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Innovation & Startups

Taking entrepreneurs to the next level at the AlphaLab Demo Day & i6 Preview

A global B2B tracking platform for small to medium businesses. A life sciences tool kit to get breakthrough drugs to market faster. Crowd-sourced graphic designs and couriers. A mobile health solution to help people better manage diabetes.
This is just a sampling of the 12 startup companies that presented during the AlphaLab Demo Day and i6 Preview, an event that has grown in size (and audience) to include up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the i6 Innovation System. 
More than 170 attended the morning showcase at Circuit Center in the South Side, the largest AlphaLab demo to date. "We'll probably never be able to go back (to the AlphaLab offices) now that the event  has grown into a bigger venue," says Terri Glueck of Innovation Works. "It's a nice problem to have."
The i6 companies that presented included Transactional DA, Classroom Salon, EEme, Global Trek, Enzium and Hygenix.
The AlphaLab startups included: ComVibe, a web and mobile solution for property managers that streamlines communication issues with residents; Krowder, a crowd-sourced delivery system; MakerCraft, a mobile app that lets customers design their own personalized jewelry; PHRQL (pronounced freckle), a mobile health solution to help those with diabetes to manage their care; VitalClip, an app that allows users to manage their stress triggers; and 8020select.com, providing small businesses with affordable graphic design services by an online design community.
The i6 Agile Innovation System came to Pittsburgh in 2010 after CMU and Innovation Works won the i6 Challenge and $1 million that came along with it. An initiative of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, the program is a collaboration of CMU and Innovation Works in supporting the best up-and-coming ideas and technologies in the region.
"The idea (of i6) is to get companies to the point they can move into funding with Innovation Works and other major investors," explains Art Boni, director of the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship who oversees the i6 program with Dave Mawhinney. "We're definitely gaining momentum."
Stay tuned for CMU's Babs Carryer's blog on the region's hottest up-and-coming entrepreneur's in Pop City next week. 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Terri Glueck, Innovation Works; Art Boni, i6 Agile Innovation Systems
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