VOL. 22 2021   Impact   April/May  
From the Director

After the unusual year we have been through I am delighted to invite you all to enjoy the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Celebration of Innovation. This is our opportunity to pause for a moment to recognize the trailblazing innovation of Pitt faculty, students and regional small businesses. We will be presenting eight awards this year, including inaugural awards for License of the Year, Startup of the Year and Small Business of the Year. The event will be held April 22 at 4:30 p.m. on the Innovation Institute’s YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel.


Even as we take time to celebrate, innovation never rests, and we have many opportunities for Pitt innovators to explore this spring and summer to begin their commercialization journeys. I’m pleased to announce the return of the Chancellor’s Gap Fund. This fund made available by the Chancellor is intended to accelerate promising discoveries on the path to commercialization with grants of up to $75,000.


We are also offering two versions of our introductory commercialization program – a condensed version in partnership with the Upstate New York I-Corps Node beginning Monday, as well as our standard Pitt Ventures First Gear program beginning May 13, the latter of which provides $3,000 to assist with market research and customer discovery interview activities.


We are also presenting a partnership opportuniy with Pfizer through our Office of Industry and Economic Partnerships. You can learn more about all these below.


Evan Facher


News and Announcements
Featured Startup
Upcoming Events

Commercialization Opportunities

Featured Technologies
News and Announcements
External Partnerships Come Into Focus Under Joe Havrilla
In a Q&A with the University Times, Joe Havrilla, director of the Office of Industry and Economic Engagement, outlines his goal to strengthen Pitt's ties to industry to create impact for Pitt research.
Read More >
$20,000 Awarded in School of Rehabilitation Sciences Challenge
The SHRS Challenge was established to increase the number of research projects from faculty and students the school that pursue commercial translation of their ideas.
Read More >
Featured Startup
Innovate, Partner, Repeat
MARCH 31, 2021 Mike Yeomans

Steve Thorne took a leap of faith when he left his Pitt faculty position to launch a startup based on his research. It is paying off. He recently signed his second partnership agreement with a major pharmaceutical company to develop cancer-fighting viruses and has in-licensed additional intellectual property from two former Pitt colleagues.

Read More
Upcoming Events
  APRIL 22
Investments in Pittsburgh's Technology Sector: Trends and Highlights

Ernst & Young LLP and Innovation Works, Inc. recently launched their ninth annual review of Pittsburgh's technology investment landscape. The report reviews investment and exit activity in the Pittsburgh region from 2011 to 2020.

Join us to hear Rich Lunak, President & CEO of Innovation Works and Leon Hoffman, EY Pittsburgh  Managing Partner, talk about the exciting findings.

1-2 p.m.
  APRIL 2‌2
Innovation Institute Celebration of Innovation

Join us as we recognize the accomplishments of Pitt innovators who persevered under difficult circumstances to commercialize their discoveries.

We will be giving out eight awards, including the Marlin Mickle Outstanding Innovator Award.

4:‌30 p.m.
  MAY 14
1st Step: Mechanics of Starting a Small Business
Thinking of starting a small business? Begin exploring the size of your market and what marketing tools you’ll need to attract customers, learn about business structures, access helpful resources, learn about available funding options and understand what you need to formally establish your business. 
9-11:30 a.m.
Commercialization Funding, Education and Partnership Opportunities
Chancellor's Gap Fund
Cathedral Pitt Innovates Open-618543-edited

The Chancellor's Gap Fund has been established to provide awards of up to $75,000 to accelerate promising projects on the path to market via licensing or startup formation. Initial applications are due by 5 p.m. on May 2.

Read More
I-Corps Regional Short Course

Explore the commercial viability of your research through a condensed version of the Innovation Institute's introductory commercialization program, in conjunction with the Upstate New York I-Corps Node. Course runs  April 19-May 19, 2021


Read More
Pitt Ventures First Gear
Dr Myers First Gear 1 quote

First Gear offers hands-on mentorship that takes an inventor through the necessary steps in creating a go-to-market plan that can result in the creation of a new enterprise or licensing agreement for the technology. First Gear participants also receive $3,000 in funding to help validate the market-readiness of the innovation and qualify for additional NSF funding. The next cohort begins May 13.


Read More
Pfizer Call for Proposals
Pfizer Funding Opportunity

Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTIs) are searching for new research programs within their strategic emerging scientific areas. Expressions of interest are required by May 1. Pfizer would like to speak with investigators prior to formal application submission.


Read More

Featured Technologies:


Our immune system is our first line of defense against disease, but it can also play a self-sabotaging role. Technologies designed to bolster, improve, and restore immune system function or, on the flip side, control or suppress undesirable immune function have allowed Pitt researchers to reinvigorate exhausted T cells, identify and treat infants at risk for necrotizing entercolitis, and pioneer new methods of suppressing lethal inflammation.
Recent Patents
Search 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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