Affiliated Companies-Corporate and Institutional Partnerships - Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon-Affiliated Companies

As my mother always says, “You can’t stay in school forever.” So what do you do when it comes for graduation? Well, if you are a Carnegie Mellon graduate, you take your knowledge and creativity and start your own company, of course. Below is a sampling of such affiliated companies, which all began with ties to Carnegie Mellon and have grown to become some of the most recognized names in the corporate world.

Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe Systems Incorporated is one of the most well-known spin-offs by a Carnegie Mellon alumnus. Dr. Charles M. Geschke co-founded the company in 1982 with Dr. John E. Warnock. Dr. Geschke holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon.

One of today's leading software companies, Adobe is a world leader in digital imaging, design, and document technology platforms. With more than 3,700 employees, the company is focused on providing complete and innovative solutions and has a platform-driven approach.

Adobe is built on the pioneering efforts of its founders to define new models of digital communications and develop technology platforms that are now pervasive and are considered the gold standard in digital imaging.


Akustica's revolutionary Sensory Silicon™ — complete digital, analog, and acoustic systems on a chip — is transforming and empowering a new generation of digital products that interact more naturally with people and provide and extensive array of important new features and capabilities. Akustica is based on patented MEMS-based technology licensed from Carnegie Mellon University. The company's electronic chips offer microphones and speakers that are smaller, cheaper, and better than the traditional mechanical versions.

Co-Founder of Akustica, Dr. Kaigham (Ken) Gabriel, is recognized worldwide as the architect of the MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) industry. Dr. Gabriel, who is also Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of the company, pioneered the MEMS field and led the development of IC-based MEMS while working at AT&T Bell Labs. Prior to co-founding Akustica in 2001, he served as a professor of electrical & computer engineering and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. Akustica is located in Pittsburgh's South Side.


BodyMedia is a leader in wearable body monitoring products and technologies. The company has developed an accurate and convenient way to track the health and behaviors of people in the context of their daily lives. For example, BodyMedia's HealthWear product helps people track behavior and information for weight loss, and SenseWear works similarly to address sleeping problems. 

BodyMedia was co-founded by Dr. Astro Teller, who also serves as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Teller graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a degree in computer science.


Former Carnegie Mellon faculty member D. Lansing Taylor founded and is former Chairman and CEO of Cellomics. Taylor founded the company in 1996, and it is located in Pittsburgh in a state-of-the-art facility with integrated research, development, manufacturing, and training.

Cellomics develops software and equipment for testing new drug therapies, combining elements of biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, and engineering. Says Taylor, "Our vision is to be the leading provider of what we call the integrated solution to define cellular functions of genes and proteins within the living cell. It's the field of cellomics, and we kind of created it."

Color Kinetics Incorporated

Color Kinetics Incorporated is a pioneer in the design, marketing, and licensing of intelligent solid-state lighting systems. The company's award-winning product lines combine the increasing advantages of LEDs as a light source with its patented digital control technology for use in wide-ranging applications.

Color Kinetics' intelligent solid-state lighting systems illuminate the exteriors of signature office buildings, add visual impact to the interiors of retail stores and residences, provide entertaining lighting effects that help attract patrons to hospitality venues, and supply versatile, high-performance lighting for television and stage sets. The company's systems have been installed in thousands of sites around the world.

Founded in 1997 by George Mueller and Ihor Lys, Color Kinetics is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with offices in the UK and China, and a joint venture in Japan.
Several Carnegie Mellon alumni lead the company: George Mueller, Chairman, CEO, and co-founder; Ihor Lys, CTO and co-founder; Kevin Dowling, VP Strategic Technology; and Fritz Morgan, VP Engineering. Mr. Mueller graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a dual major in electrical and computer engineering and a minor in fine art. He also studied at Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. Dr. Lys received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon. Dr. Dowling received his B.S. in mathematics, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in robotics from Carnegie Mellon, and Mr. Morgan holds an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon with a focus in robotics.

iGATE Global Solutions

iGATE Global Solutions is the world's first integrated technology and operations company with a global services model. The company offers a complete range of high-ROI business solutions spanning the consulting, technology, operations, and process outsourcing value chain. iGATE Global Solutions has delivery centers in the US, the UK, Canada, China, Malaysia, and India.

Sunil Wadhwani is the Vice-Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of iGATE Corporation. Mr. Wadhwani holds a master's degree in management from Carnegie Mellon and serves on the Board of Trustees.

Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks transforms the business of networking. A leading global provider of networking and security solutions, Juniper Networks maintains an intense focus on customers who derive strategic value from their networks. Its customers include major network operators, enterprises, government agencies, and research and educational institutions globally. Juniper Networks delivers a portfolio of networking solutions that support the complex scale, security, and performance of the world's most demanding mission-critical networks, including the world's top 25 service providers and 8 of the top 15 Fortune 500 companies.

Juniper Networks was founded with a single mission: to anticipate and solve the industry's most difficult networking and security problems. Today, Juniper Networks is enabling customers worldwide to create competitive advantage by transforming the business of networking.

Dr. Pradeep Sindhu founded Juniper Networks in 1996 and is the Vice Chairman and Chief Technical Officer. Dr. Sindhu holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Carnegie Mellon.


In July 1994, Carnegie Mellon student, Michael "Fuzzy" Mauldin, created the Lycos search engine, which contained a directory of 54,000 documents. Mauldin explains that Lycos was named for Lycosidae lycosa, the scientific name for the wolf spider, which doesn't catch its prey in a web but rather by pursuing it.

