Blast Furnace, the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute’s student startup accelerator, has selected 11 student teams to participate in the Spring 2016 cohort.

With the new cohort, Blast Furnace will have fostered 46 student startup teams in less than one year of operation. The selection process for the current cohort included the largest and most competitive application pool to date, comprised of students from schools and departments across the campus and at all levels, from undergraduate through postdoctoral.

“After an extensive review process, we are now excited to announce the 11 teams that have been selected into the Blast Furnace Spring 2016 Cohort. The quality of the participants in this class is a clear reflection of the success of our program and the ingenuity of Pitt students, who are demonstrating a hunger for entrepreneurship,” said Greg Coticchia, Director of the Blast Furnace.

The 11 companies selected for the Spring 2016 Cohort are:

  • Hail Shield led by Joseph Zappitelli/ Engineering
  • Chronic Pain Tracker led by Stephanie Myal/Medicine
  • Diaponics led by James Maier/Engineering
  • GradeShaman led Grant Jacoby/CBA
  • Claybot led Mario Nicolia/CBA
  • Lytmus led Vinh Luong/Computer Science
  • Local Oceans led by Zachary Miller/Engineering
  • IoT H2O led by Brandon Contino/Engineering
  • LabKind led by Ray Funahashi /Medicine
  • Complaint led by Eliza Gilpin/Computer Science
  • Cyclosa led by Melodi Reich/Information Science

Blast Furnace brings together business domain experts, successful entrepreneurs and investors familiar with early stage markets to create a learning platform for student innovators and their startups. A Blast Furnace cohort consists of an intense eight-week program in which the selected startups are mentored in all aspects of launching a sustainable and successful business.

By drawing on the Blast Furnace’s large network of successful professionals, business experts and entrepreneurs, students involved in the program are guided toward creating successful companies that can establish market leadership positions. The program concludes on June 9, 2016, with a Demo Day where the students will pitch and demo their ideas to an audience of VIPs from Pittsburgh’s startup scene.

Investors, partners, and future applicants are encouraged to attend Demo Day and meet the spring cohort to experience the energy and breadth of ideas put forward by Pitt students.

Blast Furnace has recently announced a crowdsourcing effort to raise fund to support its activities on EngagePitt. To donate to the Blast Furnace , please go to: