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Thursday, August 15, 2019


CMU Alumnus Holds Hackathon for High School Students at the CMU Swartz Center

Junior and senior high school students enrolled in Carnegie Mellon's Summer Academy for Mathmatics (SAM) program participated in a hackathon hosted by the CMU Swartz Center on July 19, 2019.

Organized by CMU alumnus and Toyz Electronics founder Wole Idowu and his father—Damola Idowu—founder of Owners Illustrated Magazine, the hackathon allowed the students to explore innovation using a hip-hop comic book charactor using tools like Adobe and Audacity. Toyz Electronics, also a Project Olympus PROBE, creates educational hardware that empowers innovation.

Watch YouTube.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Comprehend Systems

CMU's Comprehend Systems Gets Acquired by Saama

Founded by CMU alumnus and CEO Rick Morrison (CS 2003), clinical trial software company Comprehend Systems, Inc. has been acquired by Saama Technologies for an undisclosed amount. 

Together, Saama and Comprehend will deploy and evolve their complementary, best-in-class clinical analytics platforms. 


Friday, August 9, 2019


CMU Startups Selected as Finalists for Pittsburgh Technology Council Tech50 2019

Several CMU alumni startups are among the finalists in this year's Pittsburgh Technology Council Tech 50, including: BlastPoint, founded by Alison Alvarez, Gecko Robotics, founded by Troy Demmer, IAM Robotics, founded by former LaunchCMU participant Tom Galluzzo and many others.


Thursday, August 8, 2019


CMU Swartz Center Gives Entrepreneurship Presentation During Tepper School of Business Basecamp

CMU Swartz Center Gives Entrepreneurship Presentation During Tepper School of Business Basecamp

The Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center, led by executive director and associate teaching professor Dave Mawhinney, gave an entrepreneurship presentation to the incoming Tepper School MBA students during Tepper Basecamp on Thursday, August 8, 2019.

The presentation ended with a panel discussion that included Tepper alumni and Swartz Fellows Alison Alvarez (Blastpoint), Grant Vandenbussche (RoBotany), Andrew Ellerhorst (KeelBoat Capital, LLC) and JJ Xu (TalkMeUp).

Thursday, August 1, 2019

TalkMeUp at UpPrize

TalkMeUp Founder JJ Xu Speaks at the UpPrize Launch Kickoff and Celebration

The kickoff celebration for the 2019 BNY Mellon Social Innovation Challenge, UpPrize, was held at AlphaLab Gear on Thursday, August 1, 2019. During the celebration, last year's UpPrize winner and TalkMeUp founder JJ Xu spoke about her experience with the competition and where the company is now. TalkMeUp is an AI-based, communication training platform.

Monday, July 29, 2019


Allegheny County Airport Authority Partners with CMU Spinoff Zensors

The Allegheny County Airport Authority recently partnered with Pittsburgh software company Zensors to incorporate artificial intelligence into its closed-circuit camera system and to improve security check wait times. 

Zensors, one of the startups working out of the CMU Swartz Center, co-founded by CMU alumnus Anuraag Jain, offers real-time, intelligent video analytics. The company won the Swartz Center's 2018 McGinnis Venture Competition and was a participant in the 2018 VentureBridge program.

Read more at Watch KDKA CBS Pittsburgh.

Friday, July 26, 2019


Undergraduate Students are Starting Their Own Companies to Pay for College

This Article Quotes Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director of the CMU Swartz Center

Self-employment has become more mainstream among undergraduates. As quoted in an article published by MarketWatch, CMU Swartz Center executive director Dave Mawhinney said, "With the help of the internet and social media, some members of Gen Z have broken down the barriers that made self-employment difficult for past generations. Being social-media savvy allows students to keep track of trends, and it’s one of the reasons being young might be an advantage when starting your own small business."