One month after its release, Lycos contained a directory of 394,000 documents, and by January of 1995 it contained 1.5 million. By November of 1996, Lycos had indexed more than 60 million documents, which was more than any other search engine on the Web at that time. In addition to its huge directory, Lycos was the first to offer short descriptions called "outlines" for each document as well as a match score and a keyword list.

Dr. Mauldin earned an M.S. from the Mellon College Science at Carnegie Mellon as well as a Ph.D. from the university in computer science. Dr. Mauldin was also a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon.

Management Science Associates, Inc.

Management Science Associates (MSA) have been world leaders in information and software solutions since the company's founding in 1963. By integrating information technology and analytics, MSA provides clients with business solutions that give them a sustainable competitive advantage.

MSA helped manage the introduction of more than 100 major consumer products, including Clairol Herbal Essences, Ruffles, Dove, and Cool Whip by analyzing data at a detailed level, and collecting, storing, and analyzing data on a timely, economical basis. Accurate early predictions of success or failure for new products led to superior monitoring, tracking, data mining and methods of analysis for managing products, promotions and advertising. A broad array of other types of dynamic data were also analyzed, leading to systems to manage mini-steel mills, interpret pharmaceutical and clinical patient data to assist doctors in diagnosis and prognoses, and design and operate cost-effective disaster recovery and communication systems to assure business continuity. MSA is the world's largest processor of marketing, sales and financial data.

MSA was founded by Dr. Alfred A. Kuehn, a Carnegie Mellon professor and world-renowned expert in the field of management science. Dr. Kuehn is also Chief Executive Officer of the company.

MAYA Design, Inc.

MAYA is a design consultancy and technology research lab. MAYA was formed in 1989 by Carnegie Mellon colleagues as a way to extend to commercial and government clients the benefits of research into user-centered design and interactions between humans and information. For more than a decade, MAYA has helped all kinds of clients derive value from research and user-centered design and by using design as a strategic tool.

The co-founders, Dr. Peter Lucas, Chief Executive Officer, and Joseph Ballay, Principal, combined their skills in computer science, cognitive psychology, and industrial design to create MAYA. Dr. Lucas was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon, and Mr. Ballay earned both a B.S. in industrial management and an MFA in design and graphic arts from the university.

re2 Inc.: Robot Engineering Excellence

re2 Inc. specializes in mobile defense robotics with an emphasis on autonomous systems. re2 provides applied robotics expertise to theoretical organizations to bridge the gap between the prototype and production phases of robotics development. The company specializes in defense applications, with an emphasis on autonomous ground and air vehicles. re2 also supports the development of commercial robotics technologies for the transportation, agriculture, construction, law enforcement, and retail markets.

Robotics Engineering Excellence provides expertise in the field of robotics engineering (software, electrical, and mechanical engineering) and possesses the unique advantage of having engineers with many years of both theoretical and practical experience to solve the most difficult engineering challenges. With experienced robotics engineers, business leaders, and a toolkit of proven technologies, re2 is able to efficiently solve the most arduous engineering problems and provide its clients with state-of-the-art robotics applications.

re2, Inc., was founded in 2001 by alumnus and previous faculty member Jorgen Pedersen and has offices and prototyping facilities within Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Consortium facility in Pittsburgh. Pedersen holds a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering and an M.S. in robotics from Carnegie Mellon. In addition, Keith Gunnett, Vice President of Engineering, has a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the university.

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems was founded in February 1982 with four employees. Two of those founders were Carnegie Mellon alumni: Vinod Khosla, who holds a master's in biomedical engineering, and Andreas Bechtolsheim, who earned his M.S. in computer engineering from the university.

The company's vision is: Everyone and everything connected to the network; its mission is to solve the complex network computing problems that result from such universal connectivity.

Sun boasts two decades of experience on the forefront of network computing. Sun has established a history of innovation and leadership that stretches from the protocols that propel the Internet to the widely adopted Java technology—used in everything from smart cards to supercomputers. Sun's breakthroughs have changed the way people work and the way companies do business.


Vivísimo is setting a new standard for the way document collections are organized. With millions of monthly visitors to its website and an established enterprise customer base, Vivísimo is recognized internationally as the leader in document clustering (automatic categorization) software. The technology has been featured in publications around the world including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Information Today, Search Engine Watch, Der Spiegel, CHIP Magazine, and The Register.

Vivísimo's breakthrough technology automatically categorizes textual information into crisp, meaningful, hierarchically sorted category folders. This unique technology differs from other classification techniques in that it is fully automated, requires no maintenance, and achieves high-quality results on any type of textual content with little or no customization. With Vivísimo, end-users find information faster, they learn at a glance the types of information that are available, and they uncover results that otherwise would remain buried.

Vivísimo, located in Pittsburgh, was founded in June of 2000 by Carnegie Mellon research computer scientists Raul Valdes-Perez and Jerome Pesenti. Dr. Valdes-Perez, who is also President, is a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon where he earned his Ph.D. in computer science. Dr. Pesenti, who is Chief Scientist, was a visiting scientist at Carnegie Mellon's computer science department. In addition to the founders, several other executives of the company have ties to Carnegie Mellon. Dennis Brestensky, Vice President of Operations, holds an MBA with concentrations in entrepreneurship and marketing from Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School. Christopher Palmer, Chief Technology Officer, holds an M.Sc. degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon. Donald Taylor, Senior Director of Life Sciences Solutions, received a B.S. in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon, and James Jurkovec, Senior Director of Corporate Solutions, holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.