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Friday, August 5, 2022

Beyond Lucid

Beyond Lucid Technologies Partners with Thorne Ambulance Service To Make The R.U.S.H. Initiative for Children a Cross-state Reality

Beyond Lucid Technologies, co-founded by Tepper School of Business 2010 alumni Jonathon Feit and Christian Witt, empowers mobile medical professionals with data about their patients prior to arrival, sharing the information with hospitals and public health agencies in real-time. The company has just partnered with Thorne Ambulance Service to make the R.U.S.H. Initiative for Children a cross-state reality with health equity in mind. 

 Read more at BeyondLucid.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Stella Han

Fractional Is Helping Real Estate Professionals Broker Co-ownership Arrangements

Fractional, a real estate startup co-founded by CMU alumna and 2019 Innovation Scholar Stella Han, was recently featured in Realtor magazine. The company was featured for its investor-focused solution to helping real estate professionals broker co-ownership arrangements among groups of buyers. Fractional users can create or join existing investment proposals. Once a property generates enough interest and funding, Fractional makes an offer on the property and forms an LLC to divide equity shares among owners.

 Read more at Realator Magazine.

Friday, July 29, 2022


Choolaah's New Ohio City Location Opens July 29!

First announced in 2019, Choolaah is opening the doors to its beautiful new Ohio City restaurant, located on W. 25th Street, just steps from the West Side Market. The fast-casual Indian eatery will open to the public on Friday, July 29, 2022. Choolaah is owned by Wholesome International, co-founded by Tepper School of Business alumna Raji Sankar.


Thursday, July 28, 2022


Hearst Corporation Chooses TalkMeUp to Bolster Leaders’ Communication Effectiveness

Hearst, a leading global, diversified information, services and media company, values the ability to deliver a compelling message to achieve the best outcome. To foster and invest in that core tenet, Hearst chose TalkMeUp, founded by alumnus JJ Xu, for their high-potential employee|
development program. TalkMeUp is a proven video practice and coaching platform that leverages AI to provide comprehensive analyses of communication style and skill.

Read more at Businesswire.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Dave Mawhinney

Swartz Center's Dave Mawhinney Among Honorees of Pittsburgh Inno Fire Awards

The annual Pittsburgh Inno Fire Awards serve as Inno’s premier awards program to recognize supporters, founders and champions of Pittsburgh innovation. Among the awardees in the inaugural class are Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director of the CMU Swartz Center, recognized as an Ecosystem Advocate. Several CMU companes and founders have also been awarded.

Each of the honorees will be celebrated during an event at The Assembly in Bloomfield on September 15, and in a special edition of the Pittsburgh Business Times on September 16.

Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Ophir Tanz

From Ads to X-rays, Alumnus Harnesses the Power of AI

Dietrich College and Heinz College alumnus Ophir Tanz aims to help billions of people have healthier teeth by arming dental professionals with his FDA-approved software that uses AI to analyze X-rays for problems. He announced earlier this year that the Food and Drug Administration cleared his company Pearl's software, Second Opinion, the first artificial-intelligence tool to help dentists detect conditions in patient X-rays.

 Read more at Carnegie Mellon University.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Carnegie Robotics

Carnegie Robotics More Than Doubles Space in Lawrenceville In Deal with The Buncher Co.

Carnegie Robotics, LLC, founded by CEO John Bares as a spin-out of Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center, recently reached an agreement for a long-term lease with The Buncher Co. to take 35,000 square feet at the Buncher Business Center, a warehouse building along the Lawrenceville riverfront. The additional space will be used for the continued build-out and testing of its advanced autonomous solutions for high-end, military-grade robotic sensors.

 Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022


Mid-Atlantic Natural Gas Utility Used BlastPoint to Increase Enrollment in Their Paperless Billing Program, Saving $1.3M

With over 700K customers across three states, a utility reduced costs and improved its customer experience utilizing BlastPoint's data-driven customer insights to understand what motivates customers to convert to paperless. Targeting customers with the highest propensity of signing up, it was able to increase E-Bill enrollment by 5% in under a quarter, saving millions of dollars on postal costs.

Read the case study here.

BlastPoint is co-founded by Tepper School of Business alumna Alison Alvarez and CMU ECE, Machine Learning alumnus Tomer Borenstein.

