Helping great founders build great companies.
We help startups engage with customers early and often in order to find true product-market fit.
AlphaLab is Innovation Works’ nationally ranked software accelerator, an immersive program with funding for early stage tech companies. Our focus is on helping entrepreneurs quickly figure out the best way to build and grow their companies. AlphaLab is different from other accelerators for two main reasons: we focus on the earlier stages of initial product and customer development, and we keep our cohorts small with 6-8 companies per cycle for a more personal and tailored experience.
Our philosophy for building a company is simple – engage with your customers early and often in order to find true product-market fit through quick iterations. Throughout and after the program, AlphaLab provides:
- Connections to top mentors, experts, and our robust alumni network;
- Weekly programming by industry leaders;
- Office space in a collaborative yet structured work environment;
- Up to $50K in funding and the opportunity to raise money from the Innovation Works seed fund;
- An $800,000+ value in perks through GAN.
In short, you’ll learn faster, build networks more quickly, learn from each other, strengthen your team, and gain greater visibility. But don’t just take our word for it. Ten of its alumni companies have been acquired, including Black Locus (Home Depot), NoWait (Yelp) and Shoefitr (Amazon). Our alums have gone on to raise more than $100M in follow-on funding.
Have questions about AlphaLab? Want more information about how to apply? Visit their website at alphalab.org.
Manufacturing aware from day one.
AlphaLab Gear is one of the longest programs around because we know what it takes to get a hardware startup off the ground. We get hardware. And whether you come to us with an idea or a prototype, we’re thinking about what it takes to build it reliably, at scale and at a price your customers are willing to pay.
There are two points in time when hardware companies are best equipped to fundraise and scale successfully:
- When they have identified their first target market and proven that customers will pay to use their product, and
- When they’re ready to manufacture at scale.
To help companies reach these points faster, we’ve divided our program into two sequential modules: the first one focuses on market validation, and the second on manufacturing at scale.
Market Validation: 21 weeks (April through August) focusing on customer discovery, prototyping, legal and accounting, business model development, product iteration and customer traction.
Manufacturing at Scale: 15 weeks (September through December) focusing on design for manufacturing, tooling, regulatory, quality control, vendor negotiations, inventory management/fulfillment, and connections to manufacturers and supply chains.
These are separate programs with separate applications, but together they are designed to take a company from an initial idea or prototype, through engaging early customers, to fulfilling demand by manufacturing at scale.
Our model works. Over 85% of our alumni raise follow-on funding within six months of Demo Day. And as a program of Innovation Works, the 8th most active seed-stage investor in the country, there are opportunities for seed and follow-on funding, support from our Executives in Residence, and connections to a huge network of investors and corporate partners. We’re located in Pittsburgh, the center of hardware and robotics. Uber, Google, Ford, and others have all found a home here. Whether you want to manufacture locally, regionally or globally we’ve got the connections and expertise to get you there.
Want to learn more about AlphaLab Gear? Want more information about how to apply? Check them out at alphalabgear.org.