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Friday, June 14, 2024

VentureBridge Teams 2024

CMU VentureBridge (VB) Announces Investments in Eleven Startups

As part of the VB '24 funding cycle, CMU VB, an initiative of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, is excited to invest in eleven-CMU-alumni-founded startups located in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and New York. These alumni founders represent the School of Computer Science, Robotics Institute, College of Engineering Material Sciences, Information Networking Institute, Integrated Innovation Institute, College of Fine Arts School of Design Industrial Design and the Tepper School of Business.

Congratulations Founders!

Read more at the Swartz Center.

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Gather AI

Gather AI CEO Sankalp Arora Interviewed on Bloomberg Discussing How The Company is Taking Drone Tech to New Heights

Gather AI CEO Sankalp Arora was recently interviewed on Bloomberg discussing multiple topics including: how, with e-commerce, inventory has to be accurate to ensure that goods arrive on time, how robotics now enables you to use off-the-shelf hardware and make that hardware autonomous, how Gather AI customers have a 66% reduction in inventory errors with their solution being 15X faster than manual inventory counting and how Gather has turned facilities from reactive to proactive.

Read more on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Simon Kalouche

TA3 SWIM Partners With Nimble to Scale Operations

TA3 SWIM announced last week its partnership to leverage Nimble's fully autonomous 3PL fulfillment. The e-commerce fashion brand can now access Nimble’s network of next-gen robotic fulfillment centers that use intelligent general-purpose warehouse robots to pick, pack and ship orders without any CapEx investment. TA3 was featured on Shark Tank and in People, Forbes, and Business Insider, TA3 is the leader in women’s swimwear and apparel with built-in shapewear.

Nimble is founded by Simon Kalouche, who is also a 2015 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow.

Read more at Nimble.AI.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024


Artyc Named Technology Pioneer by The World Economic Forum

Artyc, the company that designs and manufacturers IoT battery-powered coolers for healthcare, life sciences and premium food cold chains, has recently been named Technology Pioneer by The World Economic Forum. A 2022 VentureBridge company, Artyc is co-founded by Hannah Sieber, CEO. Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Mark Langer is CTO.

Read more at PRNewswire.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Interpretable AI

Interpretable AI: A Night of Discovery at PyData Pittsburgh

This past Tuesday, over 60 data scientists, ML engineers and Python enthusiasts from across the region gathered at CMU's Swartz Center for an evening dedicated to unraveling the complexities of neural networks and their interpretability. Patrick Harrison and Dr. Rory Brenner led the discussions, providing unique insights into the current and future state of AI.

Read more at Pittsburgh Startup News.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024


Carnegie Mellon University Startups Among Ten Pittsburgh Startups to Watch in 2024

When the Pittsburgh Business Times selected this year’s list of ten Startups to Watch in 2024, it consulted with industry experts and looked at a variety of factors including size, scalability, investments, team background and, most importantly, one basic question — how is the company pushing us toward the future? On the list are startups founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumni including: D. Sole, Edulis Therapeutics, Core Power Magnetics, Efficient Computer Corp and Stack AV.

All ten companies will be recognized at a Startups to Watch 2024 event on Thursday, June 27 at Workscape on the South Side. 

Read more at Pittsburgh Business Times. 

Friday, June 7, 2024

The CMU Swartz Center Hosts 'Swartz in the City Series' at the Allegheny HYP Club in Downtown Pittsburgh

The CMU Swartz Center Hosts 'Swartz in the City Series' at the Allegheny HYP Club in Downtown Pittsburgh

As part of a continuing series, the Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship has hosted 'Swartz in the City Series' events at the Allegheny HYP (AHYP) Club in Pittsburgh's downtown. Co-hosted and moderated by Executive Director Dave Mawhinney, approximately seven events have been held since November of 2022 with audience attendance between fifty and sixty persons.

