate in three years. 
 
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2012 was 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009's rate of 6.5 percent. Only three benchmark regions - Minneapolis, Boston, and Richmond - had lower unemployment rates in March, according to PittsburghToday.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Knopp Biosciences; Carnegie Speech
 

HIRING! Carnegie Learning announces major expansion, joins NBC Learn for "Election Math"

Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Learning is on the brink of major growth that will double the company's size by next year. And that's just the beginning.
 
The company has teamed up with NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, to produce "Decision 2012: Election Math." The partnership combines CL's innovative, research-based math instruction with national election events and trends to help improve student math performance.
 
Students will learn all about the numbers behind the election process, statistical feats such as predicting winners through sampling, analysis of voting-age populations, demographics, electoral college dynamics and turnout, to name a few. 
 
"It’s a student-centric site that students can access," says Dennis Ciccone, CEO of CL. "An exploration of how we can work together and get students interested in the mathematics of the elections."
 
The company growth and new initiatives are a direct benefit of the purchase of Carnegie Learning by the Apollo Group last year, the parent company of the University of Phoenix and the second largest education company in the world. 
 
Since then, Apollo has invested heavily in CL. Plans call for hiring 35 in the immediate future and 70 more in 2013, which will double the size of the company in time from 110 employees to more than 200, mostly in Pittsburgh, says Ciccone. 
 
Jobs are in the areas of sales, marketing, technology development, programming and educational content developers. CL has leased additional space in the Frick Building, but is considering a move.   
 
"We're pretty excited about all of it," says Ciccone. "They (Apollo) bring a global presence to us. They looked all over the world for the best learning platform and they chose us. They're also very adaptable to new technologies."
 
The news bodes well for Pittsburgh, which is becoming known as a national research center for science and learning, due in part to ongoing research at CMU.  Pittsburgh stands to benefit from the educational shift away from more traditional learning methods and textbook teaching toward online education, Ciccone says.
 
The region may consider establishing a research and development center for the educational software industry here. 
 
"It's a global opportunity," says Ciccone. "For Pittsburgh, it’s a new frontier. This is one of the unique places in the U.S. where university researchers are studying how children learn." 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dennis Ciccone, Carnegie Learning 
 

Pittsburgh companies raise $34.6 million first quarter 2012

Pittsburgh companies raised $34.65 million in the first quarter 2012 spread among 22 companies, a strong showing for the region. 
 
By comparison, nine local companies raised $22.36 million during the first quarter of 2011 and 12 raised 28.69 million in the first quarter of 2010. The last time more than 22 local companies received funding was 2Q 2009 when 24 companies received $24.85 million.
 
Deals were spread across several industries. Eight medical device and equipment companies received funding, followed by software and IT with eight. The remaining deals were spread evenly among life sciences, media, electronics, robotics and financial service companies.
 
The top deal of the first quarter was $8.5 million raised by Redzone Robotics, funded by Smith Equity Associates, FourWinds Capital Management.
 
Other deals included:
 
Cereve Inc., $7 million, a Pitt spinoff that is developing a cerebral thermal therapy for potential use for insomnia and sleep disorders.
 
Certes Networks Inc., $5.54 million, funded by Adams Capital Management Inc. and NextStage Capital. Formerly Cipher Optics, Certes Networks specializes in network encryption technology. 
 
Carnegie Speech, $2.73 million, developers of spoken language assessment and training software.
 
BodyMedia, $2.73 million to advance its health and wellness armband monitor system.
 
Voci Technologies, $2.41 million through BlueTree Allied Angels, Capital Advisors Elmhurst Group. Voci develops speech-to-text solutions for enterprise applications.
 
Metis Secure Solutions, $1.58 million. Metis designs in-building security notification systems.
 
ALung Technologies, $1.19 million, maker of advanced respiratory products. ALung was funded by Birchmere Ventures and Eagle Ventures. 
 
Applied Isotope Technologies, $1.1 million, creators of tools, products and services for environmental, biological and industrial analyses.
 
Innovation Works funded six companies for a total of $180,000 in the first quarter: Hub19, InsuranceZebra, RoommateFit, WonDay, Accel Diagnositics, ActivAided Orthotics and Headright Games.
 
Cognition Therapeutics, on the forefront of Alzheimer's Research, raised $30,000 from PLSG.
 
Pop City uses figures provided quarterly by the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data supplied by Thomson Reuters.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: NVCA
 

Rethinking Cities in the 21st Century: What Eindhoven has that Pittsburgh has too

If the majority of the world's population will be living in urbanized areas by the year 2050, as predicted, we better make sure our cities are great places to live.  
 
"Rethinking Cities in the 21st Century" is a panel discussion that will address this question based on the experiences of two cities: Pittsburgh and Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
 
Cities like Pittsburgh and Eindhoven share many similarities, says Donald Carter, director of the Remaking Cities Institute at CMU and a panelist in the upcoming discussion. Both lost basic industries over the past 40 years. They suffered from a precipitous economic decline in the 1980's. 
 
"The decision by community leaders in Pittsburgh and Eindhoven to invest in high-technology and services became the driver for a new economy and for new jobs," Carter says. "Pittsburgh is often cited as the poster child for post-industrial transformation."
 
The panelists, two from Pittsburgh, one from Amsterdam and one from Eindhoven, will discuss the successes and work done in each city. They will also address difficult issues remaining for post-industrial cities such as environmental cleanup, affordable housing, vacancy, poverty and immigration. 
 
"Remaking Cities in the 21st Century" will be held this Thursday, April 26, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Education Center, 805 Liberty Ave. and is free and open to the public.  For reservations, email Cities@trustarts.org
 
The panel hopes to be the basis for a larger international symposium on the future of cities to be held in the fall of 2012 in Pittsburgh. The event is is sponsored by Pop City and is part of the Distinctively Dutch Festival.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Don Carter, CMU
 

Pittsburgh as a startup? Join Pop City at CEOs for Cities conference in Cincinnati

In a January opinion piece in TechCrunch, entrepreneur Jon Bischke suggests that the most successful urban leaders are those who view cities like startups.

CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders dedicated to creating next generation cities, will explore that premise at its 2012 Spring National Meeting: The City As a Startup--Creating Demand, Attracting Talent, Taking Risks and Going to Scale. And Pop City will be there.

The meeting is set for May 17-18 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Former AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case will deliver the morning keynote and will appear on a panel conversation about Startup America.

CEOs for Cities will also release its latest City Vitals report, a framework for measuring the success of cities. Look for more info in Pop City to follow.

Other panels include considering Songdo, South Korea as the planet's smartest city and using the collective impact approach to catalyze social change. There will also be tours of Cincinnati attractions and examples of urban success.
 
View a draft agenda here and then register here .

The conference is made possible with support from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

412 creative, a showcase for the smartest design work in Pittsburgh

Surfing the web and watching TV, Tom Schneider often stumbled upon cool design elements and wanted to know "Who did that?" "Who ux'd that website?"
 
"We're lucky to live in an area that has amazing resources," says Schneider, a video producer of 25 years who is enamored by all things design. "Pittsburgh is so rich with talented creatives; this is such an exciting place right now."
 
So he launched 412creative, a website devoted to showcasing smart and effective design advertising in Pittsburgh. From ad agencies to independent contractors, the site is showing off the visually great work on all levels, telling the stories of creative people and teams in our region.
 
Take designer Jay Fanelli of Full Stop Interactive, for example, and the work he's done for chef Kevin Sousa's Union Pig & Chicken. Fanelli has blended a nostalgic mix of old barn wood, red gingham and a vintage wordmark suggestive of comfort food. 
 
An Erie native and graduate of Penn State, Schneider moved to Chicago after graduation, eventually returning to Pittsburgh. He worked for several years as a video director for KDKA-TV on corporate and video commercial projects before starting his own production company, On Motion Media, which he sold in 2009.   
 
The idea for 412creative came to him while he was considering his next professional move, before he joined Dynavox.  Elvira Eichleay, a high energy, well-connected friend, volunteered to help and the website was born. 
 
412creative is still in its infancy, he says. "It's strictly from a fan's perspective. I'm always looking for good ideas. I don't want to get hung up on numbers and measures of success.
 
"My goal would be for people outside of the city of Pittsburgh to stumble upon this and say wow, there's really something going on there!"
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Tom Schneider, 412creative
 
Image courtesy of 412creative by Jay Green, President, Big Science Music
 

Hey Hollywood! The future of film technology lives in Pittsburgh. Companies on the radar.

Pittsburgh's growing reputation as a major motion picture production location is beginning to rub off on our entrepreneurial community.
 
The Pittsburgh Film Office and Idea Foundry are collaborating to raise the visibility of talent and technologies in our own emerging entertainment tech sector. The effort isn't new; it dovetails with Pittsburgh Technology Council's and Steeltown Entertainment Project's ongoing work to bring jobs and opportunities to the region.
 
"We saw this as a chance to push these companies out so production companies know who is here and what they can use. Special and visual effects is the future in this industry," says Dawn Keezer of the Pittsburgh Film Office.
 
Walt Disney Animation Studios' Andy Hendrickson, Chief Technical Officer, was in Pittsburgh last week to discuss opportunities with the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. While the event was closed to the press, the message was clear:  Pittsburgh is on the radar. 
 
"Andy gave validity to what we are doing," says Mike Matesic of Idea Foundry. "Disney wants to engage talent and capabilities here that offer a virtual expansion of their organizations. Our young companies have this unique blend."
 
The talk was directed to investors at PVCA who write checks and support these companies, Matesic adds. "We wanted them (investors) to hear the message; there's value in what's going on here."
 
Small success stories are beginning to emerge. Among the wins to date:
 
+Pittsburgh-based V-teractive created an app for Facebook to help promote a Pittsburgh independent film, It Came From Yesterday.
 
+Productions Masters Inc.  and Garrison Hughes worked with David Conrad, star of The Ghost Whisperer, to create a cool video introducing local entertainment technology companies to filmmakers and producers outside the region. Watch!
 
+Lightwave International projected the Bat Signal onto the Highmark building in downtown Pittsburgh to welcome The Dark Knight Rises. The signal attracted national press and led to further discussions with director Christopher Nolan about Lightwave's capabilities and experience in other film productions.
 
+Evil Genius Designs was recently tapped for a pilot to deploy its technology platform in one of Cedar Fair's amusement parks following conversations between the Screen Actor's Guild and Yellow Submarine Marketing Communications, the local ad agency servicing Cedar Fair Entertainment Company.
 
+GenevaMars, Electric Owl Studios and Interbots are collaborating to digitally relaunch the Pittsburgh-born Cappelli & Company children's brand and TV show.
 
+Animal is creating computer animated characters for On the Rocks, a television script by Howard March in pre-production.
 
"The program is successful, we just need to make it bigger and better. Finally, it's being understood that the tax credit affects our creative economy," says Keezer.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dawn Keezer, The Pittsburgh Film Office and Mike Matesic, Idea Foundry
 

Expanding+Hiring: Industry Weapon, GatesmanMarmion+Dave and kWantera

Three Pittsburgh companies have recently announced expansions and hiring: GatesmanMarmion+Dave, Industry Weapon and Mobile Fusion.
 
GatesmanMarmion+Dave is moving from the old South Side Works post office, its home for the past five years, to a new space in the former MAYA offices in South Side Works. The location gives the company 8,500 square feet, double the size of the currently cramped quarters, in anticipation of growth. Three new hires will join the staff of 35, says John Gatesman, partner and president.

The growth has been organic, primarily from clients referring other clients, Gatesman says. The expansion will give the company room to "ideate and collaborate" while focusing on the growing number of clients.
 
"We have equal employees in every discipline, whether PR, digital and media," says Shannon Baker, partner and director of public relations and social media. "We wanted a space that would allow for that collaboration without rigid walls that might divide the disciplines." 

The MAYA companies will relocate to Downtown Pittsburgh, the 16th floor of the Gateway Center Complex, giving the firm more than 19,000 square-feet for growth. The family of companies includes MAYA Design, LUMA Institute, Rhiza Labs and a fourth company, Interstacks.
 
In other expansion news, Industry Weapon is leaving Dormont for a larger space at 900 Parish Street in Green Tree. The move give IW  double the amount of office space, 6700 square-feet. 
 
“We were bursting at the seams in our Dormont location,” says Industry Weapon COO, Craig Hanna. “Our foremost initiative for 2012 was to better service our business partners and customers, which required larger office space.”
 
The company is also expanding its investment and support in digital media education and training, testament to the firm's growing global customer base. 
 
Mobile Fusion recently changed its name to kWantera and has moved from Sarah Street on the South Side to the Cigar Factory on Smallman Street in the Strip District. The 5,000-square-foot space will make room for growth. The company is currently at eight and plans to hire four more in sales, account services and technical development.
 
The new name is a reflection of the firm's energy focus, kW, as in kilowatt says CEO Mark DeSantis, 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: John Gatesman, Shannon Baker, Craig Hanna and Mark DeSantis

Image courtesy of GatesmanMarmion+Dave
 

Careerimp takes helm of Coro's Regional Internship Center

Pittsburgh startup Careerimp, creators of Resunate and online career services tools, has taken ownership of the Regional Internship Center (RIC) of Southwestern, Pa., a move that will give the site an undecided edge as RIC continues to facilitate the demand for career development and internship opportunities in the region.
 
Founded and operated by the Coro Center for Civic Leadership (Coro), RIC is an online clearinghouse for hundreds of internships in the region. The decision will mutually benefit both the non-profit and CareerImp, says Mona Abdel-Halim, director of sales and marketing for Careerimp. 
 
While Coro did an excellent job, our company is in a better position to drive RIC forward technologically, she says.  Careerimp plans to expand the service beyond students to include job seekers in an effort to create one of the largest interactive online internship boards in the industry.
 
"We saw this as an opportunity to start small with something that has been successful for the last eight years and test our tools for job boards," she says. "More and more, internships are a gateway to employment. Many companies are using it to try out critical hires."
 
The RIC currently serves employers in a 13-county area including Allegheny and Westmoreland, reaching all the way to Penn State and the Panhandle of West Virginia. More than 300 companies post on the site, which includes summer internship programs. 
 
Careerimp will beef up the website by reaching out to more employers in the region. The startup is also looking to engage partners and offer a more diverse selection of internships, opportunities that are available to both students and job seekers who want to get their foot in the door.
 
Careerimp's job application tool, Resunate, will be integrated into the site, allowing individuals to see how they might "fit" individual jobs. Anyone with a profile on the RIC can use their profile to apply to all the jobs offered, says Abdel-Halim. 
 
In addition, a new website from Careerimp, MyCrappyResume.com, offers an entertaining perspective on the job search to employers and job seekers. The site invites anyone with an HR misadventure horror story to post; readers may vote for their favorite story.
 
Careerimp, located Uptown in StartupTown, doubled in size last year from four to eight employees. Universities and companies across the country are using Resunate to assist with job searches.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Mona Abdel-Halim, Careerimp
 

Urban Innovation21, sharing the wealth with underserved communities and HIRING

What if the innovative spirit that helped transform our economy was spread around and shared with some of the region's most underserved communities?  
 
The Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) is doing just that. With the help of a name change, PCKIZ has transformed itself into Urban Innovation21 with the goal of expanding its boundaries and assisting the underserved communities of Homewood, East Liberty, Homestead and Hazelwood. 
 
Since 2007, PCKIZ has successfully attracted technology startups within the geographic boundaries of the Hill District, Uptown, and parts of the North Side and South Side. 
 
The new name and expanded geographic scope will help the organization to increase its impact in Southwestern Pa and support local and regional initiatives that are outside the defined geographic boundary of the PCKIZ, says William Generett, president and CEO of Urban Innovation21. 
 
"We believe that an inclusive innovation economy is key in increasing regional competitiveness and sustainability," says Generett. "We are working toward an economy in which all communities are connected to wealth generators."
 
The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator grant, a $1.95M federal investment, awarded last year has assisted in the expansion of the program.  As a result, Urban Innovation21 will add six to seven people to its current staff of 2.5. The organization is looking for an administrative assistant, budget officer, program managers and related jobs. 
 
The additional staff also might require a move into a new office the near future, he adds.
 
"We support entrepreneurship and innovation and work to ensure that our region's talented minds have the tools and the environment to succeed here," Generett said. "Then we work to ensure that the benefits of this new economy reach people and communities who are disenfranchised from this success."
 