Friday, July 15, 2022


Michelin Acquires Carnegie Mellon Spinout RoadBotics

Michelin has announced the acquisition of RoadBotics, a Carnegie Mellon University spinout co-founded in 2016 and led by cofounders Benjamin Schmidt, Ph.D. (CEO) and Christoph Mertz, Ph.D., chief scientist. The company, which previously raised $11.4M in venture capital, specializes in road infrastructure images analysis, leveraging artificial intelligence to analyze visual data collected on roads by cameras. 

 Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Farm to Flame

Farm to Flame Energy, Inc. Launches WeFunder Campaign

Farm To Flame Energy, Inc., co-founded by CMU alumnus and Swartz Fellow Kwaku Jyamfi, is engaging in a project with Georgia Pacific, and additionally installing 300 kilowatts of its carbon neutral generators. The company has launched a WeFunder campaign to assist with the project, which will go public in fifteen days. Participants can invest as little as $100.  Find out more and invest here.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Transfr VR (Transfr)

VR Pioneer Transfr, Inc. Raises $35M to Help Workers Explore Careers In High Growth Industries

Transfr VR (Transfr), best known for pioneering the use of virtual reality to simulate on-the-job training, announced it has raised $35M  in Series B funding as it expands into regions and industries most heavily impacted by skills gaps and unemployment. Transfr VR is founded by Tepper School of Business alumnus and CEO Bharani Rajakumar.

 Read more at PRNewswire.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Fifth Season

Fifth Season’s Leadership Pinpoints Central Location and Pittsburgh Headquarters for Faster Scale and Expansion

The vertical farming industry is crowded, and not with many success stories. Fifth Season founder Austin Webb knew that back in 2016 when he cofounded the company—along with co-founders Austin Lawrence and Brac Webb. Two of the biggest challenges facing the industry were (and still are) profitability and scalability. Austin says the company solved those issues with smart manufacturing design using robotics and AI, which gave Fifth Season a competitive edge right from the get-go.

 Read more at Pittsburgh Region.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Coleman Isner

Roshni Surpur

2024 Innovation Scholars Bring Startup Mentality to Carnegie Mellon University

Coleman Isner and Roshni Surpur, two members of the recently announced 2024 class of Innovation Scholars at Carnegie Mellon University's Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, have something in common. They've both done this before.

Isner and Surpur each came into the Innovation Scholars program with their own experience in the entrepreneurship realm. Isner previously founded a startup aimed at improving communication gaps in the K-12 schools, and Surpur led a philanthropic clothing brand whose profits were donated to her high school's financial aid department, helping to fund tuition and educational expenses for students.

 Read more at CMU News.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Innovation Commercialization Fellows

The Swartz Center Announces 2022-2023 Innovation Commercialization Fellows

The CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship recently awarded six Innovation Commercialization Fellowships for 2022-2023. This year’s recipients are: Rui Cheng, Feifei Fu, Vishal Jain, Spencer Matonis, Filip Relander, and Craig Shultz.

The Innovation Commercialization Fellows Program is a yearlong program aimed at accelerating the process of commercializing university research. Fellows are awarded $50K in funding and participate in dedicated workshops and intensive mentoring to pursue their startup idea.

Find out more (pdf) about the new cohort.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Near Earth Autonomy

Near Earth Autonomy Picks Up $10M Investment From Connecticut Aerospace Company

Pittsburgh aviation startup Near Earth Autonomy Inc., makers of autonomous aviation systems for small drones to full-size helicopters, announced it picked up a $10M equity investment from Kaman Corp. (NYSE: KAMN), a Bloomfield, Connecticut-based aerospace and defense company. Near Earth is co-founded by Carnegie Mellon alumni Sanjiv Singh (CEO), Marcel Bergerman (COO), Sebastian Scherer (Principal Robotics Engineer) and Lyle Chamberlain (CTO).

 Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Sheild AI

CMU Spinoff Shield AI Raises $165M to Fuel Development of Its Military Autonomous Flying Systems

Defense tech specialist Shield AI has raised $90 million in equity and $75 million in debt financing. The round was led by Snowpoint Ventures. Based in San Diego, the startup is developing AI-based self-driving tech for aircraft. The funding values the company at $2.3 billion.