Last Thursday, the Swartz Center held another event at the AHYP, inviting three winners of the 2024 McGinnis Venture Competition to present their startups. The presenting founders were: Ram Potham, SiteWiz (with Drake Som and Rohit Malhotra); Logan Nye, MD, Galen Health (with Kushagra Agarwal); and Howie Choset, Kavčić-Moura Computer Science Professor of Robotics, JP Robotics (with Tina Tian, Lu Li and Mike Macedonia). The event was moderated by Meredith Grelli, Tepper School of Business Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Swartz Center EIR.

Organized by Donald Bonk, Heinz MPM CMU alumnus and long serving President of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Club of Western PA, the invitees of these events are the members of the eight local Ivy League Plus Alumni Clubs, also cross referencing invitees with the Allegheny Harvard, Yale, Princeton Club and its affiliate members.

Thursday, June 6, 2024


EKTO VR Receives Patent Approval

In a June 4, 2024 post on LinkedIn, EKTO VR, founded by CEO Brad Factor, has announced that it has received patent approval by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The 2020 VentureBridge company and maker of virtual reality boots just celebrated its sixth year anniversary. 

Friday, May 31, 2024

Bolster Announces $14M Series B Led By Microsoft's Venture Fund

VentureBridge Company Bolster Announces $14M Series B Led By Microsoft's Venture Fund

Bolster, a leader in multi-channel phishing protection co-founded by CEO Abhishek Dubey, announced a $14 M Series B financing round led by new investor M12, Microsoft's venture fund.

A participant in the 2018 VentureBridge cohort, the financing brings Bolster's total funding to over $40M.

Read more at PR Newswire.

Friday, May 31, 2024


CoPilot Rebrands as Trainwell

CoPilot, co-founded by CEO Matt Spettel, has officially rebranded to Trainwell.

In a recent post via LinkedIn, Matt said, "We are doubling down on building the best personal training experience in the world and offering the best jobs and benefits to the outstanding humans who make it all possible. We are using technology not to replace our trainers, but to make them 10x better than they have ever been before. With this in mind, I am extremely proud and excited to unveil a new name to clearly separate our amazing trainers from the world of chatbot "copilots".

Read more on LinkedIn.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Troy Demmer

Gecko Robotics Co-founder Testifies Before Congress on AI

Gecko Robotics co-founder Troy Demmer testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security last week as part of a hearing on how the government can better utilize artificial intelligence. The company has been named to the 2024 CNBC Disruptor 50 List.

Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Michael Vandi

VentureBridge Company Addy AI Accepted Into 2024 GitHub Accelerator For LangDrive

Addy AI, a 2023 VentureBridge startup founded by CEO Michael Vandi, has been accepted into the 2024 GitHub Accelerator for the teams work on LangDrive, an open-source AI library that serves as a simple framework to train and deploy production-grade, fine-tuned language models via an API and configuration files.


Friday, May 24, 2024

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Startup Lab Host Aviation & Robotics Summit 

The Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Startup Lab Host Aviation & Robotics Summit

Last week, the Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Startup Lab (CSL) hosted the Aviation & Robotics Summit, which was held at the Pittsburgh International Airport and the Tepper School of Business, Simmons Auditorium on May14-16. The theme for the Summit was 'Solving Aviation Challenges with Robotics Solutions'. Jim Jen, CSL Director and Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship, gave the opening remarks. 

Read more at Future Travel Experience.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Nicholas Swaminathan

Tepper School of Business Alumnus Nicholas Swaminathan Receives Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Nicholas Swaminathan, a recent Tepper School of Business alumnus and 2022-24 James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow, has been awarded the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' Award from the Tepper School of Business. His company TurnUp, co-founded by 2023-25 Innovation Scholar Adam Bournes and AI Ventures classmate Suriya Ganesh, was a finalist in the 2024 McGinnis Venture Competition and predicts turnover with its unique ML-models that identify an employee's intention to leave with 90% accuracy up to six months in advance.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Isaiah Rodgers Plans to Continue Working on His Startup, Clutch Post Graduation

Isaiah Rodgers Plans to Continue Working on His Startup, Clutch Post Graduation

A first-generation college student from North Jersey, Tepper School of Business alumnus and Innovation Scholar Isaiah Rodgers took a leave of absence from Carnegie Mellon University after dealing with the pandemic, loneliness and the feeling of “not belonging” during his freshman year. However, on the cusp of dropping out, he decided to give CMU another try—enrolling at the Tepper School—of which he is now a proud graduate.