In addition to the federal grant, Urban Innovation21 was made possible through the support of a public-private partnership that includes large and small organizations including The Heinz Endowments, Alcoa Foundation, several universities, Innovation Works and Idea Foundry. (See the complete list of partners.), 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: William Generett, Urban Innovation21
 

Fitting Group wins Pixie for "Brilliant" video for Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners

Fitting Group is up to their old ANT-ics, winning two Pixie Awards, honoring outstanding work in graphics, effects and animation by the American Pixel Academy.

They won a gold for the “Brilliant” video  for Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners which uses ants as its theme in an inspiring and clever message to urge people to join PSVP. (We highly recommend viewing the video.)

"Simplicity works. In this case, it works very well," said the judges, who also commended the excellent use of type.

“Evoking emotion through music and typographic animation is very powerful, and although we won an award for the work, we are equally proud that the ant video succeeded in showcasing PSVP’s worthy mission and got them some much deserved attention, says Belinda Yeager Carter of Fitting Group.
 
Fitting Group also scooped up a platinum award for the “Connect to Greatness” video for the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary.



Writer: Tracy Certo
Source: Belinda Yeager Carter


The Randy Pausch Bridge, the most enlightened bridge you will ever walk or tweet

The Randy Pausch Memorial Bridge is a perfect metaphor for the educator who so successfully blurred of boundaries of conventional thinking and inspired beyond-the-box thinking. 
 
The 230-foot-long bridge connects the educational buildings for science (Gates and Hillman) with art (Purnell) on CMU's campus in celebration of the collaborative spirit of the late professor, who died in 2008 of pancreatic cancer. In keeping with his legacy, the designers of the bridge always hoped to take the bridge--with its abstract penguin cutouts in honor of those brave enough to take the plunge into uncharted waters--beyond a mere work of art.
 
Initially, the Pausch Bridge was lit with 7,000 colorful, programmable LED lights. Designed by husband and wife professors Cindy Limauro and Christopher Popowich, the lights honor "The Last Lecture," the life-affirming book that won Pausch worldwide fame.
 
"It was always our intention to have students create light shows on the bridge," explains Limauro, a professor of lighting design in the School of Drama. "We wanted to offer a course that would bring students together across disciplines to create light shows for the bridge." 
 
With the help of a grant through Intel and the collaboration of several departments at CMU, four teams of students have designed five high-tech light shows that will keep the bridge glowing for the foreseeable future. The fence of light will run at various times during the day from dusk to dawn. 
 
"You can tweet the bridge and interact with it," Limauro says. "It absolutely has a life of its own as a work of art."
 
The student created light shows, which are still a work in progress, are entitled Fusion, TwitterBridge, A Day in the Life, Time in Motion and One Sort or Another. Each show is unique, offering a visual and visceral message that honors Pausch.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Cindy Limauro, CMU

Image courtesy of CMU
 

HIRING news: Babst Calland adds 16 attorneys, Industry Weapon needs three and more

Marcellus Shale action is fueling the growth of downtown law firm Babst Calland, which has announced the hiring of 16 lawyers and two paralegals at Two Gateway Center. 
 
The expansion of the firm's well-established Natural Resources Group (supporting litigation, mergers, acquisitions and titles) is a direct result of the exploding local natural gas industry. The attorneys moved over from Tucker Arensberg, which was a mutually beneficial fit for both companies says Kurt Weber of Babst Calland.
 
Gas and mining activity was also behind the opening of a new office for Houston, Tx-based Valerus in Smithfield, Pa,. this month. Valerus provides field application and repair services on oil and gas equipment to regional energy companies. The firm plans to add an additional 10 to 12 employees to the current 14 at the site.
 
In the bigger employment picture, the region's total nonfarm job numbers for September 2011 rose again by 12,700 from September 2010, reports Pittsburgh TODAY. The region's numbers were stronger for all benchmark regions except Milwaukee, Boston, Cincinnati and Minneapolis. The strongest sectors were goods producing, wholesale trade, education, health services, natural resources, mining and construction.
 
Other companies reporting hiring:
 
Industry Weapon, a Dormont-based media technology company, is looking to fill several slots including VIP Agency Executive, software engineers and three internship candidates.  
 
B-Three Solutions, offering software consulting services to businesses, governments and nonprofits, recently added three to its staff. The company is based in Pittsburgh. 
 
SDLC Partners, a Monroeville-based business and technology consulting firm, expanded its operations with a new office in Three Gateway Center downtown.  Since 2004, SDLC has grown its technology-driven company from five to more than 190 employees.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Kurt Weber, Babst Calland; Pittsburgh TODAY; Industry Weapon, SDLC Partners, B-Three Solutions
 

Just call him Mark ZuckerBURGH, CMU campus recruiter

Sporting a dark tee, exuberant expression (and arriving 20 minutes late), Facebook founder and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg took a moment out of his busy schedule--3 minutes to be exact--to address reporters at CMU before moving on with his campus recruitment drive. 
 
Taking several questions from the students and reporters gathered outside the Gates Center, Zuckerberg lobbed several compliments to the university. Facebook is looking for engineers with great technical skills who are team players, he said.

"We have a lot of Carnegie Mellon alums at Facebook. A lot of them are some of our best engineers. When we decided to organize this trip to go to see a few colleges, Carnegie Mellon was on top of the list. It's my first time here; I'm excited to be here."

KDKA's Jon Delano said it all, tweeting, "Met Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg at CMU this morning--sort of. Briefest press conference ever."
 
CMU was the last of three schools visited by Zuckerberg on his 2-day East Coast recruiting trip. On Monday he dropped by MIT and Harvard, his alma mater, the first time he has been back to campus since dropping out in 2004 to start Facebook. 
 
Like Zuckerberg's own personal page on Facebook, all the college recruitment events were closed to the public and press. Zuckerberg spoke to about 900 students, faculty and staff who registered online for the event held in Wiegand Gymnasium; the tickets went in 30 minutes. Computer science and engineering students were given first priority.

Brittany Osikowicz, a lucky ticket holder, tweeted that the talk was "Interesting. Great focus on people & teams w/in company. Keeps Facebook's focus on user experience, not short-term revenue gains." 
 
"They (Facebook) really like our students," said Randy Bryant, dean and university professor at the School of Computer Sciences. "They've recruited 57 of our alumni who are working at Facebook." Bryant said CMU is hopeful that Facebook would one day open a research office on campus at some point in the future, but there are no such plans at present.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Randy Bryant, Mark Zuckerberg, CMU
 

PublicSource.org, the region's new online voice in investigative journalism, goes live

PublicSource.org, a new voice in collaborative, online journalism in the region, will go live this Sunday on Nov. 6th. 
 
Promising original, in-depth, investigative news, PublicSource hopes to to be a watchdog for the region, speaking for those who don't have a public voice, especially children and the elderly. The site will also remaining free of partisan political influences. The first issue will address Pittsburgh's failing infrastructure and education, says Sharon Walsh, editor. 
 
The issue will also include an audio slide show by photojournalist Martha Rial of Westinghouse High School's experiment in single-gender classes where girls and boys are taught separately. PublicSource collaborated with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Allegheny Front on stories that all three will use on their own platforms.
 
Five other local news organizations have joined PublicSource as co-contributors of news stories: Pop City, Pittsburgh City Paper, The New Pittsburgh Courier, Essential Public Media and WQED Pittsburgh. 
 
"This is the wave of the future, bringing together larger news organizations with smaller startup journalism groups that are already doing their own in-depth reporting," says Walsh. "It's a partnership among equals, but in three different platforms (print, radio and online). It's a bit like a wire service model."
 
In addition to the shared content, PublicSource will commission freelance reporters and photographers for original reporting and hire a full-time investigative reporter. The website was in beta this fall to test the design and navigability with partners. 
 
"Investigative reporting is difficult…it's not gotcha reporting," says Walsh. "It's going beyond what happened yesterday and finding out what's going on behind the scenes; it's the deeper story.
 
"The idea is to seek the widest possible distribution so the largest number of people can see and read it," she adds. "The same thing doesn't work in every region. We have to find our own path and that's very exciting and challenging."

To receive the first issue, sign up by email on PublicSource.org.
 
Source: Sharon Walsh, PublicSource.org
 

Joyce Bender puts the disabled to work across the country

Joyce Bender is on a crusade, championing companies across the country to join her by putting the disabled to work. 
 
"It's a civil rights issue to me," says Bender, the founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, a Robinson-based firm that recruits and hires people with disabilities for jobs in the public and private sector. 
 
Bender began her career in 1979 as a search consultant only to have her life changed forever by a life-threatening accident. She was stricken suddenly by a seizure, due to epilepsy, that required subsequent brain surgery. The accident left her with a 60 percent hearing loss and epilepsy. 
 
It was a profound experience that inspired within her a passionate understanding of the challenges faced by those with disabilities who want to work to provide for themselves and their families.  
 
Shortly after she returned to work, Bender learned of a technical program that trains people with disabilities to be software developers, an idea that resonated with her. "I didn't realize there was such a strong attitude and barrier in America in hiring people with disabilities," she says. 
 
She founded Bender Consulting Services in 1995 and began working to train and place the disabled in good jobs. It was an uphill battle until she connected with two supportive corporate clients in Pittsburgh, Bayer and Highmark. Today Bender's firm places the disabled in both private and public sector jobs.
 
Two former presidents (Clinton and Bush) have recognized Bender's work and she works closely with the Obama administration today, placing the disabled in jobs in 19 states and Canada. Bender is the chair of the American Board of People with Disabilities, has received many awards and has served on numerous boards and civic organizations including the Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central Pa., the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime and the Homeless Children's Education Fund.
 
"I am the lone ranger when it comes to people who are doing this across the country who are for-profit and only hire people with disabilities," she says. "In all these years, only 2% of the people that I have hired for companies have left. When you give a person with a disability a chance, someone who has been excluded, the loyalty and gratitude is incalculable."
 
Bender has a "real-time captioned" radio talk show, "Disability Matters," every Tuesday.
 
Source: Joyce Bender, Bender Consulting Services 

Image courtesy of Joyce Bender
 

Region raises $34.68 million in VC third quarter; Thorley Industries hiring 20+

Pittsburgh venture capital deals topped $34 million in the third quarter of 2011, according to the National Venture Capital Association.
 
In addition, Thorley Industries is working on a $5 million funding round and plans to expand its headquarters and double the size of its workforce. A maker of products for children and families, Thorley's growth is being spurred by the anticipated launch of its roboticized stroller, the Origami, which power folds with a touch of a button and comes with several custom options.
 
Thorley has a workforce of 24 and hopes to double in size to 43 people by the end of March, 2012, says CEO Rob Daley. (Click here for jobs.) The company projects 2011 sales of $7.4 million, up from $3.2 million last year. The additional funds will assist with expansion plans and R&D.
 
In terms of venture funding, Acquion Energy, makers of a revolutionary battery, topped the list with $30 million. Other companies receiving funding included: Bridge Semiconductor Corp., $1.65 million; Lama Lab, $1.18 million; Medallion Analytics Software Corp, $1.10 million and ReGear Life Sciences, $500,000.
 
Startups receiving funds were ShoeFitr ($100,000); Flashgroup ($100,000), PHRQL ($30,000), VitaClip ($30,000) and Zenith (n/a).
 
The Pa. Energy Development Authority is splitting $3.7 million among 13 clean energy projects across the city, Pittsburgh among them. The City of Pittsburgh is receiving funding to replace four diesel-powered waste trucks with vehicles that run on natural gas vehicles. EQT Corp. is a partner on the deal.  
 
BlueTree Allied Angels has joined with four other high-net-worth investors from outside of the region to form the Life Science Angel Network. This will allow the Wexford-based angel firm to jointly invest in life science startups and bring more money into the region.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: NVCA; Rob Daley, Thorley; Catherine Mott, BlueTree Allied Angels 
 

President Obama and the Council on Jobs come to Pittsburgh

President Obama stopped in Pittsburgh this week to stump in support of his $447 billion American Jobs Bill and to remind the country that cities like Pittsburgh--a place where smart ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and innovation thrive-- play an important role in creating new jobs and rebuilding America. 
 
"The story of America's success is written by its entrepreneurs, and we just lost one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Steve Jobs," President Obama told an audience of 300 in the IBEW Local No. 5 hall on the South Side.  “The spirit of entrepreneurs and innovation is how we became the world’s leading economy.”
 
Earlier in the day, the President's Council on Jobs convened in five different locations concurrently, bringing a prominent and diverse group of leaders in business, finance and labor to the region to listen to the concerns of local business leaders. 
 
A session focused on manufacturing met at Seegrid's headquarters in Moon, joined by Jobs Council Chairman Jeffrey  Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE; Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel and Antonio Perez, chairman and CEO of Kodak.  At Alpha Lab in the South Side, local entrepreneurs met with Steve Case, founder of AOL, and Cheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.
 
Other meetings took place at Acquion, the company building a more sustainable battery in Lawrenceville, and the Hill House.
 
On the manufacturing front, leaders in the region challenged the President's Council to address issues that are making it difficult for small and mid-size manufacturers to survive, particularly over-regulation and the trade imbalance.
 
"The regulatory burden is just brutal," said Rob Daley, CEO of Thorley Industries, a consumer product company in the Strip District that develops robotic toys and products under the name 4moms. 
 
Others encouraged the U.S. to stand up to China, level the playing field on trade and offer better access to foreign markets so companies might operate more successfully without government subsidies.
 
"The government never helped Silicon Valley," noted Otellini. "Letting the private sector do its thing here and having the federal government help (with exits and intel) is perhaps the best model."
 
"The Council is trying to chip away at this," said Immelt in response to the many concerns. "I appreciate your candor. It's not the first time I've heard this."
 
The President's Jobs Council released its first set of recommendations this week. The report is available online.   
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: President Obama and the President's Council on Jobs, Innovation Works & Seegrid
 

MogiMe (formerly LeftRight Studios) creates a marketplace for app designers

MogiMe on the South Side has launched a new mobile social gaming network that hopes to be the ultimate marketplace for app designers around the world.   
 
Formerly LeftRight Studios, the AlphaLab startup that started out by creating mobile gaming apps for the iPhone, MogiMe (as in mo-gee-me) has built a gaming network that is open to any indie developer or designer and operates on a shared revenue model. 
 
By having our own network, MogiMe has put our apps and those of belonging to other people all in one place, says CEO Geraldine Yong. Everyone is able to come together, socialize, Facebook with their friends, create avatars and connect. The company launched the new platform at TechCrunch Disrupt's conference in San Francisco last month.
 
In addition, MogiMe 1.0, an iPhone app released simultaneously, is one of the first apps of its kind to offer the full experience of a gaming network in a single app.
 
While there are other companies out there building networks, our features and avatars are unique, says Yong. The revenue model is similar to Farmville where players pay for premium content. The MogiMe network was built in a single year by a team of 10 people in the South Side office.
 
"This takes us to the next level," she explains. "We're not just making apps. Moving forward, any brand or developer can put their content on our network and we can build a community around it. We're reaching out to designers, Art Institute students especially, who can create content and sell it through our avatar system."
 
MogiMe hopes to raise money for a further expansion and open multiple offices in several other cities. "We will stay in Pittsburgh," says Yong. 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Geraldine Yong, MogiMe
 
 

HIRING NEWS: Autodesk (formerly SimOps Studios), Highmark and Ducommun LaBarge

Autodesk, the San Francisco company that bought ETC spinout Sim Ops Studio back in December 2010, is expanding its presence in Pittsburgh. 
 
In other hiring news, Highmark is adding 500 people, mostly service employees, with 85 jobs posted for Pittsburgh. Manufacturer Ducommun LaBarge Technologies (formerly LaBarge) is expanding its facility in East Pittsburgh and adding 30 people. 
 
The contract electronics maker is also considering a move from its 160,000 square-foot center in Keystone Commons to a 200,000 square-foot facility in Pittsburgh's east suburbs. Ducommun Labarge, based in St. Louis, is hiring now for more than 30 positions including manufacturing engineers, electronic and mechanical assemblers, SMT operators, test technicians, inspectors and more.
 
As for Autodesk, this is the company’s first serious foray into cloud connectivity and mobility, says Shanna Tellerman, product line manager for Autodesk, a leader in CAD software and design for the media and entertainment industry. 
 
The success of Autodesk Cloud, and the recently released design software app, Design Review Mobile, developed in Pittsburgh, is proof that the region is playing a critical role for Autodesk on some key products.

"A great culture of innovation was initiated at Sim Ops and has carried over into Autodesk because of their decision to keep the team together in Pittsburgh," Tellerman says. "Our team was responsible for building out the foundation services for AutoDesk Cloud, which includes the new viewing technology. This will be game-changing for engineers/architects who are looking to bring designs into the field."
 
