Innovation Works
Innovation Works
09/08/2013

About the Commercialization Alliance

The Commercialization Alliance has been formed by partners, such as Innovation Works, in conjunction with the federal Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) which is based in Pittsburgh, PA, Morgantown, WV, and Albany, OR to maximize NETL’s technology transfer efforts from the nearly $1 billion of annual, federally-funded research.   The Alliance partners, with the help of URS Corporation, NETL’s primary research and engineering support contractor, identify projects with high market potential to either license the technology or spin out those innovations as startups. In addition, the Alliance advises researchers on ways to make their inventions more attractive … Continue reading

Rich Lunak
Rich Lunak
03/14/2013

Thoughts from a Recovering Roboticist on TechShop

Long before I was President and CEO of IW, I was a roboticist and entrepreneur. Back then, I spent many late nights redesigning portions of our pharmacy robots including end-of-arm toolings, drive mechanics and other components. In order to complete a prototype of a new design, we were forced to use makeshift equipment in our lab or coax a local machine shop owner to prioritize our small orders to meet a critical timeline. It wasn’t the most efficient use of my time, but there were no other options for a cash-strapped, early-stage entrepreneur desperate to meet a deadline.   I had the opportunity … Continue reading

Rich Lunak
Rich Lunak
01/04/2013

Donald H. Jones: A deep and meaningful personal legacy

This article was originally posted in the Pittsburgh Business Times on December 21, 2012.   Pittsburgh has lost one of the founders of our entrepreneurial and investment community in Don Jones, whose vision helped establish the blueprint for Pittsburgh’s vibrant technology economy.   Donald H. Jones’ legacy goes well beyond the facts that he founded four companies that were subsequently acquired, endowed a Center for Entrepreneurship at a world-renowned university, and was managing director at a major regional venture capital firm.   For more than 50 years, Don mentored young entrepreneurs to help them grow successful companies. That act of … Continue reading

Bob Starzynski
Bob Starzynski
03/20/2012

Advanced Energy – The National Dialogue

Last week I was in D.C. attending the first annual meeting of the Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), a new national association that “promotes a better business climate for all segments of the advanced energy industry and helps American companies and workers succeed as the world transitions to a smarter energy future.”   For the past two years IW has been helping to conceptualize and shape the AEE, and in that time, a lot has changed. “Green” and “clean”—two of the most widely used adjectives describing energy interests in the U.S.—have begun to lose their luster in some minds due to the decrease … Continue reading

Craig Gomulka
Craig Gomulka
02/02/2012

Investment Climate in Southwestern PA

As entrepreneurs discuss ways to capitalize their companies for sustainability and growth, the conversation often turns into how and from whom to obtain funding as well as the health of the region’s financing environment. To that end, the Southwest PA (SWPA) region is showing significant signs of growth not only in the levels of VC funding received but in the activity of our local and non-local angel investors.   Southwestern PA’s Fundraising Climate   In examining data supplied by Thomson One, we can be cautiously optimistic. Over the last few years growth in total investment dollars has been trending upward, … Continue reading

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