VOL. 25 2021   Impact   SEptember  
From the Director

The new academic year is barely underway, and Pitt innovators have already hit the ground running in pursuing the commercial application of their discoveries.

I’m pleased to report that our current cohort of the First Gear commercialization program is the largest ever, with 17 innovation teams working one-on-one with business mentors and Innovation Institute staff to explore the commercial potential of their innovations.

You can find below several other opportunities available this fall for advancing a Pitt-developed innovation from the lab or classroom to the market, including the Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Competition and the next cohort of the Chancellor’s Gap Fund. 

With the return to campus for the new semester, we are hoping to see more of our innovators and partners face-to-face while following the University’s Covid-19 policies. We are beginning to bring more of our team back into our offices, and will soon let you know when our building is open for drop-ins. To ensure you get the help you need it is still best to make an appointment with our staff but if you are unsure of who you need to speak to, you can always contact us at



Featured Innovators
Upcoming Events
Pitt Innovators in the News
Commercialization and Funding Opportunities
Featured Technology Collection
Rhonda Schuldt Named Director of Pitt Big Idea Center
Schuldt, who had been serving as an entrepreneur in residence at the Big Idea Center, replaces Babs Carryer, who was the founding director of the center and is credited with vastly expanding innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for Pitt students.
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Featured Innovators
Gusenoffs outside
Beth and Jeff Gusenoff were recruited to Pitt to advance their pioneering fat grafting surgery for foot conditions, and along the way have become entrepreneurs with the support of the University's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
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Upcoming Events
  SEPTEMBER 9 & 16
Big Idea Center Information Sessions
Learn about experiential innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities available to Pitt students of all levels.
Sept. 9
12:00 pm
Sept. 16
6:00 pm

Start Smart Legal: Introduction to Startup Law

Learn about startup law from experienced lawyers.
5:‌00 -6:‌30 pm
  SEPTEMBER 29 & 30
3 Rivers Venture Fair
Held every 18 months, this is Pittsburgh and the Ohio Valley's premier venture capital conference.
Pitt Innovators in the News
Pitt Immunotherapy Startup Raises $20 million and Hires CEO
Pittsburgh Business Times
Novasenta uses machine learning to identify drug targets and understand a tumor's microenvironment, including its metabolism and immune reponse. The funding round was led by UPMC Enterprises.
Read More >
Commercialization and Funding Opportunities
Chancellor's Gap Fund Accepting Applications
Email 2 Chancellors Gap Fund

Awards of $25,000 to $75,000 will be made to projects where key proof of concept experiments, data or prototypes can make a significant difference to the commercial and social impact of a technology, idea or innovation.

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Start Smart Legal Series
cathryn-lavery-67851-unsplash start smart
Free and open to the public, Start Smart covers a wide range of legal issues related to startups from intellectual property protection to hiring to raising capital and more.
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Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Competition Offers $35,000 in Prizes for Life Science Innovations
wells health care competition
Now in its 11th year, the Wells Student Healthcare Competition provides a funding opportunity for Pitt labs to advance their discoveries toward the market while offering students and postdocs exposure to the university's innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
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  Featured Technology Collection

Education and Training Technologies


We've seen educational technology advance in leaps and bounds over the last year, as innovators rose to meet the challenges of socially-distanced work and school settings. Even before that, Pitt inventors were developing tools such as educational exercise app for liver transplant candidates and other gamified methods of learning new concepts. These technologies are aimed at training the next generation of doctors, allowing teachers to engage students at every level, and helping individuals achieve their academic, career, and personal goals as we slowly return to in-person settings.

Recent Patents
Available Technologies
University of Pittsburgh Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship   1st Floor Gardner Steel Conference Center (GSCC)  130 Thackeray Avenue  Pittsburgh,  PA   15260   USA

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