His startup Clutch, a roadside assistance and mobile mechanic app that he created with his older brother, landed him first place at the 2024 McGinnis Venture Competition. Now that he has graduated, he plans to dedicate more time to his startup.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Software of Excellence Partners with Pearl to Become One of the First Practice Management System Providers to Deliver Dental Artificial Intelligence to the UK and Asia-Pacific Markets

Pearl, founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and CEO Ophir Tanz, a global leader in dental AI solutions, has announced that Software of Excellence, a leader in dental software, has selected Pearl as its new, exclusive dental artificial intelligence (AI) provider. Through the partnership, Software of Excellence will distribute Pearl’s Second Opinion® as a standalone software to its customer base across Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK markets.

Read more at HelloPearl.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Bharani Rajakumar

Transfr Named 2024 "Best World-Changing Idea, North America" by Fast Company

Founded by Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business alumnus and CEO Bharani Rajakumar, Transfr has been named 2024 'Best World-Changing Idea', North America, by Fast Company. Working with everything from employers to high schools to two-year colleges, Transfr provides virtual-reality training for in-demand professions, including manufacturing, aviation and construction. 

Read more at Fast Company.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Gather AI

Gather AI Included in the Tech Lead's 100 Cutting-edge Startups Reinventing D2C

Warehouse automation company Gather AI, co-founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumnus and CEO Sankalp Arora, has been included in the Tech Lead's 100 cutting-edge startups reinventing D2C. Now in its third year, the list recognizes innovators that are breathing new life into multiple areas of brand-to-consumer retail. 

Read more at Yahoo.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Innovation Meets Investment

Innovation Meets Investment: Highlights from MS AI Venture Studio Investor Day

Last Wednesday, Carnegie Mellon University hosted the MS AI Venture Studio - Investor Day, designed to connect the dots between AI innovation and investment. Orchestrated by MS AI Venture Studio Professors Adam Paulisick, Sean Ammirati, and Cofounder Kit Mueller, the event showcased the burgeoning potential within Pittsburgh's growing AI community, drawing hundreds of founders, investors, researchers, faculty and community leaders.

That evening, attendees gathered for a reception at the CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, which allowed for further networking and reflection on the day’s events. Sean Ammirati, another lead organizer, commented on the day's impact: "The energy today was palpable for both investors and entrepreneurs. It's clear that when brilliant minds converge with impactful ideas, the potential for innovation is limitless. Today was not just about hosting an event; it was a preview of the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary future using AI to make the world a better and more interesting place."

Read more at LinkedIn.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Steven Guo

CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship President Steven Guo Named to's RealLIST Connectors 2024

Steven Guo is a health tech consultant who dedicates much of his time to social impact. As president of Carnegie Mellon University alumni organization CMU Tech & Entrepreneurship with the CMU Swartz Center, he helps grads connect with training, opportunity, capital and mentorship. Steven helped design an accelerator and develops programming to further a stronger CMU alumni entrepreneurship ecosystem.


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Dr. Anthony DiGioia

Blue Belt Co-founder Dr. Anthony Digoia Launches JointIQ To Help Diagnose Hip and Knee Arthritis

Dr. Anthony DiGioia (M.S. 1982), who co-founded Blue Belt Technologies along with CMU Swartz Center EIR and Carnegie Mellon University Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Craig Markovitz, is launching JointIQ, a free educational platform created by orthopedic surgeons to help non-experts learn how to diagnose hip and knee arthritis. JointIQ offers gamified courses and quizzes that teach users how to recognize hip and knee arthritis.

Friday, May 3, 2024

Setex Technologie

Setex (formerly nanoGriptechnologies) Sells Business Unit

Setex Technologies, the global leader in the commercialization of gecko-inspired adhesive and gripping products, has announced that it has sold its industrial tape and gripping technology business unit to Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd., Inc., a publicly traded Japanese manufacturer of chemicals, semiconductor silicon, and electronics and specialty materials. 

