Alumni Night

"I am Dani. I am from Spain. And I am a reasonably good lover." I thought that would get your attention. It also caught the attention of attendees of this week’s Blast Furnace, the student accelerator at the University of Pittsburgh. It was ‘Alumni Night’ at the Furnace. However the…

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One Accelerator Launch, Two Serial Entrepreneurs, and Three Takeaways

This week the University of Pittsburgh launched its new student accelerator dubbed The Blast Furnace (a tip of the hat to Pittsburgh’s steel making history) of which I am its director. A blast furnace, according to that great oracle of all knowledge(!), Wikipedia, is a “type of metallurgical furnace used…

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What Big Idea Means to Me

The Randall Family Big Idea competition is our flagship competition here at the Innovation Institute, the main reason we're so proud of it: the students. So we wanted to take the chance to share with you some of their thoughts on the competition: Dirt Cheap Power, Addy Klonicki "The faculty…

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Are You Ready to Accelerate?

Take a moment to consider how many things you want to learn to do. What's on your list? What's holding you back from getting started? What if you could move that process along faster? Now instead of directing that desire at, say, learning to play the piano or becoming a…

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Big Idea Overview

It’s an exciting time to be at Pitt. Two years ago the only programs for students encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship existed only within specific campus schools and departments. Today, thanks to the Innovation Institute, which spans the whole university, all schools and all departments, we provide programming to all students,…

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Behind the Judges Table

As an intern at the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, I consider myself one of the luckiest people at the university. My job allows me to see all of the amazing and inspiring ideas that arise from Pitt students, from undergraduates to post-docs. However, no event showcases our school’s indisputable…

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8 Takeaways from Zev Siegl

The University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute and the Career Development and Placement Assistance office hosted Zev Siegl, co-founder of Starbucks and renowned entrepreneur. Zev narrated the humble beginnings of what is now one of largest and most recognizable brands in America. It was an incredible learning experience for the almost…

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2nd Annual Startup Weekend

The Innovation Institute hosted their 2nd annual Startup Weekend in partnership with Career Development and Placement Services in January. The weekend was devoted to letting students develop teams and ideas that could potentially be startups. The students came from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from neuroscience majors to law students.…

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Pitt’s 1st Annual Student Startup Competition

The Innovation Institute kicked off its first ever 24-hour SmashMash on November 14th here on Pitt’s campus. The event brought together approximately 65 students from a diverse array of fields, ranging from computer science to biomedical engineering. Despite their different backgrounds, these participants all convened for a common purpose—to create…

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