An example of this trend is Pairi, co-founded by CMU undergraduate students and Undergraduate Innovation Scholars Aaron Lebel and Paris Mielke. Pairi is a two-sided marketplace that pairs beauty service providers with clients through a system similar to AirBnb. The startup is one of many working out of the CMU Swartz Center and has just launched its marketplace.

Read more at Marketwatch.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


CMU Spinout RoadBotics Closes $7.5M Series A

RoadBotics, a Pittsburgh, PA-based Artificial Intelligence-driven, computer vision road assessment company, closed a $7.5M Series A funding. The round was led by Radical Ventures, with participation from Hyperplane Venture Capital and Wharton Alumni Angels of Silicon Valley.

Spun out of CMU's Robotics Institute by Mark DeSantis, Dr. Benjamin Schmidt and Dr. Christoph Mertz, RoadBotics is an infrastructure technology company that uses AI to allow governments and engineering firms to make data-driven pavement management decisions.

Read more at FINSMES

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


CMU Student Matt Spettel Partners with MIT Student to Create an App to Track Exercise Movements

From its inception just one year ago in a YMCA weight room, DeltaTrainer (formerly Delta Band) had undergone a lot of change. Co-founded in July 2018 by CMU student, Innovation Scholar and co-founder Matt Spettel and MIT student Gabriel Madonna, the startup has morphed into an iOS app for use on all smarphones. Now called Delta Trainer, the focus has shifted from tracking workouts to training.

Read more at BizJournals. (This article requires a subscription.)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Swartz Fellows 2019

Apply to the Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program by September 9, 2019

The CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship has opened applications for its Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows Program. This initiative fast-tracks the careers of CMU's graduate students who are passionate about entrepreneurship in the technology arena.

The highly selective program develops each Fellow's entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring and courses in entrepreneurship. The program's core is a mentored summer internship with a top-tier, VC-backed startup within the high-tech, high-growth environment of Silicon Valley and San Francisco.

Find out more and apply by September 9, 2019.

Monday, July 8, 2019

AbiliLife Ted Talk

CMU Tepper Alumna and AbiliLife, Inc. Founder Courtney Williamson, Ph.D. Gives Inspiring TEDx Talk

Courtney Williamson, Ph.D. was not a medical device entrepreneur. Until she was. While her formal Ph.D. training was in an entirely different field, she realized that her lived experience in being a caretaker to her mother who had Parkinson's disease, gave her knowledge to draw from and led to an invention that is helping thousands of patients. 

After obtaining her doctoral degree in Organizational Behavior from CMU's Tepper School of Business, Courtney launched AbiliLife, Inc., a medical device company that offers products to reduce falls and improve the quality of life for elderly and neuromuscular patients.

Watch TEDx Talks.

Related: How AbiliLife's Founder is Bringing Parkinson's Patients Better Support

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Little Moochi

LittleMoochi Takes First Place at 2019 Forté Power Pitch Competition

CMU startup LittleMoochi, the mobile app that encourages children to form healthy eating habits through raising an AI-powered virtual pet, won first place and $10K at the 2019 Forté Power Pitch Competition last week.

LittleMoochi was founded by Tepper MBA student and Swartz Fellow Summer Xia, who is also a participant in the CMU NSF I-Corps program. The app will officially launch this August.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Fast Company Ranks Deserve Cards Among the World’s Most Innovative Businesses

Founded by Kalpesh Kapadia (MSIA 1999), financial services company Deserve was recognized for its innovative use of machine learning to assist young adults in accessing fair credit. Each year, Fast Company features The World’s Most Innovative Companies, recognizing businesses that impact industry and culture.

Read the Tepper School of Business.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Meredith Grelli

Meredith Grelli Becomes Member of the Pittsburgh Business Times Leadership Trust

Tepper School of Business alumna, Swartz Fellow and Wigle Whiskey founder Meredith Grelli, has become one of six members of the Pittsburgh Business Times Leadership Trust.

Read the Pittsburgh Business Times.