Short on time but want to be ‘in the know’. Who isn’t?

At the Innovation Institute we can help you get set, and ‘in the know’, about all things regarding student entrepreneurship here at the University of Pittsburgh.


We call it the Startup Smash. It’s the ‘one stop shop’ event to find out what is happening during the academic year around student entrepreneurship on Pitt’s campus. Kind of like that ‘one ring to rule them all’ sort of thing, except with a positive spin. Startup Smash is more than an event – it’s an open platform to hear about and discuss the numerous organizations and initiatives that support the Pitt innovation ecosystem.


Let me share a story. At the first Startup Smash we had a student attend who was curious about entrepreneurship. He was headed into his senior year and heard about all the activities we were going to have. He met a lot of the folks at the event. As a result he signed up for a startup weekend event that the Innovation Institute sponsored. There he created a team, and tested his idea. And he had fun. So much so that he competed in the Randall Family Big Idea Competition in the new year. Despite not winning, he continued his pursuit of his idea. As a result of his Pitt success, he was accepted into Thrill Mill, a successful local accelerator, and then into AlphaLab, where he was a star presenter at the annual Demo Day in front of over 800 of the best and brightest in Pittsburgh startup community! All from coming to one meeting to find out more. And you can too.

Startup Smash is jam-packed with things for you in two short hours at the William Pitt Student Union Ballroom right in the center of the campus. Did I mention food?

Let’s walk through why you need to be at Startup Smash:

  • Networking.  In business it’s all about relationships, and more so if you have interest in starting a business, and taking your idea to commercial reality. Startup Smash brings together Pitt students, faculty and staff as well as local investors, entrepreneurs, economic development leaders, accelerator program representatives, support vendors (legal, accounting, marketing, etc.), alumni, current Pitt startups members, and more.
  • Overview to Innovation Institute.  Find out who we are, what we do, and most importantly what we can do for you as a student entrepreneur.
  • Calendar of events.  Mark you calendars for all the activities, competitions, and free services the Innovation Institute offers. You can be in the know as to when and where these events will be held.
  • Student clubs.  Hear about all the student clubs you can join and participate in that support aentrepreneurship and startups These organizations are looking for people like you. A great place to see and meet them all in one place is at Startup Smash.

Startup Smash is being held this year in coordination with the Thrival Innovation + Music Festival. The Thrival Festival introduces a city-wide “innovation campus” — using strategic locations in 6 different neighborhoods that will showcase cutting-edge initiatives that are helping raise Pittsburgh’s national and international profile.

So why wait? Register here to start you up!