On Friday, September 15, 2017 the Office of Mayor William Peduto, the Department of Innovation & Performance, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority hosted the second Inclusive Innovation Meetup celebrating the culmination of the second cycle of the PGH Lab program.
The event included remarks from: Councilman Daniel Gilman of District 8, Chief Urban Affairs Officer Valerie McDonald-Roberts, Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Thomas Link, All Star Code, Startable Pittsburgh, and the PGH Lab companies. After the presentations, guests were able to mingle and discuss the different projects in-depth with the startup participants and city employees.
For the second meetup, the PGH Lab program partnered with local organizations Startable Pittsburgh and All Star Code. Startable Pittsburgh and All Star Code are two local programs training youth to become entrepreneurs in the maker and computer science space. Young entrepreneurs from both organizations showcased their summer projects and networked with city officials, non-profit leaders, and other stakeholders. Chief Valerie McDonald-Roberts commended these young leaders for moving this region forward in technology and creating new jobs for the future.
The City of Pittsburgh has been working closely with the startups involved in the second cycle of the PGH Lab. Lee Haller, Director of Innovation & Performance at the City of Pittsburgh, said “It is inspiring to see the collaboration between the public and private sectors, both working together to provide feedback and find ways to improve city services. I congratulate the companies of the second PGH Lab cohort for completing their pilot projects.” Each project was tested within the local government and allowed the startups to understand what it is like to work with a large organization in the public-sector while also allowing the City of Pittsburgh and participating authorities to benefit from new and innovative technology.
Here are some of the PGH Lab highlights:
Clean Robotics worked with Kyle Winkler, Recycling Supervisor, Department of Public Works
CleanRobotics’ Trashbot powered by artificial intelligence sorts waste from recyclable materials. The company tested in the first floor of the City-County Building for a week. “During the program, we were able to learn about the business processes, manufacturing, and supply chain” said Charles Yhap, CEO and founder of CleanRobotics.
Cognowear worked with Jennifer Wilhelm, Manager of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Urban Redevelopment Authority
Cognowear aims to create intelligent attire that optimizes the wearer’s comfort. Cognowear’s first product has adaptive sensing technology that interprets the wearer’s environmental and body signals, and translates them to ensure the most comfortable temperature for the wearer. “The PGH Lab program provided feedback in real-time” said Amee Chaudry, Founder and CEO of Cognowear. During the pilot program, the company made three iterations of its smart garment.
MellonHead Labs worked with Antoinette Palmieri, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA)
Mellon Head Labs designs, manufactures, and distributes advanced sensors used in the measurement of water quality. The company tested its larger water sensor called “FlaminGO” at one of the PWSA water plant for 10 weeks.
FlyWheel worked with Columbus Brooks, Executive Human Resources Manager, Urban Redevelopment Authority
Flywheel designs workplace systems that create the conditions for collaboration, creativity, and productivity, allowing small and mid-sized companies to improve their operations without sacrificing innovation. “As a result of what we’ve learned from the pilot, we are developing an internal model that informs how creative work happens in organizations” said Adam Nelson, Co-founder of FlyWheel.
Kaarta worked with Mathew Jacob, Project Implementation Analyst, Department of Public Works
Kaarta easily and accurately transforms the real world into actionable 3D digital models. Kaarta worked with the Department of Public Works and was able to scan three sites including an abandoned boiler plant, a City of Pittsburgh warehouse, and the City-County Building. “We were able to test and work with the technology ourselves. Sometimes we don’t get to test our own technology in different applications because we send it across the world” said Director of Engineering, Steven Huber.