Autodesk, which recently hired two in Pittsburgh, bringing the total team to nine, is currently looking for two contractors for the Pittsburgh office with a focus on developers with a background in graphics, web engineering and/or mobile development. The office is located in Fox Chapel.
 
"I'm working on getting them to move downtown to get closer to Oakland," Tellerman adds. "I feel really confident about our ability to grow a startup and keep it in Pittsburgh." 
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Shanna Tellerman, Autodesk, Ducommun Labarge and Highmark

Highmark logo courtesy of Highmark
 

And the 2011 Pittsburgh Tech 50 winners are…

Center ice was center stage at The Consol Energy Center for The 15th Annual 2011 Tech 50 Awards Tuesday night, a high-tech evening befitting the hottest technology companies in the region.
 
A record number of attendees sat in the arena and were regaled by high-definition footage on the big screen of the stories behind the region's cutting-edge innovators who are embarking on "A New World," which was the theme for the evening. 
 
"These are companies that are innovating, taking risks, sticking their necks out on the line every single day, allowing the region to grow, increasing the GDP and competing with other nations," said Audrey Russo, president and CEO in her opening remarks. 
 
Without further ado, the 2011 Tech Winners…
 
Innovator of the year went to Dynamics Inc, the successful startup founded by Jeff Mullen, a Tepper grad who created the world's first programmable credit card.  The category finalists were Allpoint Systems, BodyMedia, Bossa Nova Robotics, Ex One, ModCloth, Omnyx, Thorley Industries dba 4Moms and Voci Technologies.

Cohera Medical, the company that recently put its surgical tissue glue adhesive on the German market, was named Life Sciences Company of the Year, one of the larger categories. The Life Science company finalists were CardiacAssist, Complexa, Foundation Radiology Group, invivodata, McKesson Automation, Net Health Systems and Precision Therapeutics.
 
Cohera's CEO Patrick Daly got a call back later in the evening as CEO of the Year. The CEO finalists included Jeff Kendall  of Liberty Tire Recycling; Justin McElhattan, Industrial Scientific Corporation; and Chris Robins of BodyMedia.
 
Tech Titan of the Year went to TeleTracking Technologies, a firm on the forefront of tracking patient flow information for hospitals. The finalists were Ansaldo STS USA, ANSYS, Concurrent Technologies Corp. and FedEx Ground.
 
Recent newsmaker Acquion Energy, maker of a very promising environmentally-friendly battery, won as the Startup of the Year, a new category this year, beating another large pool of frontrunners: Carmell Therapeutics, C-leveled, Deeplocal, Evil Genius Designs, Intimate Bridge to Conception, Metis Secure Solutions, SnapRetail, Songwhale, Thermal Therapeutics Systems and Wombat Security Technologies.  
 
Technology Accelerator of the Year went to AEC Group, a fast-growing firm that supports businesses by determining custom technology solutions. Finalists were Data Science Automation, SDLC Partners, Sierra w/o Wires and Summa Technologies
 
IT Company of the year went to Vivisimo, the information optimization specialists in Squirrel Hill. The category finalists were Confluence, Eyeflow and M*Modal.
 
Advanced Manufacturing Company of the Year, which highlights companies that use a high-degree of automated and computer, robotics and IT systems processes, was gas detection experts, Industrial Scientific Corporation. The finalists were Kennametal, RE2 and US Liner Company. 
 
Writer: Debra Smit
Source: The Pittsburgh Technology Council
 

UPMC hiring thousands (and other hiring news)

UPMC anticipates mega HIRING next year, nearly 1,900 new jobs, positions that range from medical professionals to administrators, administration and IT professionals.

The expansion follows a banner year for the region's largest employer, with 50,000 employees and a network of 20 hospitals, 400 doctors' offices and outpatient sites. UPMC's operating revenues grew by $955 million to $9 billion and operating income climbed from $166 million to $406 million. Most of the positions will be in hospital services and physician services.

UPMC spent $450 million in capital expenditures in 2011 to upgrade patient care, technology and facilities through several major construction and renovation projects. The company hired 1,900 people during the year and expects to bookend that figure with another 1,900 jobs during fiscal year 2012.

“We continue to grow and invest,” said Robert A. DeMichiei, senior vice president and chief financial officer. “Our financial position allows us to advance our nationally recognized clinical excellence, growing our services to meet the needs of our local communities and, at the same time, reinvesting in research and innovation to improve health care now and into the future.”

Overall, the job picture in Pittsburgh showed steady improvement in July, according to several reports. Pittsburgh Today reported a total of 143,700 jobs in July, a 1.3% increase over July 2010.

PNC says the six-county jobless rate of 7.3 is expected to decline to 6 percent by the end of 2014. The region has added 10,900 jobs this year and projects 40,000 will be created in the next 2 and a half years if the nation avoids a recession, says PNC.

In local hiring, RE2 recently won a major contract to develop multiple components for explosive ordnance disposal, resulting in the hiring of two senior mechanical engineers and support the additional hiring of an electrical engineer and CNC machinist.

CombineNet added 10 people in 2011 and expects to add three to five more positions in Pittsburgh.

Accounting and financial consulting firm, Siterson & Co., recently added five new associates to their staff.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: UPMC, Douglas Peters, RE2, CombineNet and Siterson & Co

Consider a PTI Grad-In-A-Box for your next hire

The Pittsburgh Technical Institute has launched an unusual campaign to market their graduates. They ship them out in boxes.

Well, not actually in the box.

PTI and 3PC Media launched the Grad-In-A-Box campaign hoping to send a clear message to companies and employers in the region that PTI grads are ready to work, explains Greg DeFeo, PTI president.

The school mailed 100 life-sized boxes to key creative leaders in the industry with a little packing slip that explained how to find top talent in the fields of graphic design, multimedia, video and web design.

"The whole idea was to illustrate that our grads are here and ready to work right out-of-the-box," he says with a laugh. "We had a great response from employers. In a challenging market, this was definitely something unique that stood out."

The boxes arrived with simple instructions: Open the box. Hire a PTI grad and put them to work. Recycle the box.

While PTI expected some surprise from those on the receiving end, they were pleased by the positive response. Some took pictures of employees with the boxes and posted them on Facebook. Others gave them a permanent home in the office.

The advertising industry was equally impressed. The-Grad-in-a-Box campaign won top honors at the 2011 Communicator Awards sponsored by the International Academy of Visual Arts in New York.

Since the campaign's launch, PTI has fielded calls from employers who hadn't worked with PTI before, says DeFeo. The school is finally growing beyond its image as one of the region's best kept secrets since it opened in 1946. Last year more than 700 students graduated with degrees in 23 majors.

The campus, located on 180-acres near Robinson, enrolls 2000 students, many of whom live on campus.

“It was the best door opener I’ve ever received,” said Mark Lindsay, senior creative director at Quest Fore, a Pittsburgh-based strategic marketing company. “It was a beautiful idea… simple, cost-effective and attention-getting.”

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: PTI, Greg DeFeo

College Prowler opens new office in Shadyside, expects to double in size

Just how hot are college reviews and listings by students for students in a digital savvy format?

Exponential, apparently. College Prowler has moved to its new 4,500 square-foot digs on Ellsworth in Shadyside, twice the size of its Bloomfield office, in anticipation of doubling the company size in the next few years. No immediate hiring is anticipated, but the company expects to grow from 14 to 20 to 25 people in the next few years.

Ever since the startup dropped its subscription-based format in 2009, and offered insights on colleges and universities across the country free-of-charge, College Prowler has quadrupled the visitors to its site. This month Prowler expects to hit just under 2 million visitors a month, or 50,000 visitors a day, says Luke Skurman, founder and CEO.

"It was a calculated risk worth taking," says Skurman. "To put it in perspective, we are the number three trafficked college information site after U.S. News & World Report and College Board. We have more information on all colleges collectively than any other website in the country."

In the next few weeks, College Prowler will launch an Android and iPhone app, a game that offers cool college trivia and information that helps students learn about prospective schools. Print materials and e-books are also still available, although now just a small percentage of Prowler's overall business.

The most popular page on the site? The college rankings and top ten lists.

"The secret sauce is we offer great content that can't be found anywhere else," he says. "It's free. And we have a great team that believes in what we're doing."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Luke Skurman, College Prowler



Cyberpunk Apocalypse launches zine subscription series

Pittsburgh is home to two punk houses for local and out-of-town writers who are creating cool projects, new media and zines that are available by subscription.

Cyberspace Apocalypse is a writer's project and residency program with a cooperative space in Lawrenceville. Since 2009, the program has given 22 writers from across the U.S. and Canada a place to work and live while hosting a handful of monthly events and produced zines, comics, essays, stories and books.  One of the first artists to arrive was Magpie Killjoy of Portland, Ore.

"It's geared to help writers in Pittsburgh," explains Daniel McCloskey, founder of the project. McCloskey, also a writer, is an illustrator and traveling poster salesman who's working on a science fiction novel. "To do that, we invite people here from outside of Pittsburgh. We think this is a good way to help writers by showing them what other writers are doing."

A group that lives together writes together, he says. If one of us isn't as productive as we should be, we charge ourselves extra rent. 

"The visiting writer program is the same idea as having touring bands come through. People who are excited about writing are living together all under one roof."

Cyberspace recently launched a Zine of the Month Club on Kickstarter, the largest online funding platform in the world for the arts. For a small pledge a year or month, readers can join and receive fresh-of-the-press writing or comics delivered to your door and support the project and the work of the Cyberpunk artists.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Daniel McCloskey, Cyberspace Apocalypse



Pennwriters conference attracts agents from all genres

What writer wouldn't jump at the chance to pitch her book during a one-on-one session with an editor or agent?

This week writers will do just that at Pennwriters, Inc.'s Craft and Career conference here in Pittsburgh. Writers with completed manuscripts can make 10-minute pitches, while those with works in progress can sign up for read-and-critique sessions.
 
According to best-selling novelist Nancy Martin, who founded Pennwriters 25 years ago, agents come specifically to find new talent.
 
"The conference is really special here in Pittsburgh," says Martin. "It's something you don't see anywhere else in America.  This is one of the very few multi-genre conferences anywhere."
 
Among the agencies sending editors and agents this year are Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency, FinePrint Literary Management, Folio Literary Management, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and Irene Goodman Literary Agency. 
 
Pennwriters started with less than 10 members.  Today, more than 400 writers seek advice from fellow writers through the non-profit organization.  "Writing is a very solitary occupation," says Martin. "You jump at the chances to get together."
 
Once a year, the Craft and Career conference provides a place for professionals and aspiring writers alike to gather and receive counsel from experts in the literary field.  This weekend is the 24th annual event.
 
The event features workshops, networking luncheons and a keynote presentation by author Jacquelyn Mitchard, who wrote The Deep End of the Ocean.  Craft and Career will take place May 13-15 at the Airport Marriott in Pittsburgh, PA.
For more information visit www.pennwriters.org.

Writer: Lindsay Derda
Source: Nancy Martin

 



Thousands of students imagine future careers right here

More than 4000 students and families across the region participated in a week-long workforce development initiative, Imagine! Career Week, an annual event that spotlights the many jobs and careers that are available to young people in the Pittsburgh region.

This marks the fifth year for the initiative, which is moving the conversation forward on the importance of real-world career awareness and education for youth. The week featured student scientists and a robot rumble, job shadowing throughout the city, inspirational speakers, workshops and meetups with perspective employers.

Forty-eight teams from Southwestern Pa. brought their 15-pound student built robots to the 6th Annual BOTS IQ Regional Championship. Middle and high school students entered an essay and video contest that answered the question, "What does your future look like?"  The winners were announced by Gov. Corbett.

In addition to programs for youth, a new component was added offering job assistance to adults as well, says Stefani Pashman, CEO of Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board. Adults participated in counseling sessions on financial literacy and parenting workshops, helping them with complex challenges and to be entrepreneurial in money management. 

"It's an amazing example of collaboration among many companies and individuals in the workforce development field," says Pashman. "It was an exciting week to be around the youth and the energy they bring to the table; there's always more we can do."

Organizers are already looking beyond to next year. Get involved now in the planning for the next Career Week. Citizen's Bank was a primary sponsor.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Stefani Pashman, 3 Rivers Workforce Investment Board




The White House selects Pittsburgh as one of eight Startup America Cities

The White House has selected Pittsburgh as one of eight cities in the country to participate in a major innovation initiative, "Startup America: Reducing Barriers Roundtables," at Chatham University on April 28th.

The unique event will bring senior Obama administration officials to Pittsburgh to meet with local entrepreneurs and hear firsthand their ideas and suggestions for reducing barriers and improving regulations to build a more supportive environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Startup America is designed to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Pittsburgh and seven other cities were selected for the venue: Austin, Texas;  Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Boulder, Colo.; Durham, N.C.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Minneapolis, Minn.

Our city has been on President Obama's radar ever since the G-20, says Carl Knoblock, district director of the Small Business Administration. The administration hopes to spur economic growth by learning more about how Pittsburgh has transformed itself from a one industry town  to a region with jobs in advanced manufacturing, biosciences, software, robotics and engineering.

"All the cities selected have good universities that receive research and development dollars," says Knoblock. "What makes us distinct is Pittsburgh is the only city that has transformed itself from one industrial base to another. This will be a showcase for the region and help create more opportunities here."

In addition to jumpstarting economic growth, Startup America hopes to identify outdated federal barriers and cumbersome restrictions that are inhibiting that growth. Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with resource partner SMC Business Councils, is working with the Western Pa. SBA District Office to coordinate the event.

Administration officials attending the event include Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Fernandez, Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Teresa Rae and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors Ronnie Chatterji.

The roundtable will be held on Thursday, April 28, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Chatham University. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are invited to attend by application through the Startup America Website.


Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Carl Knoblock, SBA



Pitt prof receives $1.5M Mellon Foundation award for rethinking modern philosophical thought

University of Pittsburgh philosophy professor John McDowell has received the 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a $1.5 million grant to continue ground-breaking research that is reshaping philosophical thinking about human nature, the natural sciences and the natural world.

What does a philosophy professor do with that kind of money? For Dr. McDowell, the grant will give him the freedom to teach more on the graduate level and continue thinking, researching, writing and publishing. He also plans to put the money toward future philosophy conferences and support of the work of his colleagues.

At the heart of Dr. McDowell's decades-long work is the suggestion that philosophers should think more about the natural world and human nature without restricting themselves to observations and explanations provided by the natural sciences.

His first book, "Mind and World" (Harvard University Press, 1994) suggests that humans have a natural capacity for perceptual experience, uniquely human attributes, an ability to gain knowledge about the environment through natural interaction and rational learning, that should be taken into consideration. Science is not the only answer.

"There's a temptation on the part of people to think only of the scientific explanation and what it reveals," says McDowell. "If everyone hung on to what they learned at their mother's knee--what comes naturally--people would find that they know their way around."

McDowell is a Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy in Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences and the second professor from Pitt to receive the prestigious Mellon award. He joins Pitt Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Robert Brandom who received the award in 2003.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: John McDowell, University of Pittsburgh

Picture of Dr. John McDowell courtesy of University of Pittsburgh



Shop smarter with Pikimal site to get what you want

Why do we buy products based on reviews of people we've never met?

Just because Tiger Woods swings a certain golf club (or someone likes how a shoe fits) is no reason to plunk down the cash, says Eric Silver, founder and CE0 of an online company that is flipping the traditional marketing model and succeeding in a big way.

The Tepper Business School MBA founded Pikimal--as in pick-em-all--a crowd-sourced website that gives consumers information in real-time on the product or service they seek. Now in beta, Pikimal has raised $1.5 million in convertible debt, through angel investors from the Bay area. (Silver grew up in Sunnyvale, Calif.) The startup has 13 full-time employees (plus interns) working at the Riverside Innovation Center.

Say you're shopping for a digital camera. You can read reviews all day, but if a product doesn't have the specific features you want, you lose in the end, Silver explains. Pikimal's "templates" and "slider" allow you to express what you're looking for--a touchscreen, more than 12 megapixels--and get back a top 10 list of what's available.

The site, which is getting 4000 to 5000 hits a day, will pick up momentum with traffic, he adds. Pikimal offers 130 pikis so far, with 10 to 500 products each, everything from electronics to dating sites to birth control. There's even one for Japan disaster relief charities. New pikis are being added daily. Funding should keep the company afloat  for another year until it's profitable, Silver says.

"There are others using peer advice, but that's not what we're doing," explains Silver, who has a technical and marketing background and was briefly a marketing officer for ModCloth. "This is a different play. I'm competing with how people are performing searches for these things. My personal feeling is you shouldn't buy what's popular because somebody hired the right PR firm."

