From Gluten-Free Beer to Cosmetics: AlphaLab Accelerator Demos 6 Startups

AlphaLab, the startup accelerator based out of Pittsburgh, is graduating its latest class of six startups today.

The 20-week program provides $25,000 in funding and office space to selected companies.

“This cycle is … a reflection of the robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pittsburgh with strong representation from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and Startup Weekend-Pittsburgh,” says Jim Jen, director of AlphaLab.

Here are the six startups that will present at today’s demo day:

  • Aurochs Brewing Company: Makers of gluten-free beer that aims to be as tasty as a craft beer. Their brewery is located in Pittsburgh. Cofounders Doug Foster and Ryan Bove are both gluten-intolerant, and they’re working with third cofounder and Army vet Ryan Husted.
  • AutoRef: A marketplace for finding and negotiating used car deals, to save time at the dealership and prevent discrimination. Cofounders Mike Pena and Todd Medema are managing teams in Pittsburgh and Santa Monica.
  • CollegeZen: A college recommendation site that looks at your academics, extracurriculars, and location preferences.
  • FutureDerm: A beauty blog that also has its own line of products, starting with a retinol. Founded by Nicki Zevola, a top beauty blogger.
  • Treatspace: A health site where doctors can build their professional profiles and share information with patients. It grew out of the Nerve Medical digital agency and is led by cofounders Rick Cancelliere, Matthew Stadler, Alvin Koh, and Alex Liu.
  • Tunessence: A program that acts as your digital guitar teacher. Created by a team of musicians and engineers.

The AlphaLab demo day will also showcase technologies being developed at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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