Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon Buildings


Friday, April 3, 2020


DeltaTrainer Offers 30-Day Free Trial to Help You Stay Fit During These Difficult Times

Matt Spettel's DeltaTrainer is offering new workouts every week, constant trainer access and the most advanced motion tracking tech right on your wrist. If you have an Apple Watch, your first 30 days are completely free.

If you don't have a watch, the folks at DeltaTrainer will send you one, and your first month will be 50% off.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Agile Giants

Sean Ammirati Hosts Agile Giants Podcasts

Each week, join Sean Ammirati, co-founder and director of the Carnegie Mellon Corporate Startup Lab—an initiative of the CMU Swartz Center—as he interviews guests who are doing the important work creating startups inside large corporations. If you already are a corporate entrepreneur, want to become one or are just looking for some advice around commercializing transformative innovation, this podcast is for you. Listen to Episode 26 with Matt Cobonera, Managing Director at Citi Ventures.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Fifth Seasons

Pittsburgh-based Vertical Farm Fifth Season is Betting On the Power of Technology to Grow Cleaner Food and Create New Jobs

When Austin Webb enrolled in 2016 to pursue his M.B.A. at the Tepper School of Business, he knew that artificial intelligence and robotics would be a part of whatever business he ended up in. His company, Fifth Season, aims to bring cleaner, more sustainably grown food to the Pittsburgh area before building farms in other locales. The company wants to use technology not only to grow leafy greens, microgreens and herbs, but to create a new agriculture job that’s fueled by the same technology powering the farm.


Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Surviving When You Can't Meet in Person: A Story by Innovation Scholar, Sofia Sill

CMU Tepper School of Business senior and Innovation Scholar Sofia Sill shares tips for surviving when you can't meet in person in a story she wrote on Parthean, a social learning platform she writes and edits for. Founded by CMU Engineering student Arman Hezarkhani, Parthean is one of many startups working out of the Swartz Center.


Friday, March 27, 2020


The Winners Are Announced!

On Tuesday, four CMU undergraduate and ten graduate teams made their final pitches during an intense, virtual live round of the 2020 McGinnis Venture Competition. Each of the teams received valuable feedback from an expert panel of judges that included: Jerry (founder of Respironics) and Alicia McGinnis (Audrey's Kitchen), Ed Engler (Aspire 360), Sean Ammirati (Birchmere Ventures), Laurie Barkman (SmallDotBig,LLC), Ilana Diamond (AlphaLab Gear), Jim Jen (Innovation Works/AlphaLab) and Dave Mawhinney (CMU Swartz Center). 

Undergraduate track winners:

Agot.AI (1st place - $4K)
Swaset (2nd place - $2,500)

Graduate track winners:

Aruga (1st place; $25K)
Fibulas (2nd place; $15K)
Sparkline (3rd place; $10K)

Find out more about the winning teams.

We wish to thank all of the participating teams, judges and this year's sponsors, Philips and Choolaah, for their continued support.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Duolingo Launches New App To Help Kids Learn How To Read and Write While Home From School

On Thu., March 26, Pittsburgh-based language learning company Duolingo launched a new app to help teach kids to read English. Duolingo ABC was in the works for a while, but with the pandemic keeping many kids home from school, the company launched it early.

Read more at Pittsburgh City Paper.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


Swartz Center Entrepreneur In Residence Will Kaigler Speaks On "Apollo 13" for COVID-19

As the CMU Swartz Center overlooks Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, we continue to be inspired by his famous quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ - Fred Rogers”. In that spirit, various members of the CMU community, including a diverse group of dedicated individuals from the Swartz Center, Tepper faculty, the Heinz Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Virtec Enterprises, Macchina in Minneapolis and a number of health systems in Pittsburgh and Cleveland have been working tirelessly to develop, produce and make available to the world an open source product that filters and removes COVID-19 contaminated air from hospitals. "The fundamental problem is that a number of ventilatory support devices, especially for less severe or non-COVID-19 patients, use what is called an open-circuit design. This design can spread aerosolized virus to caregivers or even other patients. Our device helps to capture this expired gas and channels it through a HEPA filter, or out of the building entirely. If we can redeploy these devices, we can help treat patients without tying up precious ventilators.”, said Will Kaigler; Assistant Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship and EIR at the Swartz Center.

The product was inspired by the famous scene in the movie Apollo 13, where astronauts were forced to build adaptors that allowed the CO2 filters in the LIM to be used in the command module using only what they had available on the space craft. The same was true here. The product had to be produced using parts available from Home Depot or Best Buy at quantities that could produce rapid production in a very short period of time. The assembly had to be simple and straight forward enough that almost anyone could build the product with little or no training. The result is the Apollo 13 PNPC (Personal Negative Pressure Chamber).