Pikimal is committed to the region. "I just bought a house," he says. "As long as I'm able to stay on course, we'll be in Pittsburgh."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Eric Silver, Pikimal

Image courtesy of Pikimal



We're back! Pittsburgh region rebounds economically says PRA; Brookings Institute concurs


The Pittsburgh region is coming back strong with 20,187 sustained jobs and $1.5 billion in capital investment, according to an annual economic report released by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Partnership.

Of those jobs, 11,442 were new jobs, a 66 % increase over 2009. 

The Washington, D.C. think tank, The Brookings Institution, shed a positive light on the local economy as well this week. Brookings ranked the Pittsburgh region as the eighth-strongest economy among 100 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas based on its strength through the recession.

The PRA "Wins Report," which tallies the number of economic development deals that transpired in a year as reported by leaders and companies across the 10-country region, offers a positive picture of economic growth. The number of deals in 2010 increased from 2009, posting 272 "wins" compared to 190 "wins" in 2009. 

In 2008, before the recession, the PRA reported 290 "wins" in the region.

"This clearly indicates that our economy is growing again, as evidenced by the commitment of companies here," says Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Affliates. "This is what happens when we all work together."

Among the more significant findings was that a majority of the "wins" in 2010, 67% to be exact, were related to expansions of existing businesses here. This underscores a company confidence in the region and spirit of reinvestment that our local base is starting to improve, Yablonsky says.

To support the growth of these companies, the PRA has announced the "Pittsburgh Impact," a new business development initiative that targets 150 existing companies in the 10-county region that meet a defined criteria, including strong company growth and job retention. The PRA will place a significant focus on assisting these companies in the region going forward.

"We want to be proactive about these companies," says Yablonsky. "We will reach out to them, find out about them and learn what they need to continue to keep them growing."

Energy topped the list as a key driver of the economy in 2010, with a total of 77 wins, which came in well above the 2009 total of 44. Marcellus Shale play-related investment was the biggest driver. Of the 32 natural-resources-related investments announced in 2010, 88% involved the expansions of energy-related businesses.

Manufacturing also showed a 50% increase in activity compared to 2009. Other leading sectors were financial and business services with 50 wins, information and communications tech with 42 wins and health care and life sciences with 31 wins, more than double the amount in 2009.

Watch a short video with leaders from three win companies!

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dennis Yablonsky, ACCD

Image copyright Brian Cohen




PennFuture sets world-class standards for drilling in "Searching for Marcellus heaven"

The way Jan Jarrett sees it, there are two visions of heaven when it comes to Marcellus shale drilling.

On one side, the state is a place "bursting with cash as wealth percolates through the economy" and drillers have free access to all the water they want. On the other, heaven is a place where the drillers, who've set the rivers on fire, have been "driven out by an Egyptian-style popular uprising."   

Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, a statewide environmental group on the forefront of drilling politics, has taken the middle ground with the release of a definitive list of what Pennsylvania needs to do to "establish world-class standards for gas drilling."

For Jarrett, president and CEO of PennFuture, the editorial-blog she penned, and the powerful language evoked, has drawn criticism from those on both sides. Others, however, are calling it "a breath of fresh air in a highly charged debate," earning the respect of those (like us) who applaud her attempt to bridge the chasm.

(Decide for yourself; read it here.)

"I've been thinking about this for a long time," reflects Jarrett during a phone interview this week from her Harrisburg office. "The New York Times article created a perfect storm of different things, including a dire picture of gas drilling in Pennsylvania. These two extremes don't move the conversation along or create a situation where we can begin to solve the problems."

"It was time to lay it all out," she adds. "Politics always involves compromise."

Jarrett chose strong language to make her points. "We are already deep into this conversation but it keeps getting hijacked by hyperbole on the one hand, and Super Bowl-sized naked political influence on the other hand," she writes.

Here's what PennFuture believes Pennsylvania needs to establish world-class standards for gas drillers:

• A drilling tax;
• A ban on further leasing of state forestland for drilling;
• Increased bonding to ensure proper restoration of gas well sites. The current $2500 is a joke;
• Setbacks from waterways, wetlands and drinking water supplies;
• Prohibition on locating gas wells in flood plains;
• Increased fines for violations of environmental laws and regulations to motivate compliance;
• Tracking water use from withdraw to disposal;
• Testing drilling wastes and wastewater for radiation; and
• Preservation of local government power to control drilling through existing zoning powers.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jan Jarrett, PennFuture


Hiring! ThoughtForm, Spreadshirt and Ideal Integration are expanding

Three Pittsburgh companies are expanding and adding staff: ThoughtForm, Ideal Integrations and Spreadshirt.

ThoughtForm on the South Side, a communications and design consultancy, is in the process of adding five new people to its staff, which is growing from 29 to 34 employees this year.  Among the new hires is a graphic designer, senior interaction designer, project manager, image specialist and part-time IT.

"Business is regaining confidence. Clients who have been holding their breath for two years are growing and getting aggressive again," says Don Moyer of Thoughtform, which serves clients from Pittsburgh to Budapest. "New clients are finding us. They have stories to share with customers, allies, and investors and that means more work for our team."

Tee-shirt maker Spreadshirt is hiring 15 people at its Hempfield, Pa. plant to meet the growing demand for its customized tees. The plant employs 70. The Boston-based company has seen a 90% increase in growth since last year and is trying to keep up with demand, says a company spokesperson.

Ideal Integrations, a systems integration consulting firm, has expanded and relocated its office to North Versailles and added five people to its team of 35. Among the new hires is a technical support engineer, marketing business developer, systems engineers and inside sales. The company plans to continue hiring this year.

In addition, Netronome, a developer of network flow processors, has announced a new executive team. Howard Bubb has taken the helm as president and CEO and Perry Grace is chief financial officer. Bubb brings more than 20 years of experience with success in leading growth for a number of semiconductor and communications companies including Dialogic and Intel's Communications Infrastructure Group.

Netronome founder and CEO, Niel Viljoen, will take the role of chief development officer.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Renee Segar, Thoughtform; Ideal Integrations, Spreadshirt, Netronome

Image of Thoughtform team courtesy of Thoughtform


Pitt's Center for Energy shines spotlight on sector; Alstom Grid of France moves in

As the newly appointed executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Energy, Don Shields has a lot to say about the future of energy for our region.

"There's a real opportunity for Pittsburgh to be a major leader in energy," says Shields, who will work to expand the focus and influence of Pitt's nationally recognized 3-year-old energy research center, dedicated to improving energy-technology development and sustainability and moving the region's energy sector forward.

"There's a very strong connection between industry and education through the center," he adds. "From a Pitt perspective, 10 years from now I'd like people to look at Pitt as an energy school the way they look at is as medical school now. We haven't quite gotten that story across yet."

Shields has been director of corporate relations for Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering and has nearly 25 years in tech management and higher education resource development. His new role will build on his work to secure government and industry support for new research and educational programs in the field of energy. 

The wealth of nuclear talent here--as well as research on coal, gas, wind, solar and water--has positioned Pittsburgh to address one of the greatest challenges of our time, Shields says.

The Center will also work closely with the Energy Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a strategic partnership of more than 50 companies and universities, staffed by the Allegheny Conference and Innovation Works, also working to create a vibrant climate for energy industries in the region.

In energy-related news, manufacturer Alstom Grid of France moved into the Speers Industrial Park in Washington County this week and will be hiring 30. The company is among the leading global players in the business of electrical transmission technologies, helping to ensure safer, more reliable power grids around the world.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Don Shields, Pitt Center for Energy



85 Broads brings women together, upcoming panel targets entrepreneurs

Bringing women together is the goal of 85 Broads, a worldwide networking group that includes professionals as well as students. Local women can get in on the action at the upcoming Entrepreneurial Women's Panel networking event and discussion.

Started in 1997 by women who worked at Goldman Sachs on 85 Broad Street, their goal was to keep retired women connected with those still working there. Today, 85 Broads consists of more than 25,000 members around the globe, including the Pittsburgh chapter that started a year and a half ago. President Christina Morgan launched the professional chapter after the 85 Broads club at Carnegie Mellon gained considerable popularity.

Of the 160 members, 50 are professionals while the rest are Carnegie Mellon students. "It's a really unique way to get involved, not only with members of the Pittsburgh community, but also to network internationally." Morgan said. "We're just hoping to connect women…and I think this is an amazing group to do so."

85 Broads Pittsburgh hosts up to eight events a year, with one quickly approaching. The Entrepreneurial Women's Panel will feature a discussion on starting your own business, the transition from corporate life and various other topics. Panelists are Brenda Smith of Peoplesmith Global, Inc., Melanie Cox McCluskey from Left + Right Creative LLC, Holly Maust of Interactive Swim and Emily Levenson from Sustain Health and Wellness.

"For anyone  interested in starting their own business or working in a start-up type environment, I really think it's going to be a helpful discussion," says Morgan.

The panel is Tuesday, March 8 from 6 to 8 p.m at the Bricolage Theatre. Both members ($10) and non-members ($15) are welcome. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

For information on how to join the Pittsburgh Chapter, email Christina Morgan here.

Writer: Alex Audia
Source: Christina Morgan, 85 Broads Pittsburgh


ShowClix teams up with Groupon, goes to MoMA

The power of collective buying meets the ticketing world with a new partnership that teams Pittsburgh's ShowClix with Chicago-based online coupon seller, Groupon.

ShowClix has unveiled its Spring 2011 ticketing and event management system, offering venues, promoters and event organizers more than 100 new features, including an integrated partnership with Groupon, expanded analytics and a seamless connection with Facebook, Twitter and Disqus, says Lynsie Camuso of ShowClix.

ShowClix is the only ticketing company to partner with Groupon at this date, she adds. The new platform gives users the ability to seamlessly apply for, manage, track and run reports on their Groupon offers, all from their ShowClix management console. The deal allows clients to tap Groupon's collective buying power to reach a targeted audience of event goers looking for new ways to enjoy their city, she adds.

"It really creates a nice streamlined process for us," says Camuso. "This is the busiest we've ever been by far." The company reported major growth in 2010: 650% growth in ticket sales and 275% growth in new clients. ShowClix employs 25 and is nearly out of space at its Shadyside digs.

The company was also recently filmed by CNN for an upcoming segment that will air on Morning Express with Robin Meade on CNN Headline News. Catch it this Thursday morning, Feb. 10, from 8:30 to 9 a.m. .

ShowClix
has inked a deal with the MoMA to provide online ticketing for  film screenings. The MoMA is among several museums that work with ShowClix, including The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Leonard Da Vinci Museum in Los Angeles and The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Lynsie Camuso, ShowClix



Steelers tech, bets and bookies (pass the Yinzer Blanc)

Nothing like a Steelers Super Bowl to inspire innovation, from a mobile app to fantasy football, even a wine.

Pittsburgh-based SMaSh is the official mobile platform of the Steelers, with the hottest news straight from inside the locker room, late-breaking lineup changes, giveaways. This is the fastest, most reliable way to learn what you need says Zack Madden, SMaSh market manager.

"We've almost doubled the subscriber list since we took it over (last July)," says Madden of the 78,500 subscribers, enough to fill Heinz Stadium. "We're sending it to all 50 states and U.S. territories too. We've got the Steelers' nation blanketed." To get in on the action, text Steelers to #76274 (smash) or go online.

Meanwhile, while Pittsburgh craft beers battle it out as homebrew, a wine maker is stepping it up. Dreadnought Wines in the Strip District has re-labeled its popular Pittsburgh 250 Wine line as Pittsburgh "Redd Up Red" and "Yinzer Blanc" in honor of the Bowl. Sylvester Vineyards and Winery promise a bouquet of fruit, tempered with hints of oak, and a lingering finish that will hopefully last till the ball crosses the end zone. Several times.

And for fantasy football players, there's the new Shadyside startup www.mybookiegame.com, a mobile sports betting app launched last December.

The concept was conceived by Jeff Jones, Josh Jackson and Terry Murdoch of Psydian Interactive who are carving a niche in the fantasy space with an app with "personality." The Facebook launch was strategically scheduled around the release of the Windows Phone 7, but the Steelers are helping--a lot.

"We wanted to create a virtual world in a setting and make it a competition between friends," Murdoch explains. "We've gotten great momentum from being in the capital of football country."

The app has 1,800 players so far and is fueled by virtual currency and Reputation Chips. It's also among the first to correlate info between a mobile device and Facebook page, running Vegas odds on all the major sports.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Zack Madden, SMaSh; Dreadnought Wines; Terry Murdoch, Psydian Interactive

Image graphics by Cartoon Solutions, Digital Editing by Ted Beijer (From top left clockwise: Josh Johnson, Jeff Jones, Justin Behanna and Terry Murdoch.)



Direct Energy in Pittsburgh expanding and hiring 66

Direct Energy's Pittsburgh headquarters is expanding with the addition of 9,000 square-feet of office space in the Federated Building downtown and the hiring of 66 employees.

Company growth is a reflection, in part, of the changes brought about by deregulation 10 years ago, explains Bethany Ruhe, company spokesperson. While utilities like Duquesne and Columbia Gas continue to operate the lines of distribution, consumers can now choose a gas and/or electricity supplier. That's Direct Energy's niche, offering consumers, businesses and industries rate deals, green programs and custom options.  

The company has grown to become one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in North America of electricity, natural gas and related services, serving more than 50,000 customers and  5 million residential consumers. DE opened its Pittsburgh office following the purchase of Strategic Energy in 2008. While the office primarily handles business customers, DE also recently relocated its Ohio residential office here to serve customers in the northeast.

"A lot of what we do is geared toward helping customers achieve their energy efficiency goals," Ruhe explains. "At Direct Energy, we want to be more than just the lowest price. We do it through innovative products and special services. We work very hard to make it as easy as possible for customers."

The biggest hurdle is educating people to shop for electricity, much as one would for a mortgage or insurance, she adds.  Direct Energy helps customers build customized solutions based on each customer's individual energy strategy, which may incorporate renewable energy certificates and other programs.

Direct Energy has grown substantially in the last three years, adding more than 100 people and employing upwards of 400 in the region. And this little known fact: DE greened the city during the G20 Summit, purchasing renewable energy credits that provided sustainable energy to the city while world leaders were here.

Direct Energy employs 6,000 worldwide and has a corporate business office in Toronto and parent company in the UK.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Bethany Ruhe, Direct Energy

Logo courtesy of Direct Energy



Water, the next step. Growing a future Pittsburgh industry cluster

The region is taking the next step toward the creation of a thriving industry around our abundant water supply, a Water Innovation Consortium that will inspire innovation, sustainability and collaboration among the more than 3,000 water-related firms here.

The first economic analysis of the local water industry sector, Pittsburgh's H2Opportunity Report, was released this month, providing a snapshot of water-related industries and the potential for growth. The study follows on the heels of Pittsburgh World Environment Day and the two Water Matters! conferences held in 2010.

In a nutshell, the region has the clout to generate a cluster of water-related industries, from energy to wastewater and desalinization technologies and products. More than 3,000 companies provide water-related components, products and services that provide 34,000 jobs and more than $5 billion in direct economic activity.

By putting together a "cluster model" similar to the Milwaukee Water Council, the group will organize and advance regional opportunities and coordinate existing resources aligned with those opportunities.; think PLSG and the Pa. Nanomaterials Commercialization Center  which drive life sciences and nanotechnology growth in the region. 

The study also identifies four pilot projects to drive the region forward:  supply and treatment, components, services and transportation. Two promising growth industries are identified as water treatment and water desalination with a mix of companies from Siemens Water Technologies and Calgon Carbon Corp. to newer firms such as Cardinal Resources and Epiphany Solar Water Systems.  

"This represents a different way of bringing partners to the table," says Jerry Paytas, vice president of research analytics, Fourth Economy, the author of the study. "It's an open cast-call approach to bring in the right players."

"We see our role as enabling the success of the teams that will focus on the areas they see as critical to the region's water future," says Jan VanBriesen, director of the Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems, which will coordinate the consortium.   "The consortium is really a 'bottom up' effort to bring together the region's extensive expertise and innovation in water issues." 

The study was commissioned by the WED Partnership, foundations and companies working with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and Sustainable Pittsburgh.

To learn more about how to get involved, contact Dave Nakles at CMU.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jerry Paytas, Fourth Economy; Jan Van Briesen, Carnegie Mellon; Sustainable Pittsburgh

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Guess who has 865 jobs now, even more later?

