Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alphalab Introduces Its Latest Class of Entrepreneurs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Alphalab Introduces Its Latest Class of Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

After considering hundreds of entrepreneurs seeking entrance into one of the nation's top accelerator programs, AlphaLab has unveiled the six that made the cut.

The South Side accelerator introduced its latest class Wednesday during an open coffee event designed to informally introduce mentors to entrepreneurs and introduce the public to the innovations that won over executive director Jim Jen. With a class of CEOs that range from musicians to Rhodes Scholars, AlphaLab officials are excited about what may be produced in the next few weeks.

Benjamine D.T. Liu and Kit Dobyns, two Rhodes Scholars who started clinical research company ResearchWe while they were roommates at Oxford University, researched Pittsburgh after discovering AlphaLab had been ranked the number seven accelerator program in the nation by TechCrunch.

Once they discovered the region's hospital networks and universities would serve as great hubs to test their product, which connects researchers seeking clinical trial subjects with willing participants, applying to the program was an easy decision.

"We were interested in a lot of accelerators, and AlphaLab had the mentorship component we were looking for but they also had the same ethos as we did," said Mr. Liu.

For Atlanta residents Ashwin Muthiah and Harris Gani, founders of artist's marketplace app Easely, AlphaLab's national ranking drew them in but Pittsburgh's tech sector made them want to stick around.

"It's a growing tech scene, and we wanted to be part of that. We wanted to be early adopters who are here to help the city grow its tech scene and to grow with it," Mr. Muthiah said.

Location is everything for two Pittsburgh entrepreneurs who hope their digital apps will be facilitating physical connections throughout the region in coming months.

Vanessa Johnson, who founded location-based mobile app Covey to help new mothers connect with one another in public settings, said she will be recruiting mothers in the next few weeks to try the app and provide customer feedback. …

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