The Innovation Institute provides experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence and business mentors from various fields to help Pitt Innovators & Pitt students move their ideas toward commercialization. They are available by appointment year-round.Learn More
The Pitt Ventures Student Challenge is open to all students who are working on Pitt research projects or intellectual property. Entrepreneurial students are supported by a faculty member and given the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial interests, build their resume, and get involved in Pitt’s impactful new technologies.
New for 2020! Winning entrepreneurial student teams (individual or group) will receive up to $1000 in cash.
We bring you face-to-face with the experts to answer your startup investor, legal, regulatory questions and more. Take advantage of our new office hours with experts from companies who do it daily!Learn More
The First Gear program helps shape Pitt inventions originating from University research from early-stage discovery to products and services that can be taken to market. First Gear offers hands-on guidance and mentorship that takes helps the inventor create a go-to-market plan that can result in the development of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the innovation. As a designated NSF I-Corps site, First Gear participants also receive $3,000 to help validate the market-readiness of the innovation, and qualify for additional NSF funding of larger amounts.Learn More
For University of Pittsburgh students who are developing innovations that can positively impact people’s lives in areas other than healthcare.Learn More
The Michael G. Wells Competition is sponsored by the Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Fund, and is for University of Pittsburgh students who are developing innovations related to the healthcare field.Learn More
The Big Idea Center, as part of Pitt's Innovation Institute, has partnered with Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, School of Computing and Information, and Swanson School of Engineering to bring the first-ever Innovation Living Learning Community (LLC) program to the University of Pittsburgh. This program provides freshman students with an interest in innovation the ability to live together their first year and be exposed to an array of programming and activities related to innovation and entrepreneurship.Learn More
The Innovation Institute’s affiliate, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, hosts two workshops a month through its Small Business Development Center (SBDS) to assist entrepreneurs in addressing issues related to starting a business.Learn More
The Start Smart legal seminar series is a joint effort of the Innovation Institute, the Innovation Practice Institute at the Pitt School of Law, and Project Olympus at Carnegie Mellon University. Starting any business presents many legal questions. Start Smart is designed to provide legal assistance to entrepreneurs, both from Pitt and CMU, and the community at large. The series is sponsored by Pittsburgh law firm K&L Gates.Learn More
The Blast Furnace is a student accelerator providing access to a deep mentor network, inspirational co-working space, and a rich curriculum preparing students for creating and growing their business ideas.Learn More
To continue growing the University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the increased involvement of Pitt alumni is crucial. Thousands of Pitt alumni are either successful entrepreneurs, or in a position to offer professional mentoring to Pitt faculty and student innovators in areas ranging from intellectual property and business law, to marketing, sales, finance, human resources, and more.
The Innovation Institute is also seeking business, market and technical input on individual Pitt innovations to help us prioritize our portfolio and focus on the best opportunities in order to reduce the time to market for these discoveries. A brief review of an innovation by an industry “expert,” can provide a great value to the University and keep alum connected to the innovation ecosystem.