Setex Technologies, a spin out of Carnegie Mellon University founded by former faculty and distinguished service professor Metin Sitti, is the first commercial manufacturer of micro-fibrillar polymer-based dry adhesive materials for a wide range of product applications. 

Read more at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Gecko Robotics

Gecko Robotics Partners with UAE Oil Company

Gecko Robotics Inc.,co-founded by Tepper School of Business alumnus and COO Troy Demmer and CEO Jake Loosararian, has  announced a contract with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Gas, based in the United Arab Emirates. Gecko's robots will be deployed across ADNOC Gas sites to perform predictive maintenance, improve efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and maintain safety. The contract has an estimated ceiling of $30M.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Innovation Scholars Banner

The Swartz Center Announces the 2024-26 Innovation Scholars Cohort

After a rigorous application process with over 70+ Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students from across schools, the CMU Swartz Center has selected twelve students for its 2024-26 Innovation Scholars cohort. The students, which hail from Tepper, Engineering, Computer Science, CMU Qatar and more are all rising juniors interested in various areas of entrepreneurship.

The students (in order of appearance in the photo) are:

Timothy Brown, Tepper School of Business; Ekaterina Demenkova, CMU Qatar/Information Systems;
Audrey Hasson, School of Computer Science; David Hershensen, Electrical & Computer Engineering;
Simran Jolly, Tepper School of Business; Janise Kim, School of Computer Science; Aaryan Lalwani, Tepper School of Business; Krish Mawalkar, Statistics and Machine Learning; Jiwon (James) Park, Statistics and Machine Learning; Evan Pinnix, Tepper School of Business; Erika Ramirez, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Avalon Sueiro, Tepper School of Business

Find out more about the students.

Friday, April 26, 2024

Jennifer Li

Andreessen Horowitz Promotes Jennifer Li to General Partner to Help Lead its New AI Infrastructure Fund 

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz is promoting Jennifer Li to general partner after six years at the firm. She’s being tapped to help invest the new $1.25B Infrastructure fund managed by longtime a16z general partner Martin Casado.

Prior to joining a16z in 2018, she led product at Carnegie Mellon University AI startup Solvvy, acquired by Zoom in 2022, led self-service and analytics products at AppDynamics, acquired by Cisco for $3.7B and was a Kleiner Perkins Product Fellow in 2016.

Read more at Tech Crunch.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Limelight Steel wins $2.9M from ARPA-E's Iron and Steel Program

Limelight Steel wins $2.9M from ARPA-E's Iron and Steel Program

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Energy selected thirteen projects in nine states to receive a total of $28M through its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). Limelight Steel, co-founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumni Olivia Dippo and Andy Zhao, received $2.9M for its cutting-edge, zero-emissions iron making technology development.

Read more at arpa-e.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Dave Mawhinney

Why Incorporate in Delaware? Pros and Cons in 2024

Nearly two million businesses—including more than 50% of all publicly traded companies in the U.S. and almost 70% of all Fortune 500 companies—are incorporated in Delaware.

In a recent story by USA Today, Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director at the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship said most investors actually “demand” the businesses they invest in be incorporated in Delaware. “It boils down to [how] Delaware is perceived to be the friendliest state for business formation and residency, and venture capitalists want standardization across their portfolios,” he explained.

Read more at USA Today.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Scottie VenturesTeam

Congrats to CMU Undergraduate Scottie VenturesTeam! Winners of the 2024 VCIC Global Finals and $5K!

After winning first place at the VCIC Undergraduate Mid-Atlantic Regional Finals in February—the first undergraduate team to represent Carnegie Mellon University composed of members of CMU's Scottie Ventures club recently won the VCIC Global Finals and $5K. The team members are: Pratyay Didwania (Innovation Scholar), Saaketh Chennaiahgari, Ethan Yeo, Aditi Shimpi, Darren Grendi and
Meher Sujay Kaky.

Global VCIC is the world's largest venture capital competition with over 120 university and graduate school teams competing.