UPMC has 865 openings for a range of jobs and will most likely hire close to the same number of positions throughout this year as last year: 6000 full-time and part-time positions, 8600 in total including temporary and casual opportunities.

The largest employer in the region and second largest in the state of Pennsylvania--second to Walmart--UPMC currently has jobs posted for both medical professionals, technicians and administrative job-seekers.

"When people think UPMC, they often think of a hospital job, but we have a diverse line of businesses including insurance and a commercial and international presence as well," says Matt Rimer, Director of Talent Acquisition for UPMC.

The best way to apply is to sign up on the UPMC Careers website where seekers will find openings for nurses, nursing assistants, patient care technicians, pharmacists, a range of therapists and support staff. There are at least 60 IT jobs posted currently.

Company hiring has picked up substantially since 2007 when UPMC was forced to downsize during the economic downturn, Rimer adds. "We're on the other side of that and our services are doing well. We're growing and have a very positive outlook for the future."

While a majority of the positions are in Southwestern Pennsylvania, jobs are opening up in other U.S. cities and the world. UPMC also anticipates spending $500 million in capital improvements in the next nine months.

"UPMC has a passion for ensuring that we are a good community partner, working to keep Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania and the communities we serve vibrant and working," Rimer adds. "That's what we're all about."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Matt Rimer, UPMC




PLSG reels in Johnson & Johnson, Merck and two VC firms

Two big pharma companies, Johnson & Johnson and Merck, and two venture capital firms will be moving into the expanded PLSG campus, news that follows on the heels of the incubator's $5 million Accelerator Fund to boost the region's life science industry.   

PLSG announced the expansion of the campus, four to six wet labs in addition to 9,000 square feet of life sciences labs in December. Johnson & Johnson and Merck will be establishing their first presence in Pittsburgh.

In addition, Novitas and Corridor Venture Partners are moving in, reports Lynn Brusco of PLSG. The move marks a return to the region for Novitas, formerly PA Early Stage. It will be the first official office for Corridor Venture Partners, the life sciences fund founded by Gary Glausner and Pete DeComo in 2008.

"All of this company formation and capitalization activity, combined with the establishment of an efficient, cost-effective location for growing the region's life sciences industry at our new life sciences campus on the south side of Pittsburgh, is an instrumental underpinning for creating sustainability for the life sciences in our region," says John Manzetti, President and CEO of PLSG.

The $5 million Accelerator Fund will provide investment for a target group of PLSG companies that have moved beyond the early stage: medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, health care, information technology, biotechnology tools.  PLSG has been a successful catalyst for life science industry growth in the region, making Pittsburgh a U.S. top-10 ranked source of life sciences innovation with $600 million invested by NIH annually.

In other llife sciences news, Pittsburgh-based BlueTree Allied Angels saw the successful exit of MedSage Technologies, a portfolio company that developed a web-based platform to monitor patient compliance and track replacement equipment needs.  

The company was acquired by Philips/Respironics of the Netherlands. MedSage will be part of the sleep business of the Philips Home Healthcare Solutions Unit.

"BlueTree investors on this project are going to realize a double-digit return on their original investment," says Catherine Mott.  "They will also have the satisfaction of seeing a company move on to the next level, which is an added benefit of angel investing, particularly with this company because it will remain in the Pittsburgh region."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: John Manzetti, Lynn Brusco, PLSG; Catherine Mott, BlueTree Allied Angels



PurBlu Brands raises $1M to expand distribution through a new strategic partner

PurBlu Brands, the philanthropic drink company that catapulted the successful career of a Shadyside Academy student, has led a $1 million Series-A financing round for the growth and expansion of Green Shoots Distribution, its new strategic partner.

PurBlu was started by self-described "philanthropreneur" Ben Lewis and several high school pals in 2007. While the team went off to college a year later, Lewis has continued to run PurBlu as CEO while attending Wharton at University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a senior.

PurBlu touts itself as the beverage with a social mission: Buy a bottle of GIVE Water or GIVE Energy and 10 cents from each bottle goes to a local charity. The concept caught on and the drinks are one of the fastest selling health beverages in Whole Foods, says Lewis. GIVE Energy is also rated the fastest growing brand in the health beverage category, according to SPINS, a market research firm that tracks natural products.

Lewis estimates that PurBlu has donated more than $100,000 to local charities. 

The collaboration with Green Shoots is a logical next step for the Pittsburgh-based company, he adds. The two companies share a like-minded focus on innovative marketing tools to gain recognition. Green Shoots will assume all sales responsibilities, as well distribution in core natural food markets in the US, allowing PurBlu to develop new natural food and beverage products.

"We're more of a brand incubator and product development company now," Lewis says.

PurBlu's lastest product is Tonic Health Shot, a 2.5-ounce shot of herbs and botanicals. The shot is initially being sold through 400 Sheetz locations across the country. The brands are bottled in plants in New York, Minnesota and California; Castle Co-Packers in New Kensington bottles the Tonic Health Shots. The companies currently employ 24 who work in key markets across the country.

"A lot has changed since the days when we were delivering from the backs of our cars," Lewis quips.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Ben Lewis, PurBlu


National diversity leader takes the helm of Vibrant Pittsburgh

As president of the Atlanta-based think tank American Institute for Managing Diversity, Melanie Harrington spent nine years thinking about how to best engage leadership and community around the issue of diversity.

Now she's putting those theories to work. Harrington was recruited nationally last December to lead a bold, new initiative in the region, Vibrant Pittsburgh, which hopes to strengthen the region's economic future through a renaissance of people working to attract, retain and elevate a diverse workforce. Harrington jumped at the opportunity.  

Vibrant Pittsburgh, created by a coalition of business, nonprofit and foundation leaders, will focus on five key industry sectors--advanced manufacturing, energy, financial and business services, healthcare and life sciences and information and communications technology.

"What an excellent execution of diversity," says Harrington of the organization.  "I think leadership comes about when people of a like mind come together around bold initiatives. That's how change really happens. We've all signed up to be a part of this vision."

Nationally, an increasing number of the people entering the workforce are minorities, yet in Pittsburgh this figure is 11%, among the lowest of the top 40 U.S. regions.  "Diversity and inclusion have become absolutely central to the regional growth," said Sunil Wadhwani, Vibrant Pittsburgh Co-Chair, during the organization's launch at the August Wilson Center. "Regions that get this concept right are growing."

The biggest challenge will be growing and developing a pipeline for the 20,000 jobs that exist in areas of science and technology, math and engineering. "We have a supply of workers looking for jobs, but they don't have the skill sets that are needed," says Harrington. "The supply and demand structure is out of alignment."

"It's exciting to be here at a time when Pittsburgh is positioning itself to become a real world player," she adds. "There are job opportunities here. There is a growing energy and finance sector, as well as other industries. It is critical that we bring these skill sets together for a 21st century workforce."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Melanie Harrington, Vibrant Pittsburgh





Google Pittsburgh moves into industrial-chic space at Bakery Square, hiring a lot

From the pool table to vegan bar to netting draped across the ceiling like a giant hammock, Google's new office might be the coolest place to work in Pittsburgh. If only we all were computer scientists.

Long known for work spaces that inspire mental gymnastics, Google Pittsburgh has raised the bar with a 45,000 square-foot office in the old Nabisco factory on Penn Avenue.  More than 150 employees (those lucky ducks) are bouncing around the bright, industrial-sized space, with open work stations and a candy bar and cafeteria serving a healthy buffet. You can even get a free breakfast, take a yoga class or get a massage for a small fee.

There's hiring too, lots of it, specifically for software engineers, statisticians, research scientists and Internet technicians. The company also recently added a two-person sales staff.

"We expect people to think big so space is very important," said  Andrew Moore, director, during an invitation-only open house last week. "Pittsburgh is a world center of computer science. It's one of the places in the world you go if you are really interested in advanced systems."

And if you are going to do extreme mental labor, you might need a place to recline, added Moore, who prefers doing math lying down.

The region's universities, particularly Carnegie Mellon's stature in the world of computer science, played into Google's decision to establish a major presence in Pittsburgh. Pet projects include work on Google Sky, an app for Google Earth, and Recaptcha, the Carnegie Mellon startup that was acquired by Google in 2009.

Many of the employees at Google Pittsburgh are boomerangers, Moore noted. "Please tell your kids if they left Pittsburgh, to come back," said Moore. "Call them up." 

The $131 million Bakery Square redevelopment project, by Walnut Capital with design by Strada Architects, also includes tenants Anthropologie, Coffee Tree, Springhill Suites and Urban Active.

Check out the Google slideshow in Pop City!

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Andrew Moore, Google Pittsburgh

Inside Google image copyright Brian Cohen




Wanted: Social Media Director, tweeting and stumbling required

UPMC and Highmark are doing it. Bayer and Heinz are thinking about it. Pittsburgh companies are jumping on the social media bandwagon and, in some cases, hiring communication professionals in-house to channel the chatter.

UPMC Health Plan recently hired a full time director of social marketing and has established a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for starters. Social media allows for an online facilitated group discussion on healthy lifestyles and health care research, which is a good fit for the health care industry, says Kelly Kimberland, Director of Social Marketing.

Snap!Retail recently hired Crystal Vilkaitis, formerly the owner of a social media company in San Diego. She moved here to join the team as Director of Social Media of the technology marketing company in Churchill that helps retailers nationwide to drive sales.

"One thing that I definitely saw was the power in the numbers, the exposure and the press in the increased traffic to websites," says Vilkaitis of the job, which includes establishing a strong presence for companies on Twitter, Stumbled Upon and Facebook. The hardest part was keeping abreast of the day-to-day business of multiple firms.

"For many businesses, it's an afterthought," she says. "They forget they should be keeping social networks in the loop."

Organizations need to be fairly large to put a person or team on social media, notes Cynthia Closkey, president of Big Big Design and an organizer of Podcamp Pittsburgh. Companies like GNC were among do the first in the region to do it.  "You want all your communications to work together. Many can blog or tweet, but some have trouble with the shift of voice or style. You need to approach it as less of a chief spokesperson and more of a chief listener."

Smaller or medium size companies are successfully hiring marketing firms to do the social media job for them. This includes taking advantage of online coupons and the use of smartphone barcodes says Ken Rapko, vice president of Cronmiller-McCormick. Rapko's firm has teamed up with Higher Images to capitalize on the growth of social media marketing in the region.

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Writer: Deb Smit

Source: Crystal Vilkaitis, Snap!Retail; Cynthia Closkey, Big Big Design; Ken Rapko, Cronmiller-McCormick, Kelly Kimberland, UPMC Health Plan

Image of Snap!Retail's Crystal Vilkaitis courtesy of Snap!Retail



The space where Pittsburgh corporations and Pittsburgh entrepreneurs meet


Sean Ammirati sees innovation as a local two-way street.
 
Corporations must innovate and collaborate to grow. Entrepreneurs, looking to grow their businesses, need to get in the door of larger, local companies and work to understand the corporate culture and  purchasing patterns. "Innovation Happens" is all about bringing Pittsburgh entrepreneurs and corporations together through open forums that will be held several times a year at the offices of Alpha Lab on the South Side.

"Nothing is more powerful than entrepreneurs talking to and meeting customers," says Ammirati, who organized and facilitated the first evening meetup last week. Ammirati is the former co-founder of mSpoke and current COO of Read/WriteWeb. "We have a lot of great technology going on here in our own backyard. The whole idea is buy local."

The evening brought companies together for "speed dating," allowing groups to move around the room for a quick overview, a facilitated discussion and drinks at the Double Wide Grill. Among the participants were Highmark, Medrad, UPMC, Bayer, Philips Respironics, Snap!Retail and Google, as well as Deeplocal, Rhiza Labs, Industry Weapon, Levlr and Evil Genius Designs.

"Many of our clients are actually all around the country," noted Heather Estes of Deeplocal. "We want to work with more clients in Pittsburgh."

Entrepreneurs sought advice on how to get in the door to offer solutions and wanted to know what the companies needed in the way of services and technology. Companies said they were interested in social media applications, the gamification of websites and creative new ways to promote products and services. 

Even a stoic German company like Bayer is interested in moving forward on the social media front noted Ray Yourd of Bayer. Philips Respironics' Paul Getsy noted that his firm must comply with privacy laws. Entrepreneurs should be aware of social media constraints placed on corporations.

"A sweet spot would be someone who can take technology and reach the older population," said Getsy.

Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Sean Ammirati, Innovation Happens

 



Forensic sleuths bit-x-bit expanding again

Founded in a Mt. Lebanon home in 2007, bit-x-bit was one of the first in the region to target the growing trend of searching electronically stored information (ESI), which is transforming the way litigation is handled today. In 2008 the company moved to a larger office downtown, near state and federal courts. The company has recently doubled in size to four full-time and four part-time employees and is offering Sfile hosted e-discovery review services. 

Joining the brother-sister team of Susan Ardisson, CEO, and Scott Ardisson, President and Chief Forensic Investigator, is Susan's husband, Joseph Decker, Esq., Vice President and General Counsel, who brings more than 25 years of experience as a business litigator and trial attorney. Decker is a frequent writer and speaker on e-discovery issues and was responsible for creating and developing his law firm's in-house electronic discovery department.

The company has also added Rolanda Mitchell as Forensic Analyst and Hosted E-Discovery Project Manager. Ms. Mitchell will manage bit-x-bit's review platform powered by Sfile, a hosted e-discovery system that uses the flexible fabric of cloud computing, giving the firm an expanded range of discovery capabilities at a substantial savings to clients. Mitchell formerly served as the Technical Project Manager for the merger between Bank of New York and Mellon Financial.

"Pittsburgh has been the perfect place to start a business," says Susan. "There wasn't a lot of competition when we started. It is sort of a new field. People in Pittsburgh like doing business with people in Pittsburgh and that's worked well for us. For us, hard work and effort have paid off tremendously. "

bit-x-bit success was boosted in 2008 when the startup received an exclusive endorsement from the Allegheny County Bar Association (ACBA).

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Susan Ardisson, bit-x-bit


CinemaTech50 takes Pittsburgh tech awards show to Hollywood

Roll out the red carpet, here comes the 14th annual Pittsburgh Technology 50, the not-to-miss awards ceremony that recognizes some of the region's most promising technology companies.

This year the Pittsburgh Technology Council goes Hollywood with CinemaTech50, from the red carpet treatment to the "Opening Night Party." The show is rated T for all technology audiences.

"All the superstars in the region are coming," says Melissa Ungar, PTC's executive producer. "This has been one of the top years in terms of the number of nominations. It's a great lineup."

A sneak preview: A first-time Distinguished Achievement Award will go to Jack Roseman, a man who has devoted a lifetime to mentoring and promoting entrepreneurs and successful companies in southwestern Pennsylvania. A well-known serial entrepreneur himself, Roseman is Director of The Roseman Institute and was formerly the associate director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper Business School.

Among the hotly contested categories again is CEO of Year. The CEO finalists are: John Kealey of Vivisimo, Eric Koger of ModCloth, Sean McDonald of Precision Therapeutics, Rick Newton of Newton Consulting and David Palmer of ClearCount Medical Solutions.

The ceremony gets underway next Thursday, Oct. 14, from 5 to 9:30 p.m. at The Hilton Pittsburgh. Individual tickets are from $119 for members to $200 for non-members. Online registration is required.

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Writer: Debra Smit
Source: Melissa Ungar, Pittsburgh Technology Council



Smith Micro CEO says $7M center hopes to be second largest in country, hiring 230

Smith Micro is building a $7 million, 50,000 square-foot software research and development center that will bring 230 jobs to the region. For CEO Bill Smith, it marks a homecoming of sorts.

Smith spent his early career in Pittsburgh, working for RCA, Xerox and Rockwell. Those years taught him a few things about the hard-working people here, he says. Did it play a role in landing Smith Micro here?

"It was a spirited contest," admits Smith, who graduated from Grove City College in the Sixties and spent more than a decade here before Rockwell International moved him to the West Coast. "Clearly the fact that I understood the work ethic and the work environment played into Pittsburgh's favor.

"But it was also the strong support from the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the governor's staff and the governor himself. We worked out a deal that made a lot of sense for our shareholders," he adds.

Founded in 1982, the company, based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., makes and markets mobile software products and services. Hires will include software developers, server development talent, software engineers, testers and customer support staff.

"We want to make sure we contract for a location that has adjacent additional space. We believe if we executive it well we could end up with many more (employees)," says Smith. "Pittsburgh will end up being our second biggest location."

The company has three offices in California as well as offices in Chicago, Herndon, Va., Canada and Europe. Moon, Cranberry and the North Hills are among the locations being considered.