Design to production took about one week and although the product is currently in testing, it can be seen, along with instructions for how to build your own here. The team is also working on a substitute ventilator that will mechanize Ambu Bags to help with the shortage of ventilators, which they hope will be released open source later this week. Find out more.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

CMU Teny

CMU Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (CMU TENY) Rebrands and Launches New Website

The CMU Technology and Entrepreneurship in NYC (CMU TENY) team has rebranded and launched its new website. Headed up by CMU alumnus Will Sanders, who also founded the San Francisco community CMU TEBA, the group aims to build up the CMU alumni community by empowering entrepreneurs, industry experts, technologists and startups through providing resources, opportunities and hosting events. Regardless of experience, background, or location, all CMU alumni and students are welcome. Find out more.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Zensors Offers Its Full Platform for Free to Governments, Airports and Businesses Responding to COVID-19

Over the past few weeks, the Zensors team across Pittsburgh, New York and Mumbai has been trying to determine how their platform can be helpful in response to COVID-19. The team has the ability to rapidly scale its infrastructure to answer real-time operational questions about spaces using CCTV video cameras. Critically, the team is able to connect IP cameras to its platform in a matter of hours and immediately start generating secure, anonymous data for leaders and citizens.

Read more at Zensors.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Wigle Whiskey

CMU Swartz Center's Dave Mawhinney Attends Grand Opening of Wigle Whiskey's New Restaurant

MU Tepper alumna Meredith Meyer Grelli and the team at Wigle Whiskey hosted the grand opening of its newly expanded tasting room and restaurant at its distillery in Pittsburgh's Strip District on March 13, 2020. CMU Swartz Center Executive Director Dave Mawhinney and his son Ben also attended the anticipated event.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Austin Webb

Fifth Season Co-founder and CEO Austin Webb Accepts Deal Maker of the Year Award

Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business alumnus and Fifth Season CEO and co-founder Austin Webb accepted the 2020 Dealmaker of the Year Award at their annual conference last week. Fifth Season, powered by its former name RoBotany, is pioneering a simple solution to our complicated food system by building vertical farming with new technology for healthier, fresher greens.

The company opened its first full-scale farm in early 2020 in Braddock, an historic steel town in Pittsburgh.

Monday, March 9, 2020


AI Software Helps High School Students Foster Productive Discourse

A group of CMU students are using artificial intelligence to teach high schoolers how to have productive conversations online. They’ve created a platform called Convertsation and tailored it for classroom use.

Founded by CMU junior and CEO Daniel Hack, the company was featured on Pittsburgh's NPR News Station this week.


Thursday, March 5, 2020

Honeycomb Credit

CMU's Honeycomb Credit Wins Second Place and $100K at UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge Finals 

Five finalists pitched at the 2020 UpPrize, BNY Mellon Social Innovation Challenge finals, which was held on March 5, 2020 at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center. Second place and $100K went to CMU startup Honeycomb Credit, first place and $150K went to Foot Bridge for Families, and third place and $50K went to Civic Champs. UpPrize aims to assist southwestern PA non-profit, for-profit and social entrepreneurs to to create positive, social returns with purpose-driven innovation. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


CMU Spinoff Locomation and Wilson Logistics Partner on Autonomous Relay Convoy Pilot

Locomation, the world’s first trucking technology platform to offer human-guided autonomous convoying, has announced the signing of a definitive agreement establishing a multi-year partnership with Wilson Logistics, a leading family-owned transportation logistics company. The agreement will put Locomation’s autonomous technology on the road across several critical Wilson Logistics shipping routes.

Locomation is founded by a team from CMU's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of CMU's Robotics Institute, including Dr. Cetin Mericli, CEO, and Dr. Tekin Mericli, CTO.

Read more at Locomation.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


Choolaah Poised to Open Second Pittsburgh Location

Amid an expansion strategy that's already established locations in the Washington, D.C. and Cleveland markets, Choolaah Indian BBQ is opening its second Pittsburgh location along the Parkway West. After opening in East LIberty in 2018, Choolaah has announced on social media that it has scheduled the opening of a new restaurant at the Pointe at North Fayette on March 31, 2020.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Monday, March 2, 2020


Can't Afford A Personal Trainer? Artificial Intelligence Could Help

Personal training is a popular but expensive option in the $100B fitness industry; it can cost an average of $40-70/hour. Local startup Delta Trainer, founded by CMU alumnus Matt Spettel, is using artificial intelligence to make personal training more accessible. Everyone who signs up for Delta Trainer gets an Apple Watch and is connected with a remote personal trainer, who sets up a unique workout plan for each of their clients.


Monday, March 2, 2020


CMU Startup Named Finalist in Incubatenergy Labs Challenge

The Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Incubatenergy© Labs Challenge has selected 17 finalists from more than 130 applicants to participate in the Challenge Pitch Day during EPRI’s Electrification 2020 International Conference & Exposition in Charlotte, N.C.

Gridfruit, a grid-responsive compressor modulation aimed at improving the efficiency of commercial food service refrigeration, is among the finalists. Gridfruit is co-founded by Javad Mohammadi, CMU alumnus, Special Faculty at CMU and participant in the Swartz Center's Innovation Fellows program.