Read more at VCIC.

Thursday, April 18, 2024


RoboBurger to Air on Shark Tank this Friday

RoboBurger CEO and Tepper School of Business alumnus Audley Wilson announced in a post on LinkedIn that the company will be featured on Shark Tank this Friday on ABC at 8:00 PM EST. It will also be streamed on Hulu.

RoboBurger is an all electric solution and ventless kitchen that can go anywhere—just plug it in, that allows anyone to make fresh burgers at the press of a button anytime, anywhere.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Saisri Akondi and Zilin Zhang

D.Sole Co-founders Win $25K Investment at the Rice Business Plan Competition

Forty-two of the best student ventures from top universities across the world competed in front of nearly 350 angel, venture capital and corporate investors on April 4-6, 2024 at the 2024 Rice Business Plan Competition. Among the finalists was D.Sole, a smart insole that utilizes multimodal sensors for the early detection and monitoring of foot complications such as ulcers in diabetic patients, co-founded by CMU's James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Saisri Akondi and Zilin Zhang.

The team bought home $5K in cash and $25K investment from Rice Alliance. D.Sole is currently participating in the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator in Los Angeles, CA.

Read more at RBPC 2024.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Jay Reddy

Advanced Optronics CEO Jay Reddy Is Helping Surgeons Do Their Job Better

Jay Reddy, a California native, came to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon University for graduate school, and decided to stick around to co-found and run Advanced Optronics Inc., a Pittsburgh-based biotech company that uses sensor technology and flexible materials to help surgeons do their jobs better. Jay was recently featured in the Pittsburgh Business Times' Personalities of Pittsburgh.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Galen Health

Galen Health To Compete at Hult Prize Mumbai Summit 2024

Galen Health, founded by Logan Nye, MD (James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellow), has been officially selected to compete at the Hult Prize Mumbai 2024 Summit hosted in partnership with SDA Bocconi Asia Center on June 7- 9, 2024. The company's flagship product OncoSight, harnesses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) for early cancer detection and treatment, with a primary focus on pancreatic cancer.

Read more at HULT Prize.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Founder of ShopKirana Named Disruptive Retailer of the Year

Founder of ShopKirana Named Disruptive Retailer of the Year

ShopKirana, co-founded by Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Sumit Ghorawat ('2011), Deepak Dhanotiya and Tanutejas Saraswat and headquartered out of India, was just named Disruptive Retailer of the Year by the Economic Times. ShopKirana is a commerce company focused on technology and supply chain innovation that aims to empower retailers to be competitive by providing technology, operational expertise and scale advantage.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Todd Medema

Tepper School of Business Alumnus Todd Medema Receives 2024 Undergraduate Alumni Award

In a post via LinkedIn, John Segenberger, Executive Director of Alumni Relations at the Tepper School of Business, announces that Todd Medema (TPR/BS 2014) is the recipient of the 2024 Tepper Recent Undergraduate Alumni Award in recognition of his career success and his ongoing support of Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business. Todd, also a mentor with the CMU Swartz Center, is a founder, entrepreneur and innovator—all while co-authoring a best-selling book, co-founding Fabricate.IO and pursuing his interest in clean energy.

Todd will receive his award at the upcoming Tepper Alumni Awards Ceremony at Acrisure Stadium on April 20, 2024.

Read more at LinkedIn.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Toyz Electronics Is Empowering Gen Z

Toyz Electronics Is Empowering Gen Z

In a recent feature in the Pittsburgh Technology Council newsletter, Toyz Electronics—founded by Damola Idawu and his son Wole—was featured for its positive impact on Generation Z, which has recently joined the workforce, marking a new era of growth and challenges. Employers have already identified a generational skill gap that could potentially result in trillions in lost revenue. Toyz Electronics combines gaming, a marketplace and online learning platforms all into one immersive platform.

The company is an MIT Solve finalist for Anti-Racist Technology and runner-up in the Richard King Mellon Foundation pitch competition. In 2022, the company raised a $500K seed round

Read more at Pittsburgh Technology Council.