The state Dept. of Community and Economic Development provided Smith Micro with a $1.8 million funding offer, which includes a $1 million opportunity grant, $125,000 in job training aid and $696,000 in job creation tax benefits.

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Bill Smith, Smith Micro

Image of Bill Smith courtesy Smith Micro



Meet the MAYA spinouts, LUMA Institute and Interstacks

Maya Design on the South Side spends a lot of time outside the box. The result is the occasional spinout, as in the case of LUMA Institute and Interstack Initiative.

Chris Pacione is heading LUMA Institute as director and CEO, a company that sprang from requests from clients who wanted to develop their own intelligent design capacities. Pacione, formerly the co-founder of health product company Body Media, describes LUMA as more of a discipline than a process taught through a series of workshops and coaching opportunities.

"It's not a marketing gig," he explains. "(LUMA) is a transfer of learning to develop creative capacity and skills so companies can do this stuff on their own. How do you bring something new into the world and stay aware of the process? It's a series of tools and methods that, once mastered, can be applied to any number of design situations.

"It's like karate," he adds. "Once you've mastered the moves, the expert comes in and begins composing them in the right kind of way." The company will share space with Maya, draw on the Maya designers but employ three full-timers and a growing supply of teachers.

While not officially spun out yet, Interstacks will be lead by Gary Kiliany, previously of iKnowthat.com and co-founder of Dynavox, a local company that helps the severely disabled to communicate through software. Interstacks technology was created to interconnect and control the increasing number of common products, services and environments that contain microprocessors.

Maya Design has spun off three other companies since its founding in 1989: Maya VIZ, now part of Generation Dynamics, Rhiza Labs and The MAYA Group.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Chris Pacione, LUMA Institute



Victory Media's armed forces magazines pave the way to civilian life

If you think finding a job in a tough economy is hard, imagine you're a soldier coming home from the war in Iraq.

Victory Media in Coraopolis is helping servicemen and women transition into civilian careers through an array of magazines and publications that offer information and stories on promising careers, companies and educational opportunities that are available.
The company was founded by two Navy veterans, Chris Hale and Rich McCormack, in Hale's Moon Township basement.
 
The offices have since moved to Mill Street and Victory Media has hit a stride, averaging 62% annual growth in the last five years and employing 30 people and an army of freelancers around the world. There are five global brands: G.I. Jobs, G.I. Education, Vetrepreneur, Military Spouse and NaVOBA.

We are not a jobs board or a recruiting agency, explains Dan Fazio, media manager for the G.I. Jobs Brand. It's about creating a marketplace of corporations around the world who recognize that veterans make excellent employees and are good students. They have a lot of advantages, tangible skills, leadership, discipline and a "can do" attitude.

"We make a business case to corporate America. The military offers the best training in the world, they are a ready made workforce ready to energize any company they join," says Fazio.

Another goal is to dispel the stereotype that returning military all suffer from psychological problems or battle fatigue. There are thousands who return who are ready to jump into new careers.

Each magazine takes a different approach. Military Spouse profiles the unique lifestyles of military wives. G.I. Jobs offers job and educational opportunities, veteran friendly companies and the "nuts and bolts of the job search." Vetrepreneur profiles former veterans who now run small companies.

And Rocky Bleier, the company spokesman, answers the phone.

"We tell the success stories," says Fazio. "That is the message we're trying to get out."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Dan Fazio, Victory Media



Rhiza Lab's Josh Knauer tapped by White House Office of Science and Technology

Josh Knauer can't say how he got on President Barack Obama's short list for a high level working group for science and technology policy decisions.

"I've been doing data and data sharing advocacy work within the tech community for some time now," says Knauer, CEO of Rhiza Labs in the South Side. "I've often found myself in calls with people involved in a policy perspective."

Knauer was appointed to the working group of the White House's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), placing him in the illustrious company of leading scientists and engineers who advise cabinet departments and other federal agencies working with the President to formulate presidential directives.

"Part of what I'm involved in is making recommendations to sitting members on how federal agencies and the government develop open data standards and share that data across boundaries," says Knauer. "It's really exciting that there's such a true and real interest in this at the federal level. This will have a huge impact on industry because any institution that receives federal funding will have to comply with the directive."

The appointment draws on his work with conservation issues and data management. Knauer expects to be focused on ecosystem protection as it pertains to bioinformatics, the application of statistics and computers in the field of biology and how that information is gathered and exchanged.

Rhiza Labs builds web-based tools to analyze and share data. In addition to Fractracker, the company created a flu mapping tool during the H1N1 outbreak and worked with an Amazon tribe to develop a mobile platform to that uses the Internet to save their rainforest homeland.

"I'm very honored to be selected and involved in such a high level of policy creation and influence," he adds.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Josh Knauer, Rhiza Labs

Image of Josh Knauer courtesy Rhiza Labs


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Virtual Assist helps home businesses on the back end, growing and hiring

At the age of 22, newly laid off Danielle Cuomo started her own business, Virtual Assist USA, with help from her grandmother, Nunni, for companies needing help with administration, customer service and public relations. In its first year, it was named a top business by Twitter. In three years, the company hired 31 people. This year, she hired 19 people and now has clients across the country, Canada and Europe.

"Companies with home offices can't support a full-time staff, they really need outside talent," she explains. "My company is a one stop shop for all the services they need."

No business is too small for Cuomo, whose clients range from a single person to a $20 million company. Virtual Assist offers home-based businesses  quality services at a fraction of the cost of a traditional agency. Search engine optimization plays a large role in her business. Her staff handles everything from event planning to media placement and writing press releases.

Cuomo figures Virtual Assist will double again within the year. She's looking for Internet marketing experts, web designers, bookkeepers and accountants."Our 'mission is to help small businesses generate more revenue and gain positive exposure," says the Plum native and Penn State MBA grad. "We are dedicated to influencing the lives of business owners by offering superior customer service, quality care and personal attention to address all of their business needs."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Danielle Cuomo, Virtual Assist USA


LinkedIn's purchase of mSpoke puts Pittsburgh on the map, says Sean Ammirati

Nothing could be better for the region than LinkedIn's purchase of Pittsburgh startup mSpoke, says an ecstatic Sean Ammirati this week following the news that the premier social networking company planned to integrate the technology into its social networking platform.

"This is definitely good news for the region!" says the co-founder and CEO. "It's fantastic to see one of the best Silicon Valley companies take advantage of mSpoke's technology, which will flourish when infused with LinkedIn's 75 million members. I've never been more optimistic about Pittsburgh.

"Pittsburgh has long been a leader in recommendation search engines and text analysis capabilities, given its ties to CMU," Ammirati adds. "These connections bode well for the region because it puts us on the map."

Ammirati will remain in Pittsburgh to focus his energy as COO of ReadWriteWeb, one of the largest technology blogs in the country offering insightful commentary on the Internet and industry. Only two of the company's employees will move to Linked In, including mSpoke co-founder Dean Thompson, CTO.

Founded in 2006, mSpoke helps to manage Internet information by analyzing a person's Internet history to deliver relevant content to users. mSpoke's FeedHub is an online web platform that works like other RSS tools to give readers the content they care about. Mspoke is an Innovation Works company.

Writer: Deb Smit

Source: Sean Ammirati, mSpoke

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What's next for AlphaLab? Catch a local winner on "This Week in Startups"

As the name suggests, AlphaLab is about new beginnings, a chance for software startups to put their mettle on the Internet map in Pittsburgh.

The fifth class of companies was announced by Innovation Works this month, an eclectic mix that ranges from resume writing assistance to a text messaging platform that minimizes customer wait time at casual restaurants.

AlphaLab is also attracting national attention. Shoefitr recently appeared on the meetup for "This Week in Startups," a podcast out of Santa Monica, Calif., that features companies from around the world. In fact, Shoefitr won the program's global online pitch contest. The program promises to feature more AL companies in the future. 

"AlphaLab has increased enthusiasm and interest in starting a web and software based startup," says Mike Woycheck, technology analyst for IW. "We've also sought to build a supportive community of entrepreneurs that can collaborate, share ideas and pull for each other to succeed."

The program has generated over 300 applications from 35 states and 7 countries for the first five cycles. Meet the companies:

Devotee provides retail businesses with a mobile loyalty program beyond traditional loyalty cards, turning them into evangelists through social media.

Levlr is a platform that enables rapid development of location-aware and other game mechanics into new and existing web, mobile and desktop applications.

CareerImp offers career guidance technology, software as a service that selects the most relevant aspects of your resume and generates a custom tailored resume for a job in less than 15 seconds!

No Wait is an app that allows casual restaurants to send text messages to minimize wait time.

Offermint's self-serve platform allows businesses to create, publish and monetize group buying online offers, interactive coupons and contests.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Terri Glueck, Mike Woycheck, Innovation Works

AlphaLab from left to right: Kevin Holesh from Devotee; Phil Anderson, Shawn Wall from Levlr; Robb Myer, James Belt from NoWait and Ayan Kishore, Paul Sutcliffe from CareerImp

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Help Wanted! Coraopolis company is looking for 400 eager sales people

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) is bringing 400 new telesales jobs to the Pittsburgh region.

A leading provider of HR, payroll and benefits administration services, ADP has already filled 120 positions and is expected to hire another 100 people at its new Coraopolis location by the end of this year.

"The reason we choose Pittsburgh is because of the large educated labor pool, the quality of life and the cost of living," says Ed Bitterle, Division Vice President of Telesales. "It's a wonderful fit." The location is also within reach of the company's other office in Allentown, Pa.

ADP is looking for college graduates with sales experience to work in its Telesales Department, an "outside sales force on the inside" that uses web-based tools to walk potential clients through demonstrations of ADP's business-to-business solutions, Bitterle explains.

ADP is one of the largest providers of business outsourcing solutions in the world, with $9 billion in revenue and 45,000 employees worldwide. The company was recently recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the number one financial data services company in the country and for its commitment to company diversity.

Working Mother named ADP a great place for working mothers for its dedication to family-friendly benefits.

For more information on jobs visit the ADP website or call Carrie Dean, 412-397-9425.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Ed Bitterle, ADP

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ShowClix's Josh Dziabiak named to Inc's 30 under 30

Josh Dziabiak swears that the Inc. 30 under 30 honor caught him by surprise this week, landing him on a distinguished list of rising national stars like the Kogers at ModCloth and Naveen Selvadurai at FourSquare.

The co-founder and CEO of ShowClix in Shadyside, the ticket-selling startup that is going up against the likes of Ticketmaster, is already on his third company at the ripe age of 23.

"I grew up around entrepreneurs," admits Dziabiak, who was attending Freedom High School in Beaver County where he started his first company at 14. "Having a staff wasn't conducive to going to high school so I ended up being homeschooled."

His first company, a web design firm called MediaCatch, was fueled by his passion for graphic design. "At the time, everyone wanted a website but nobody knew where to get one. I became the local go-to kid for building a website."

Dziabiak skipped college and kept working. He met his partner and ShowClix co-founder, Lynsie Camuso, at the custom apparel company Spreadshirt. The chemistry was perfect; she had the entertainment background and he the Internet and marketing savvy. The rest is history.

The ultimate goal, of course, is to take on the big ticketers. This fall ShowClix will be the presenting sponsor of the Billboard Touring Conference and Awards, a coming out party that will help to entice bigger clients.

"It makes a pretty big statement to be the presenting sponsor," Dziabiak says. "It shows we're a serious player among the industry leaders. It's been the combination of product development, innovation and web-based automation."

ShowClix recently signed its first international client Greentix, an Austrailan-based company with access to the largest festivals there. Another key deal has been signed with the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Advice for aspiring fellow entrepreneurs? "Hard work pays off over time," he says. "And pay attention to details. You never know what one connection or opportunity can lead to."

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Josh Dziabiak, ShowClix

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Image of Josh courtesy of ShowClix



Pittsburgh entrepreneur makes millions selling pop culture tees

It all began in Kennywood. Kevin Stecko was drawing considerable attention for his "He-Man" t-shirt and thought, "wow, maybe I can do something with this."

"Ever since I can remember, or even before I can remember, I've had t-shirts on," says the 33-year-old Hempfield entrepreneur who founded 80sTees.com, a highly successful pop culture tee company that earned revenues of $10 million the last two years. "T-shirts make up a majority of my wardrobe."

Stecko was recently named Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year, an honor that earned him a place at a Rose Garden reception in May with none other than President Barack Obama. Needless to say, the Penn State grad sported a suit and tie for the occasion.

80sTees.com recently expanded to a new space in Mount Pleasant Township, a 45,000 square foot warehouse and office that is stacked with rows of brightly colored tees and retro paraphernalia. The company designs some of its own shirts and holds 10 licenses for popular designs like "Top Gun," and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Stecko employs 15 full-time and 13 part-time workers.

"I don't think there's one key to our success," he says, reflecting on his early beginnings in the family dining room and on eBay in 2000 which morphed into a full blown company. "The one thing we've done consistently well is customer service. We inspect every shirt we sell. Our vendors hate us because we reject so many, but our return rate is fairly low."

The website has gained in popularity among adults who grew up in the 80s, but sells anything that "burns bright and fast" in the world of pop culture, Stecko says. He does all his own research on new designs, putting out a new shirt a week to just keep the line fresh.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Kevin Stecko, 80sTees.com

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Image of Kevin Stecko courtesy of 80stees.com




Pittsburgh startup Black Locus makes small retailers look big online

One of the biggest hurdles to selling online is the competition that small businesses face from larger e-tailers who have the obvious advantage of size and volume.

That's where Pittsburgh's Black Locus comes in. For a small monthly fee, the startup is providing software assistance to give online retailers the information they need for competitive pricing, marketing and inventory management, explains Rodrigo Carvalho, CEO.

Carvalho came up with the idea several years ago after he started an online store that sells clothing for English bulldogs to provide a service for the family pet. There is a definite need for a platform that anyone can use that doesn't require extensive experience, he says.

The cloud computing platform gives small and medium online retailers the same level of analytical sophistication as the larger guys. "Users are able to implement recommendations with a click of a button and track the impact of each recommendation over time."

This summer Black Locus, an Alpha Lab company formerly known as LamaLab, was selected to participate in a new summer business incubator at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business that is helping to launch young companies.

Carvalho, from Brazil, met his partners through the Tepper School. The team, six Carnegie Mellon graduate students and four interns, is working out of the Idea Foundry. They hope to introduce a pricing module later this month and are targeting brick and mortar stores who are engaged in growing an online prescence.

"Anyone who is selling online can optimize their operations very easily and start growing right away," Carvalho adds. "Pittsburgh has been a perfect place to start a business. The low cost of living, great resources in terms of people and entrepreneurial community here and all the support has made it a great experience."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit

Source: Rodrigo Carvalho, Black Locus

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Image of the Black Locus team courtesy of Black Locus



Pittsburgh hits #1 in the country for private sector hiring in April

Pittsburgh hit a new high in April as the number one region in the country with the biggest growth in private sector jobs.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the region added 17,800 total jobs, including 16,700 jobs in the private sector between March and April of 2010. The 1.6% increase was higher than 40 other regions in the U.S. and almost twice as high as the national figures, points out Harold Miller in PittsburghTODAY, which reports regularly on how the region compares to others across the country based on indicators like economy, health and demographics.

"The Pittsburgh Region has historically lagged the nation in recovering from recessions, so the fact that we led the nation in April is a very positive sign," says Miller. "However, we still have a long way to go to recover all of the jobs we've lost over the past 18 months."

While seasonal hiring generally means an increase from March to April, more jobs were added in the Pittsburgh region this April than in the past 15 years, Miller adds. The construction industry was the leading job creator followed by the leisure and hospitality sector. The professional and business services sector also posted significant gains.

Part of this may be due to stimulus spending, Miller speculates, as well as the stability of the region's housing market.

Earlier this year, PittsburghTODAY reorganized the Regional Indicator project with new website tools and the addition of several prominent leaders to the committee to increase diversity in age, gender and representation outside of Allegheny County.

Paul O'Neill, former secretary of the U.S. Treasury and retired CEO of Alcoa, was tapped to lead the project, which remains under the direction of John Craig. PittsburghTODAY also moved its office from University of Pittsburgh's Center for Social and Urban Research to 3 Rivers Connect.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Harold Miller, PittsburghTODAY

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Matrix Solutions is growing with the times, hiring four

Matrix Solutions on the North Side is growing with the addition of three to its software department in response to changing times and the changing landscape of media sales.

As a provider of sales strategy management software for the media sales industry, Matrix strives to meet the unique advertising demands of newspapers, TV stations, radio and cable.

