Carnegie Mellon University
May 14, 2013

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Debuts Semiannual Research And Entrepreneurship Showcase: Launch|CMU

Inaugural Event To Be Held May 21 in Mountain View, Calif.

Contact: Mark Burd / 412-268-3486 /    
Byron Spice / 412-268-9068 /

launchcmuPITTSBURGH-The entrepreneurial ecosystem at Carnegie Mellon University generates an average of 15-20 new companies each year, introducing new products, services and technology into the marketplace. In celebration of these ongoing achievements and bringing the entrepreneurship and venture capital communities together, the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has created Launch|CMU, a new semiannual event that will showcase technology, cutting-edge research and some of the most promising startup companies.

The inaugural, invitation-only event will focus on "big data and machine learning" and will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.  Subsequent programs are planned to alternate between Silicon Valley and Pittsburgh each spring and fall. This fall's event will be held Oct. 31 in Pittsburgh.  

"The faculty, students and their research at Carnegie Mellon are ideally suited for addressing extremely complex and emerging issues like big data and machine learning," said Lenore Blum, co-director of the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and distinguished career professor of computer science.

Faculty presenters at the inaugural event are: J. Zico Kolter, assistant professor of computer science and software research, who will talk about computational methods for sustainable energy; Noah Smith, the Finmeccanica Associate Professor of Language Technologies and Machine Learning, who will explore the relationship between text and social context; Ian Lane, research assistant professor at the CMU Silicon Valley campus, who will talk about machine learning approaches for accelerating speech analytics; and Adrien Treuille, assistant professor of computer science and robotics, who will present his experiences creating large-scale crowdsourcing projects and discuss the impact and challenges of crowdsourcing on the future of labor.

"We see Launch|CMU as a vehicle that reaches out to the greater entrepreneurial community and brings together academic experts, researchers, community development officials, startup entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists to share the latest information in innovation and technology," Blum added.

Breakout sessions will include interaction with the founders of five big data and machine learning startup companies. They are: Lumator founder Prashant Reddy, a Ph.D. student in the Machine Learning Department; 3 Gear Systems founders Rob Wang (CS'04) and Christopher Twigg (CS'08); Peekabuy, Inc. founder Henry Hongwen Kang, who recently received his Ph.D. from the Robotics Institute; Solvvy founders Justin Betteridge, a Ph.D. student in the Language Technologies Institute, and Mehdi Samade, a Ph.D. student in computer science; and Fliptop founder Doug Camplejohn, an electrical engineering and MBA alumnus.

"At CMU, we have a vibrant network of alumni entrepreneurs, thanks to how the university fosters a productive environment for teaching entrepreneurship, conducting bold research and creating commercial ventures," said Dave Mawhinney, co-director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. "In the past 15 years, we've had more than 300 new companies come out of our university, transferring knowledge from an academic setting to the marketplace. We thrive on interdisciplinary collaboration and developing strong community ties. The new Launch|CMU program is a logical step for us in connecting our community and expanding our network."

About the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) is dedicated to excellence in entrepreneurial education, research and programs for turning ingenious ideas into commercial products, services, and enterprises. Combining the strengths of Project Olympus, an innovation center based at the CMU School of Computer Science, and the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business, CIE connects resources, faculty and students across the CMU campus and with alumni and business development stakeholders. CIE also provides incubator space for fledgling companies, supports startup companies through the Open Field Entrepreneurs Fund, sponsors entrepreneurship workshops and business competitions, such as the McGinnis Venture Competitions, and hosts seasonal Show & Tell events that connect campus researchers with local and national investors.