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Innovation & Startups

Innovation Works’ latest AlphaLab a powerhouse of online startups

Innovation Works’ welcomed its third wave of AlphaLab  startups this month,  a powerhouse group that has raised the bar and attracted entrepreneurs from across the country.

“We are very excited about the potential of this new AlphaLab class,” says Jim Jen, director. “Many of them have already made significant progress on developing their products and they have hit the ground running to build their businesses. The high quality of this group demonstrates the continued momentum of the AlphaLab program.”

A national model for accelerating the growth of next generation software, entertainment and online technology companies, AlphaLab's six startups are well on their way to commercial success.  

Fooala helps restaurants to create their own online Web sites with applications that offer access to the menu, prices, reservations and delivery options. Fooala started with Carnegie Mellon’s Project Olympus and includes members from Duke University.

GearHeadz, which plans to go by trade name CloudFab, helps to sell the idle time of digital manufacturing equipment. As founder and CEO Nick Pinkston explains, an engineer that needs a part for a prototype would call GearHeadz, which collects the specs and searches for the best price.

“We’re creating novel parts that don’t exist,” says Pinkston. The service provides obscure pieces that could be used in everything from medical device prototypes, hobbiest projects, race car equipment and fake teeth.

LeftRight Studios is creating unique mobile games exclusively for the iPhone. The first title, smackBOTS, is an arcade style robot fighting game that will include a customization feature to add weapons, armors and robot heads. Half the team moved to Pittsburgh to take part. The game is available now, click here.

NavPrescience is developing an advanced navigation device that predicts a driver’s route and, unlike other tech out there, helps to avoid unanticipated hazards. The startup is a Quality of Life Technology Foundry spinoff from Carnegie Mellon.

Vivo is a web-based video broadcasting service that provides users with a private, customizable environment for sharing events. Vivo was instrumental in the simulcast of two recent CEO for Cities events in Pittsburgh (for the Pop City story, click here) and has consulted with Pittsburgh City Council about telecasting meetings life.

Zipano Technologies empowers users of social networking sites and other information sharing services to better control and manage their personal information. The platform offers the user options on privacy preferences and enables the user to monitor with whom his information is shared.

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Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Terri Glueck, Jim Jen, Innovation Works; Nick Pinkston, GearHeadz

Image courtesy of Innovation Works

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