Last November, the company hired Suzy Teele as president and COO. As the owner of a consulting company, Aceda, prior to joining Matrix, Teele brings 20 years of experience in software product management to Matrix. A fourth hire will be in marketing communications, bringing the total number of employees to 26.

"The key reason we're expanding is that the management of advertising sales has become increasingly complex due to industry mergers and multiple revenue sources," says Teele. "Years ago, our typical customer was concerned with selling ad time to ensure profitability for local TV or radio stations. Today, our customer is a national media sales organization with many properties and they are trying to make sense of their ad sales and develop strategies for revenue growth."

Web-based sources are also proving to be a more significant revenue source for customers who need to manage and report on that advertising, she adds.

The good news is that while advertising sales was down the past two years and many advertisers put spending on hold, industry analysts are now predicting a 20% increase in ad revenue growth beginning this fall and through 2011, Teele says.

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Suzy Teele, Matrix Solutions



Pipitone and MarketSpace Communications announce expansions

Two Pittsburgh companies, Pipitone Group on the North Side and MarketSpace Communications in Cranberry, are expanding.

A three-person acquisition from Barton Denmarsh & Esteban (BD&E) has brought Pipitone to 28 employees and united longtime friends Jeff Piatt and Scott Pipitone. Piatt was formerly president and creative director at BD&E. He is joined at Pipitone by Ed Macko, formerly director of educational marketing/creative director and Mark Kinger, former senior account exec at BD&E.

"This was a perfect fit that will allow us to evolve," says Pipitone of the move to bring the three on board. The strategy is to integrate strategic marketing, public relations and interactive marketing under one roof along with the company's commitment to "channel marketing," helping clients talk to people through those that speak directly to the customer.

MarketSpace Communications has added five new positions to its staff since January, bringing the total to 13: Maureen Rooney, Kevin Hilliker, Lindsay Polito, Clint Horner and Kaitlyn Larkin.

The company also plans to expand its office into an adjacent area on the same floor. This marks the second time in less than three years the company has expanded.

MarketSpace prides itself on its integrated marketing programs and development of Web 2.0 marketing plans, including social networking platforms, blogging and micro-blogging, viral marketing campaigns and mobile marketing. It considers eco-marketing a specialty niche. In March, the company introduced the green website WorldofGreen.com.

"We are always seeking out new business opportunities," says Pam Peters, president and CEO. "We don't wait for people to come knocking on our door, although lately, they have! We get out there, prospect, and have a lot of fun with it. It's a wonderful way for us to showcase our creative abilities."

Earlier this week another Pittsburgh agency, prworks, announced it will split. Kelley Denny has formed KDenny and Partners: Strategic Communications and Lynn Seay has launched Seay PR.


Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Scott Pipitone, Pipitone Group; Pam Peters, MarketSpace Communications

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Image of Jeff Piatt and Ed Macko courtesy of Pipitone Group



Where the jobs are: healthcare and energy with a dash of IT or manufacturing, says Hill Group

Job seekers with a blend of skills in healthcare or energy--combined with information technology and advanced manufacturing--are perfectly positioned for jobs in the emerging regional economy, according to a study by the Hill Group.

The Community College of Allegheny County tapped the Carnegie-based consulting firm to identify the local industries and technical professions that promise the greatest growth and job potential in the future. The Emerging Industry Workforce Strategy identified three key high-growth industries: healthcare and life sciences, energy and finance and insurance.

"What is interesting is employers are looking for individuals who not only have skill sets in key areas, but also advanced manufacturing and information technology as well," says Charles Blocksidge, executive director of the CCAC Allegheny County Workforce Alliance. "In the future, individuals need to be adaptable. They need to come on the job site with a blend of job skills."

CCAC, which offers programming in these key areas, will introduce these hybrid offerings into programming, he adds.

The study specifically pinpoints job opportunities that will be in demand:

• Healthcare/life sciences and technology information, the development and application of information systems for the management of patient information in patient care and research settings.

• Healthcare/lifesciences and manufacturing, already a dominant sector, the development and application of technologies that improve patient care and provide tools for the development of healthcare remedies.

• Energy and information technology, such as the measurement, monitoring and analysis of traditional and alternative energy sources.

• Energy and manufacturing, development and application of technologies for alternative energy and/or extraction processes such as natural gas drilling.

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Charles Blocksidge, CCAC Allegheny County Workforce Alliance



Dick's Sporting Goods hiring more than 100

Now that Dick's Sporting Goods has settled into its spacious corporate headquarters in Corapolis, hiring is underway. The sports retailer is advertising more than 100 positions in Pittsburgh.

The positions include a wide range of jobs: marketers and merchandisers, store buyers, industry analysts, IT, engineers, copy writers, a university relations recruiter, administration and the list goes on. With 320 stores and counting in 34 states, the sports and outdoor retailer is showing no signs of slowing its pace despite the economy.

"Over the past year or so, many retailers and competitors have had to curtail their plans for growth, while we've been able to continue our expansion, opening new stores across the country and further enhancing the shopping experience for customers in all our stores," says Jeff Hennion, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "Recently, we completed the move of our corporate employees into a new state-of-the-art Store Support Center. These steps forward naturally afford plenty of opportunities for prospective employees to join our team. As we continue to grow as a company, at both the corporate and store levels, we continue our search for the most-qualified employees who also share our passion for sports and the sporting goods industry. We're looking for the best, because our new hires will play significant roles in the ongoing success and future growth of Dick's Sporting Goods."

The $150 million, 675,000 square foot office offers an active place to work and play for the 1,200 employees that currently work there. Employee amenities include walking and running trails, a basketball court, racquetball courts, an outdoor soccer field and fitness machines. The center is the first phase of what eventually could be a 2 million-square-foot complex.

"As the economy appears to be gaining strength, we are poised to make even greater strides as one of the leading sporting goods retailers in America," says Hennion.

Interested applicants can learn more about current job openings on the Dick's website.

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jeff Hennion, Dick's Sporting Goods



Netronome supersizes the expanding information superhighway

Cranberry-based computer chip company Netronome is marketing its high speed advanced network processors starting this month, paving the way for major company growth, hiring and a new era in computing.

The NFP-3240, one of the highest performance processors on the market today, has been four years in the making and packs a lot of power into a small device. The technology will catapult the industry in improved speed, capacity, intelligence and security, says Jarrod Siket, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

Netronome's processor has 40 cores (a typical home computer has one or two cores of computing power and other high end processors run at 16) and is capable of processing 56 billion instructions per second. The products are used in the switching and routing products that make up the business and service provider networks. Their target customers are among the largest designers of telecommunications equipment in the world such as Cisco, Huawei, Juniper, Nokia and Siemens.

"Our excitement is anchored in the fact that there's going to be so many new applications and services that we've never seen before because we've created an environment for them to exist," he says. "To have this processing power in a very little footprint, the size of a postage stamp, allows you to do some very significant things."

The launch of the first processors is just the beginning of dramatic growth projected at Netronome, which employs 100, 40 in Cranberry. The firm has R&D centers in Cranberry  Boxborough, MA and Santa Clara, CA. The startup's sales have grown 511% in 2009 with existing products, and revenues in 2010 are expected to more than double, says Siket. As a result, Netronome is actively recruiting and hiring across the board: software and hardware engineering, sales and marketing.

"We are pleased that the companies designing-in the NFP-3240 are among the world's largest network equipment manufacturers," said Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO of Netronome. "Netronome is in its third year of record revenues and as the market for network flow processors continues to expand, we expect our growth to accelerate."

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Jarrod Siket, Netronome

Image courtesy of Netronome





DeepLocal's Nathan Martin talks gutter tech in LA

"To create radical new experiences, think more like an artist than a developer, more like a freight hopper than a commuter and more like a parasite than a human."

That's Deeplocal's Nathan Martin on "Gutter Tech," a term he coined from hacker slang to describe the creative process behind Deeplocal's service technologies, a topic he will take on the road this month to two high profile engagements. First stop will be Hollywood, CA for the Next Generation Content forum, where he will dish about the future of creative services and digital media marketing before Universal, Dell, Pepsi and Gatorade.

Next comes the Ad Age Digital Conference in NYC where he joins Microsoft, AOL and others for further reflection and more far out inspiration.

"We're this little company from Pittsburgh speaking at both of these events in the same quarter," says the CEO, a former punk metal band leader turned digital artist/entrepreneur. "For a small company like us, it's a pretty big deal. It's great for us and great for the city."

For Martin, it's all about small teams with diverse backgrounds working together. "We take a gutter approach, an artistic approach to get really cool experiences out there real quickly." For example, the Nike Chalkbot, a hydraulic robot that spray painted inspirational messages on the roads at the Tour de France, was built by a team in 7 weeks.

Deeplocal recently added several hires, bringing the total employees to nine. The company is intent on adding employees at a careful pace with 200% year over year growth. Last year was Deeplocal's best year ever and this year may top that as it continues to attract clients from this region and beyond, says Martin.

Coming soon, a new mobile app for Volkswagen.

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Writer: Deb Smit

Source: Nathan Martin, Deeplocal

Image courtesy of Deeplocal



WhereverTV takes connected TV to the next level, growing

WhereverTV, the Pittsburgh startup connecting international TV to living rooms everywhere, is now one of the largest providers of Indian cable programming in the world.

Coming soon, access to vintage cowboy-westerns and film noir.

WhereverTV got its start in 2007 with a black box technology that streamed international Internet content directly to TVs over a broadband connection. Since then, the company has shifted gears, teaming up with premium content aggregators like Watch India--firms with global distribution rights to the TV channels and programming--to provide the software, interface and data management services to broadcast content to more than 172 countries.

"We're working with them now instead of competing against them," says Mark Cavicchia, CEO.

With Connected TV on target for phenomenal growth this year, WhereverTV is perfectly positioned to grow with the industry, Cavicchia believes. Partnering with companies like Watch India and Retro Films, a Las Vegas firm that will provide 1,100 vintage westerns and, later next month, film noir programming, will translate to growth for the South Side startup, which currently employs 2 full-time and 13 offshore.

"These are movies you can't easily get any other way," he says of the deal with Retro. "That's the beauty of the Internet."

A hot stop at consumers and electronics shows this past year, WhereverTV was recently selected by AlwaysOn as one of the 2010 OnMedia Top 100 Winners, the most innovative and hottest emerging companies in digital media.

An Innovation Works company, it's working on expanding its partnerships with Yahoo and Intel and plans to soon eliminate the black box, allowing users to log in directly right through the TV. Wherever, of course.

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Mark Cavicchia, WhereverTV


Introducing Real Lebo, a positive blog for a wordy community

In a town with its own magazine and fistfuls of bloggers comes Real Lebo.com, the newest blog on the block in Mt. Lebanon.

Neighbors Elaine LaBalme and Kristen Linfante, working moms who live several houses apart on Roycroft Avenue, hope to bring a fresh perspective and positive spirit to the community, especially in these contentious times when local political leaders and wordsmiths are waging their campaigns regarding the local high school renovation on the Internet.

Both LaBalme and Linfante stress that the blog will remain balanced and upbeat.

"My husband and I consciously choose to live here," says LaBalme, known to Pop City readers as New Girl in Town. "It's okay to accent the positive, raise questions when needed but be civil and create community."

LaBalme's first blog was MamasforObama, launched during the presidential campaign; the story of how she and her husband picked Mt. Lebanon in a nationwide search for the perfect place to raise their son appeared in Pop City.

"I've found that you have to work a little harder to make your own community when you weren't born here," adds Linfante, a professional freelance violist who moved here when her husband took a seat with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

The two have been active in their elementary school, the PTA and are regulars at school board meetings where they weigh in on the high school project. Funny thing--they could have met eight years ago when each gave birth to their sons who were born on the same day and same floor of a San Francisco hospital one hour apart.

Real Lebo invites commentary, but there are rules: Play nice. Be civil. No anonymous posts and if a thread goes on too long and no longer serves a positive purpose, it will be snipped.

After all, it's our blog, says LaBalme.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Elaine LaBalme, Kristen Linfante and Mike Madison

Photo copyright Fen LaBalme

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Looking back on a Pittsburgh-perfect year

And Pittsburgh thought it couldn't get any better. A sixth Super Bowl ring was a great way to start the year. But with the world's attention on the city for the G20 Summit in the fall, it had only just begun in the Steel City.

Pittsburgh was the hot spot for a variety of lists and rankings--CNN called it a best place to launch a business; Forbes ranked its housing market among the nation's top 25, and its job market the sixth-fastest growing nationally; and the Institute for America's Future highlighted Pittsburgh as a model for modern manufacturing.

By the time G20 came in late September, Pittsburgh was ready. The city was beautified and every boast-able attribute was on full display, most notably the green building for which Pittsburgh has become known. Riverfront development continued along the Mon wharf. Angel investors were kept busy with an uptick of technology start-ups. And Carnegie Mellon and Pitt continued to lead technology commercialization efforts, while the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center moved on some significant projects.

Culturally, Pittsburgh's smorgasbord grew with the opening of The August Wilson Center, the Rivers Casino and the city's first Spanish-language newspaper. More than 2,000 tech-savvy activists gathered here for the NetRoots 2009 conference.

With growth in the energy sector and a variety of different enterprises like life sciences, high technology and advanced manufacturing thriving with significant operations here, Pittsburgh's upward swing figures to continue--if not on the football field, then certainly in the ledgers.

Source: Keystone Edge

Writer: Joe Petrucci

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Smith Brothers Agency ramps up with 20 new hires

Pittsburgh's Smith Brothers Agency is on a hiring spree, with 20 new employees joining this year and the expansion of the firm's headquarters at 116 Federal Street.

And there's more growth to come, says Miles Smith, director of business development and one of the firm's three founding brothers. The Smith brothers, Miles, Bronson and Lindsay, formerly of Manhattan, founded the Pittsburgh company in 2002.

"The company has experienced double digit growth since its inception," says Miles. "2010 will be one of our biggest growth years ever."

An independent, integrated marketing agency, Smith Brothers handles campaigns for many national brands including Nestle, Heinz, Del Monte, American Eagle and Ghirardelli. Business is booming with the recent launch of the largest College Inn broth campaign to date, a redesign of Contadina's website and a social media project for Giant Eagle.

Miles attributes the growth to an increasing demand for interactive marketing and social media as well as the firm's ability to come up with creative ideas that impact sales. "Solid growth comes from happy existing clients that lead to new work. We're enjoying it, trying to stand and deliver."

This spring Smith Brothers will open a renovated second floor space, providing 50 to 60 new workstations to support anticipated future growth, which may include up to 12 additional hires early next year. The expansion places the company on the three top floors of the building, including a fourth floor roof deck that overlooks PNC Park.

The firm is also exploring opening a satellite office in San Francisco, Miles says.

"We're realizing our original dream to do great national work that puts Pittsburgh on the radar of national advertisers," Miles adds.

"We're definitely not feeling the recession; it's anything but that for us."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Miles Smith, Smith Brothers Agency

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Photo courtesy of Smith Brothers




Latest Alpha Lab startups increase region's digital density

An invitation to an Alpha Lab open house is a show and tell for startups taken to a new level.

This month the third crop of Alpha Lab companies offered potential investors and inquisitive others a preview of the latest innovations in software, entertainment and mobile technology. About 120 people attended the South Side event to hear from six companies.

Briefly, there's CloudFab by GearHeadz, which hopes to do for manufacturing what cloud computing has done for computing by sharing resources and selling the idle time of digital manufacturing equipment. Frustrated by the lack of online restaurant sophistication? Fooala has launched an online restaurant ordering system that is already delivering hot menus. See the Pop City story here.

There's LeftRight Studios, creators of cool games and unique branded game components for mobile phones. Its first iPhone app, smackBOTS, is already available. Carnegie Mellon spinoff NavPrescience is developing a GPS system of the future, smart technology that knows where you want or need to go before you do.

Vivo is already well-known locally as the live video startup that has streamed local government live. Now it's targeting the publishing industry and has landed some big clients including Harper Collins and American Booksellers. (See the Pop City story here.) And finally, Zipano, a Carnegie Mellon-inspired security platform, offers a unique way to keep online information secure.

"For many companies this is the first time they've formally presented to an audience," says Jim Jen of Innovation Works. "It's a good way to introduce them and boost momentum."

Alpha Lab is helping to increase the density of digital startups in the region, says Sean Ammirati, CEO of mSpoke and an AL board member. "The physical presence (of everyone here) makes it easier for our stories to be told; it gives everyone connecting points."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Innovation Works




Region can increase green jobs by 12,000, says Green Jobs Report

Bringing green jobs to the region is the focus of a new study that is helping to map a strategy to create 11,640 sustainable jobs in southwestern Pennsylvania by 2015.

