A new and interesting product development accelerator has been launched in Pittsburgh:
Innovation Works announces the launch of AlphaLab, a catalyst for the next generation of software, interactive game design and Internet-related companies. Innovation Works created AlphaLab to help companies rapidly develop their technology, gain user feedback from early alpha or beta releases and move toward successful commercial launch. An intensive six-month program in Pittsburgh for up to six companies per cycle, AlphaLab will provide funding, free office space, expert business advisors and services. Innovation Works engaged an extensive regional and national advisory group of industry experts, entrepreneurs, investors, academics, students and others to help shape the AlphaLab program. To learn more about AlphaLab, please visit www.iwAlphaLab.org.
AlphaLab is now accepting applications for the 2008 Summer/Fall program. The application deadline is March 31, 2008. To apply or sign up to join the user testing community, go to www.iwAlphaLab.org.
In addition to launching AlphaLab, Innovation Works remains committed to the hands-on assistance, investment and resources we provide to our portfolio companies and other businesses. This commitment has made Innovation Works one of the nation’s leading seed-stage investors. To learn more about Innovation Work’s programs and services, visit us at www.innovationworks.org.
What I especially like about this is how it fills a void in Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania. There are a number of services for aspiring entrepreneurs in this area, but I believe they are best suited to biological, medical, and manufacturing companies. The software and Web world is a bit of a special case, and while this area has many of the elements a startup would need, early-stage guidance and seed funding aren’t among them.
I spoke recently with the folks at AlphaLab and I’m impressed with their plans. They seem to have a good grasp of the issues a software or Web startupfaces in its earliest days, and they have concrete plans for helping their companies succeed.
If you’ve been toying with the idea for a killer app or the next big website, this is a great new resource for you.