The Blast Furnace is the University of Pittsburgh student accelerator that provides emerging entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need form a corporation and grow and develop their business. The program gives students of all levels across Pitt access to a deep mentor network, co-working space, and a hands-on, experiential curriculum. Upon completion, students are ready to launch their business, raise funding, or apply to accelerators such as AlphaLab, AlphaLab Gear, Ascender and IdeaFoundry.

Program Structure

  • Eight (8) week commitment with two sessions per week. (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 P.M.)
  • Sessions held at the Big Idea Center (O’Hara Street between Thackeray and University Place) during May and June.
  • Students given swipe-access to the Big Idea Center to work on their ideas with their team during the course of the program.
  • Weekly deliverables requested to drive progress in your idea or business model.
  • Teams have access to a deep bench of experienced mentors and coaches.
  • Scheduled, yet flexible enough sessions to allow for an effective balance of work and education between student teams and on-site professionals.
  • The program culminates with a specialized networking event for participants in the student accelerator and the Pittsburgh innovation & entrepreneurship community.



Applications are closed and will re-open for the next Blast Furnace in 2020.

This is an advanced student accelerator for established teams and ideas to receive in-depth coaching and mentorship to bring their idea to market.

This program is open to anyone with or without Pitt IP. If you would like to discuss your idea with one of the Big Idea Center Entrepreneurs in Residence, feel free to reach out and set up an appointment.





What Participants Are Saying

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