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Innovation & Startups

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 
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