The report, Southwestern PA Green Jobs Analysis and Action Plan, is the first phase in creating a focused regional plan that will help to leverage a piece of the billions in federal stimulus funds for clean energy initiatives and investments.

The second phase, currently underway, will produce an in depth labor market analysis and action plan to take advantage of the growing green jobs potential. The plan was commissioned by the Green Building Alliance and Growing Technology through Energy and Community Health (GTECH).

The region currently has close to 18,000 jobs in green industries, according to the study. With planning, the region may increase that to 29,500 green-related jobs.

"Many places in the country are talking about green jobs in a nebulous fashion," says Andrew Butcher, CEO of GTECH. "By looking at the different sectors, we're able to map where the real opportunities are and provide a sense of the pathway for individuals and organizations that provide services."

The study is being developed by GSP Consulting on the South Side, authors of Minnesota's green jobs plan and a green energy strategy report for the state of Delaware.

"The green share methodology developed by GSP will probably be a national model for identifying growth in the green sector," says Butcher. "It's exciting to think what may happen if we invest in the marketplace."

While it's difficult to compare one state or region to another in terms of green job potential--each region brings its own strengths to the table--our strong manufacturing base and energy industries place give us an advantage, says Rich Overmoyer of GSP.

"From a green jobs perspective, we have enough pieces in place," Overmoyer says. "Our collaborative environment bodes well for the region. While it may be too early to tell, Pittsburgh is very well positioned to be a national leader in the green jobs sector."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Andrew Butcher, GTECH; Rich Overmoyer, GSP Consulting

Image courtesy of GTECH and GBA


The G-20 Summit offers the region tremendous job growth opportunities says Yablonsky

Welcoming the world to Pittsburgh for the G-20 Summit is a huge undertaking, but Dennis Yablonsky sees it more as a awesome opportunity.

"This is a major event and the fact that Pittsburgh was chosen is a real honor," says the CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. "This is a wonderful opportunity to increase the size of our pipeline for companies thinking of expansions. We think we'll end up with jobs and capital investments we might not have had otherwise."

The Allegheny Conference is one of four organizing partners of the G-20, The Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership, which includes Allegheny County, the city of Pittsburgh and VisitPittsburgh. The partnership's Web site is a central clearinghouse for information and online links, offering the latest news and an eNewsletter with volunteer opportunities for the G-20.

What does Yablonsky hope the region will take away from the G-20? With 2,000 journalists in the region, Pittsburgh has an unparalleled chance to tell the world that southwestern Pennsylvania has jobs, more than 25,000 through www.imaginemynewjob.com alone. We need to fill jobs locally and attract new talent.

"We need to get the word out," Yablonsky says. "We think there's a disconnect between the awareness and the reality here."

Will Pittsburgh be ready? Absolutely, says Yablonsky. "There's a tremendous number of smart people working on this."

What's the one thing he wishes that he could change before the G-20?

"The one thing Pittsburgh could use is more time to get everything done," he laughs. "We're working within a very compressed time frame. But there's nothing like a deadline to galvanize people."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit

Source: Dennis Yablonsky, Allegheny Conference


Pittsburgh startup helps to solve the deadly problem of electrical cord fires

After several years of color-tuning, Pittsburgh startup HazardGuard Safety Wire has launched a unique consumer product that will help protect homes against the deadly problem of electrical cord fires.

An estimated 450 electrical fires occur every day and 800 deaths happen each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The patented thermochromic polymer, which was invented by Fayette County coal miner John Ryeczek, attaches or wraps around household cords and turns from green to orange when a hot spike in temperature is detected.

The colored cords could help to eliminate hundred of deaths a year, says Walt Ogrodnik, CEO. "Even with so many wireless products out there, there's many electrical wires used today between gaming devices, space heaters, fans. There's quite a market for this."

HazardGuard developed the technology more than two years ago, but the initial design proved too expensive to make on a large scale. Ryeczek, who has spent eight years filing for product patents, redesigned the product as a clip or tie, substantially lowering the price and making it more affordable.

Called "Chameleon" clips and wraps, a set of six currently sells on the company's Web site for $6.99.

The company hopes to initially offer the product nationally through hardware stores. After that, Ogrodnik says it's onto big industry, which uses a more expensive thermal sensor system to do the job. There's really nothing affordable on the market for consumers or industrial use, he says.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit

Source: Walt Ogrodnik, HazardGuard Safety Wire


Concierge medicine Medico Consulting ramps up for the G-20 and film business

Concierge medicine isn't new into the region, but Dr. Miki Fato of Medico believes that with film crews rolling in and the G-20 around the corner, a practice like hers couldn't be better positioned.

As a concierge physician, Fato is a personal, primary care physician on constant call. Boutique or concierge medicine, which first became popular in Seattle ten years ago, isn't for everyone. It's an alternative for busy executives on the go, families who want a high level of personal care and can afford to pay for it out of pocket, or for people passing through, such as film crews or visiting journalists.

That's Fato's niche.

"People don't realize how many visitors come to the Pittsburgh area for short periods of time, from cameramen to physicians to executives," she says. "There are a lot of individuals who are here for a time who may not really have a primary care physician. That's the service that I provide."

Concierge patients pay an out-of-pocket annual retainer for services, a fee that isn't covered by health insurance. In turn, they have round-the-clock access to a physician, can make same-day appointments and receive highly personal attention.

"Each Medico physician is limited to only 50 patients," says Fato. "It's like having your own personal physician, someone who knows you intimately who makes your health a priority. We are your guide as you navigate the healthcare system."

Fato spent 20 years working for the UPMC and West Penn health systems before founding Medico. She hopes to grow the company and hire more physicians in the coming years.

She most recently worked with several well-known actors on the set of Warrior, which finished filming here. "It's a niche I'm really interested in growing. The patient-doctor relationship is critical to the care of the patient. That's what inspired me to start Medico, providing the best medical care that I can provide."

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit

Source: Miki Fato, Medico


Coro Pittsburgh invites public to free social innovation fair

Coro Pittsburgh invites the community to a free Social Innovation Fair on Aug. 14 which will showcase innovative regional organizations finding new ways to solve community problems.

The Social Innovation Fair hopes to get people thinking about how we can solve tough social problems as we do our day-to-day work, explains Lynne Ventress, director of fellowships for Coro. "Social innovation is not just for nonprofits; it benefits businesses and government agencies as well.

"Pittsburgh is such a creative city, but we also have difficult problems like blighted vacant properties and under-performing public schools. We can harness the talent of our government, business and nonprofit professionals to solve these problems. We can also become a national leader in the field of social innovation."

The day includes a presentation of relevant ideas for the region and a panel discussion led by social innovation experts. The goal is for attendees to leave with ideas they can use on the job and information to start new projects, Ventress says.

The presenting Panelists include: Lois Martin, Bethlehem Haven; Phyllis Barber, Highmark; Felix Lloyd, Skill-Life; and Vivien Luk, Forbes Funds.

The fair will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information or to register, email Kelsey Halling at khalling@coropittsburgh.org

The event is sponsored by Smart Futures, The Pittsburgh Business Times and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Writer: Deb Smit

Source: Lynne Ventress, Coro



Pittsburgh aspires to be the most tech-savvy city in the country

The e-democracy race is on and if Councilman Bill Peduto has his way, Pittsburgh will blow the door of city government wide open and leave cities like Boston in the dust.

Peduto invited several Pittsburgh-based tech companies to City Hall this month to discuss using a mix of homegrown technologies to promote a unique blend of tools that would help constituents to better track goings on.

Among those who came to the table were online social political network MyGov365, searchable video data company Panopto Inc, web-based broadcaster Vivo and the Carnegie Mellon developer of YinzCam technology, which allows mobile phone users to watch replays of Penguins action inside the arena.

This is just the beginning, says Peduto. The discussion won’t be limited to these companies.

“Pittsburgh can be a model of e-democracy for the world. We want Pittsburgh (government) to not only be on the forefront, but to offer leverage to our own Pittsburgh-based companies to use the city as a test market to sell their products worldwide.”

Pittsburgh has $52,000 to webcast council meetings, which should be enough to cover the webcast and more, Peduto says. The city plans to award a contract to begin providing webcasts and searchable video by the end of this month.

Other proposed initiatives include an iPhone application for city government, a searchable database of all council votes and records offered by MyGov365 and offering online access to community meetings.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Councilman Bill Peduto, City of Pittsburgh

Image courtesy Councilman Bill Peduto

Carnegie Mellon prof wins prestigious national green chemistry award

Carnegie Mellon’s Krzysztof Matyjaszewski has received the 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the EPA, a coveted prize that promotes the research and development of low-risk alternatives in chemical and industrial production.

Matyjaszewski was recognized in the academic category for the development of an earth-friendly, low-impact form of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization (ATRP), a widely used method for developing functional polymers.

With 400 billion pounds of synthetic polymers produced in the world each year, ATRP substantially reduces the environmental impact of polymer fabrication, using friendly chemicals such as vitamin C and sugar to offset an otherwise toxic process. 

The ATRP polymers have been used for coatings, adhesives and cosmetics and are currently under investigation for use in the medical and environmental fields.

Matyjaszewski is the second chemist from Carnegie Mellon to win the award since its inception in 1996. Terry Collins, the Thomas Lord Professor of Chemistry, received the award in 1999 for the development of TAML oxidant activators, catalysts that safely remove toxic chemicals from water.

ATRP formed the basis for a spin-off company in 2006 called ATRP Solutions that uses the technology to develop next generation materials. Seven corporations including PPG Industries, Mitsubishi and Dionex have licensed ATRP and have begun to produce high-performance, safer materials for a wide variety of applications. 

"At Carnegie Mellon, sustainability is in our DNA” says Richard McCullough, vice president for research. “Having two recipients of this award reaffirms that Carnegie Mellon's Green Chemistry program is one of the most influential in the United States."

 “The award-winning technologies that we are celebrating today are just the kind of innovations that will help us build the clean energy-based economy envisioned by the President,” adds Amelia Salzman with the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “The shift to green chemistry will create green jobs, safer conditions for workers and less pollution and will save energy, natural resources and money.”

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Source: Richard McCullough, Carnegie Mellon University


Image courtesy Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh’s Connelley Center to become a national beacon for sustainablity

Pittsburgh Green Innovators, a high-powered, sustainable collaborative, hopes to revive the Connelley  Center as a national center for cutting-edge, sustainable technology and research.

The Clifford B. Connelley Trade School is owned by Pittsburgh Public Schools who will make a final determination on whether to sell the center to the group. Considered a masterpiece of Classical Revival architectural, the center is on the National Register.

The Penn State Center—Engaging Pittsburgh will be one of the largest tenants in the 230,000 square foot facility, using the second floor to conduct research that will link Penn State sustainable research with the greater Pittsburgh region, says Deno De Ciantis, director of the Penn State center.  

“One of the unique strengths of the plan is it puts together a workforce development program that will go from high school, interface with union training and move into higher education for those students who wish to continue their education,” says De Ciantis. “It will be a beacon in the region for all things sustainable.”

In addition to developing the latest in sustainable technology, the project will serve as an incubator for green startup companies.

The stakeholders are many, beginning with State Sen. Jim Ferlo and U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle who hope to secure state and federal funding for the project.

Other members include the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 95, the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education Research at Carnegie Mellon and the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative at Pitt.

The Heinz Foundation and county have supported the project with pre-development funding. “We had to find a place that met a number of needs,” says Paul Svoboda, a spokesman for Sen. Ferlo’s office. “We’re working in good faith that we can make this happen."

To hear more about it, join De Ciantis for Green Drinks at the Arsenal Bowling Lanes on Friday, April 17th from 5 to 9 p.m.

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Deno De Ciantis, Penn State Center—Engaging Pittsburgh

Image courtesy Mascaro


Finally! Fooala puts restaurants and menus and ordering online

David Chen thinks it’s high time that restaurants enter the online age.

Hungry consumers are clamoring to click on a website that provides access to the menu, prices, online reservations and delivery orders for their favorite restaurants.

Get ready for the world of food 2.0 A Carnegie Mellon Project Olympus startup, Fooala, pronounced foo-ala, is preparing to launch a website this summer that hopes to entice restaurants to join the technology party. About 25 restaurants in Youngstown, Ohio, are already on board with a pilot program to test the program.

“We think it’s a pretty lucrative business opportunity because more and people are looking online to find this information,” says Chen, a Carnegie Mellon junior. “It’s a pretty huge market.”

In addition to helping restaurants with an easy-to-access program for expanding operations and e-commerce business, Fooala is working with car manufacturers to develop an application that allows consumers to see wait times for tables and place reservations on the fly. The website will be a one-stop shop that will interface with other foodie websites as well.

The company operates from the Project Olympus Oakland office and employs three to five full and part-time people. Additional funding is being sought. Fooala will make money through a small transaction fee on each order paid by restaurants. The service is free for the customer, Chen says.

Chen, who has already sold one business idea to a Silicon Valley investor, developed the idea while studying in Australia. He hopes to take the business nationwide, maybe even worldwide.

“We were looking online for places to eat and found that good websites just didn’t exist,” Chen says. “Even in the U.S. the information is not comprehensive and services are not always available. We have a good feeling about this.”

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: David Chen, Fooala

Image courtesy Fooala

Songwhale delivers premium digital content to Steelers and Pirates fans

Like many of us, Songwhale first fell in love with Pittsburgh thanks to the Steelers.

Songwhale's co-founders, Ty Morse and John Greenlee, were living in Manhattan and Minneapolis when they started the company, which sends free digital content at events to fans' cell phones and other wireless devices.  Shortly after a meeting with the Steelers about a possible partnership, Morse decided to relocate Songwhale's headquarters from Manhattan to Pittsburgh.   

Songwhale opened offices in Lawrenceville this past summer, and has gone on to form partnerships with the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center.

“We've grown ten times as fast in Pittsburgh,” says Morse.  “It's been an amazing opportunity that no one would expect.  The city has really been a catalyst.”

The Songwhale Network is supported by advertisers and free to users. It  can be accessed by any device with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Direct-to-Device, or texting.  Last season Songwhale brought exclusive player interviews, music and giveaways for free tickets and autographed footballs to fans at Heinz Field.

In the spring they'll provide a similar service at Pirates games and hope to introduce live video in the fall, similar to what Yinzcam does for the Penguins.  

They've also partnered with Seven Springs and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, and plan to announce partnerships with several local universities to provide digital content for their sports programs, as well as more academic content like notes, online libraries, and emergency alert systems.

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Writer: Rob Cullen
Source: Ty Morse, president of Songwhale

Image courtesy Songwhale




Tiversa uncovers a national security breach--Obama's helicopter blueprints

Tiversa founder Sam Hopkins was scratching his head, trying to figure out all the fuss.

A media frenzy erupted this week after news broke that the Cranberry-based cybersecurity company uncovered a potentially serious security breach involving the presidential-model Sikorsky helicopter. 

For Tiversa, the discovery of an entire file containing blueprints and the avionics package for Marine One at an IP address in Tehran, Iran, was just another day on the job.

“This really isn’t one of the worst ones (breaches) we’ve seen,” Hopkins admitted. “I honestly try not to think about it anymore.”

As the story goes, Tiversa caught the leak six months ago while going about the regular business of helping customers prevent peer-to-peer, or P2P, data leaks. (For the Pop City story, click here.)

When Tiversa hauls in data leak details for clients, other company's problems are often snagged too, says Hopkins. So it happened that Tiversa picked up a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., who was leaking highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One and alerted the contractor, but it was too late.

Tiversa tracked the leak to a computer in Tehran, identified the culprit and reported it to the federal government per company policy. The case is under federal investigation. The story circulated on several tech blog sites before hitting the mainstream media this week.

“We call it the dolphin in the tuna net,” Hopkins says. “We put the nets out there for clients, with our search terms and algorithms, and find a match. We never know what we're going to get.”

Hopkins says the computer in Tehran is grabbing lots of similar high security files. "We see these types of files spreading to China, Russia, Syria and Iran; there’s lots of corporate espionage out there. P2P is great technology, but there’s no governing body around monitoring any of this. It’s sort of the wild, wild west.”

In the meantime, Tiversa will continue to do what it does best and report what comes up. The company has sent hundreds of reports to the federal government to date, Hopkins says.

Tiversa is growing, having hired 15 additional people this year.

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Sam Hopkins, Tiversa


Image courtesy Tiversa
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