AlphaLab Launches 5 Pittsburgh Startups

Frank Gruber

In Pittsburgh yesterday, AlphaLab, the three year old startup accelerator program which is part of Innovation Works, one of the most active seed-stage investors in the country, hosted their annual demo day launching five new startups. Innovation Works has created such successes as ModCloth which has raised $19.8 million in funding and mSpoke which was acquired by LinkedIn. AlphaLab was ranked 15th in our USA Startup Accelerator rankings and earlier this year they became part of the TechStars Network.

The AlphaLabs program runs for 20 weeks and offers a $25,000 investment, mentoring and hands-on assistance, weekly educational sessions and access to advisors, investors and alumni along with office space and legal support.

The five startups that launched in Pittsburgh were as follows:

RhoMania has developed Grail, an innovative dynamic platform that helps demystify the process of choosing, buying, and experiencing wine in a restaurant. It offers an iPad wine menu that helps consumers feel better about wine purchase decisions, thus restaurants will be able to increase wine drinking revenues. Bottoms up.

RhoMania at AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

RhoMania at AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

GenevaMars presents Zachy the Robot, an interactive cartoon series for the iPad and other touch computing devices that teaches young children basic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts. This startup creates original content for children.

Zachy The Robot at AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

Zachy The Robot at AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

Wawadoo is building the recommendation engine for events that will help users find out about the local events they would be most interested in. This sounds a lot like Plancast which we've covered previously but with a more direct “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” active input for improving event recommendations.

Tutor Technologies - AlphaLab 2011 - Photo by Doug Michaels

Leigh Ann from Tutor Technologies – AlphaLab 2011 – Photo by Doug Michaels

Tutor Technologies is developing a web-based Intelligent Tutoring System platform capable of providing students with individualized instruction and immediate feedback on a wide range of Science and Engineering disciplines. This is something I wish was around when I was in college.

Delirium is creating Reverb, a product that allows users to easily synchronize, share and back up their address book and contact information across multiple services and devices. I currently use MobileMe but my Google Contacts don't sync all that well with MobileMe, so I hope that Delirium can deliver as they describe. They are currently looking to raise $250K to continue to build out the system.

AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

AlphaLab Demo Day 2011

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Frank Gruber is the cofounder, CEO and Executive Editor of Tech.Co (formerly Tech Cocktail). He is the author of the book, Startup Mixology, Tech Cocktail’s Guide to Building, Growing, and Celebrating Startup Success. He is also a startup advisor and investor to startups. Find Frank Gruber online and follow him on Twitter at @FrankGruber.