Carnegie Mellon University

graphic showing startup application timeline and process overview

BETAPGH: A Framework for Engaging Local Startups in Product Pilots with the City of Pittsburgh

The City of Pittsburgh is often approached by local startups who want to partner with the City to pilot their products and services. However, at the time the project was conducted in Spring 2016 the City of Pittsburgh did not have a process in place and had limited resources to receive and assess these inquiries, nor did the City have a framework in place for executing approved pilots.

The team worked to develop a comprehensive program that:

  • Supports local startups by providing opportunities for pilot testing with the City
  • Meets the City of Pittsburgh’s six strategic objectives (focus areas) outlined in the “Inclusive Innovation Roadmap”
  • Positions Pittsburgh as a national leader in civic innovation programs

FINDINGS: wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/02/BetaPgh.pdf

UPDATE: The City of Pittsburgh launched this project in 2016 under the name PGH Lab ( The program has been very successful and continues to operate, engaging new companies every six months. 


City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation and Performance

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh


Tim Zak
Associate Teaching Professor, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University


Tony Fatula
Cricket Fuller
Nick Gera
Albert Lin
Annum Sadiq Tawab