CMU Associate Research Professor Nathan Michael, is CTO of Shield AI.

 Read more on Tech Crunch.

Thursday, June 16, 2022


The CMU Swartz Center is excited to announce the VentureBridge 2022 Summer Cohort

The VentureBridge program, part of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, is excited to announce its investment in twelve startups headquartered out of San Francisco, New York, and Pittsburgh—representing brilliant and ambitious alumni founders from Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Harvard, NYU, Stanford and many other universities.

The twelve startups are: Advanced Optronics, AGNI, Alopay, Artyc, BEAM, Brandbass, Jisell, Lumishield Technologies, Optionality, Pyx Labs, Skube Labs, and Voaige.

Find out more. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

URA Ventures Funding

Demand Far Exceeding Supply for New URA Ventures Funding Program Investing in Tech

URA Ventures is a government backed, diversity focused, social impact venture fund that aims to change the face of entrepreneurship. Its mission is to make strategic investments using a tri-fold model thesis—strategic investments in both main street companies (local coffee shops, pizzerias, etc), as well as tech companies, to create both economic growth and capital return. 

In its first forty five days, URA Ventures has received 95+ applications, of which 85% were from M/WBE applicants. The fund is on pace to invest in its first seven companies in mid-July, with monthly investments through December.

To learn more about URA Ventures or to apply, send an email to

Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022


CMU Spinoff Ethics MVP Launches 'Scale With A Purpose'

Ethics MVP, co-founded by former CMU CREATE Lab Director of Outreach Dror Yaron, is a CMU spin-off and a Swartz Center, Project Olympus company that assists people in innovation spaces in developing values into daily practices and organizational habits. This summer, Ethics MVP is proud to partner with COR Methodology (out of NYU) to offer Scale with Purpose, a master class for leaders and teams in companies experiencing significant growth. Understanding your purpose and intentionally defining culture is essential for a company's growth, sustainability and ability to thrive over time. This master class offers a practical, repeatable process.

Learn more.

Friday, June 10, 2022


Astrobotic and NASA Teamed Up For Realistic Test Of Their Lunar Lander and Rover System

Last week, NASA held a public test of its Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The rover will have its delivery supported by North Shore-based Astrobotic’s Griffin lunar lander and will lead new efforts in searching for water on the moon beginning in 2024.


Friday, June 3, 2022

Optionality co-founders: Adam Castelbaum (left) and Alec Baum (right)

CMU Startup Optionality Goes Live with Mobile Trading App

Optionality, a street-smart mobile app designed to help manage risk and shop multiple pre-packaged spreads for casual traders, recently went live in the App Store and Google Play store. Co-founded by Tepper School of Business alumnus and CEO Alec Baum and Adam Castelbaum, Optionality is focused on increasing the transparency and accessibility of the options trading space. The app features multiple options and trading strategies for stocks and ETF’s, presented in a streamlined menu for a more approachable trading process. Optionality is a 2022 VentureBridge participant.


Thursday, June 2, 2022


Gridwise Picks Up $12.7M Series A to Deliver Product, Employee Expansion

Gridwise, the Pittsburgh-based makers of the Gridwise: Gig-Driver Assistant app for Uber, Lyft and other contract workers, announced the close on a $12.7 million Series A as the startup looks to scale out its various services at a heightened and more rapid pace. It also brings the startup's funding to $20M so far since its launch in 2017 by co-founders Ryan Green, CEO, and CMU alumnus Brian Finamore, CTO.

 Read more at Pittsburgh Inno.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Dave Mawhinney

CMU Swartz Center's Dave Mawhinney Shares Why It's The Best Time to Start a Business

In a recent article published by the Insider, CMU Swartz Center executive director Dave Mawhinney shares his thoughts on why now is the best time to start a business.

Technologies like freelance marketplaces, website-building platforms, and social media make entrepreneurship more accessible and inexpensive, said Dave Mawhinney. What's more, these factors also make it a good time to be a 'solepreneur', he added. "When starting a business, your capital needs are as low as they're ever going to be. If you can bootstrap it yourself, you can do that at any time, in any economy, under any situation.

Read more (pdf).