We are thrilled to announce the incredible companies for our next cohort!
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Applications are now open! Apply now

We help hardware entrepreneurs build strong products and companies.

Our program is completely custom to meet a company’s immediate needs ranging from developing new versions of a prototype, to deep-dive financial analysis, to design improvements for large scale manufacturing. We help companies build their products reliably, at scale, and at a price their customers are willing to pay.
Whether you are launching your initial product or getting ready to manufacture at scale, AlphaLab Gear helps companies reach these points faster through up to $100,000 in investment, hands-on 1:1 engagement, network building, office and workshop space and more.

ALG at a Glance


Investments Made


Follow-On Funding

We set founders up for success during our program and beyond.

Months one to three
In the first half of our program, we lay the groundwork to achieve your goals.
Receive the first half ($50,000) of your investment
Set customized goals and create a plan to achieve them
Kick off Manufacturing Bootcamp, intelligently developing your prototype for scale
Refine value proposition based on customer discovery and define sales & marketing strategy
Connect with Innovation Works’ resources and Global Accelerator Network perks
Months four to six
In the second half of our program, we prepare you for sustainable growth
Complete the Manufacturing Bootcamp by finishing a comprehensive manufacturing package for ongoing version development
Leverage your new customer acquisition strategy to secure pilots and customers
Prepare for fundraising by developing a vetted one-pager and investor presentation
Secure your cash flow and fundraising needs through comprehensive financial modeling
Complete the Portfolio Showcase and meet investors 
Upon completion of customized goals, receive the second half of your investment ($50,000)
Ongoing Support
We have a variety of ways to support you after AlphaLab Gear ends.
Up to $800,000 in follow-on investment from the Innovation Works seed fund
Continued access to our office space
Invitations to portfolio programming and events

Featured Companies

Ryan Green, CEO of Gridwise


Module was started in 2016 with the goal of making good design more accessible. Over the last few years, we’ve developed and refined the Module Spec based on years of customer research and feedback. With a design that feels contemporary and comfortable, the Spec successfully balances costs, quality and a contemporary aesthetic. Our mission is to support our customers' health and wellbeing in a well designed, energy-efficient, highly functional home that will last 100 years.
Ryan Green, CEO of Gridwise


Arieca is leading the commercialization of easy to deploy liquid metal embedded elastomer (LMEE) technologies, which enable unprecedented performance in applications across semiconductor, aerospace, automotive, and healthcare industries. Our TIMbber product line targets leading semiconductor thermal interface material (TIM) challenges. Our Thubber® product line is developing solutions for future stretchable display and medical applications.

Alumni Companies

The AlphaLab Gear Team

Kevin Dowling, Ph.D., Managing Director, Robotics Factory

Dr. Dowling was the CEO of Kaarta, a company that provided world-class 3D mapping and localization solutions for people and robots. Previously, Kevin was VP of Engineering for 4Moms, a consumer products company where he led the 50-person engineering team. Before that, he was VP of R&D at Cambridge-based MC10, built and led the engineering team, and drove MC10’s high-performance semiconductor-based stretchable electronics technology into products and applications.

Aaron Tainter, Director of Accelerator Programs

Aaron Tainter is the Director of Accelerator Programs for the IW family of accelerators, overseeing AlphaLab, AlphaLab Health, AlphaLab Gear, and the Robotics Factory. With a rich background in finance, venture capital, and operations, Aaron brings a wealth of expertise to guide companies in optimizing their financials, operational plans, and fundraising strategies. Outside of the accelerators, he enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports as well as coaching the sports of his young boys.

Jessi Mazzoni, Senior Program Manager, Gear/Hardware/Robotics Accelerator

Prior to joining Gear, Jessi led a Pittsburgh-based medical software company, MiJourney, through growth and eventual acquisition by Smith+Nephew as the company’s Director of Operations and Product. For the past year and a half, she completed a Social Innovation Fellowship with 412 Food Rescue while earning her Master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon. From 2015-2017 Jessi lived and worked in Zambia as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In her spare time, she creates a podcast, promotes her very serious book, and enjoys rock climbing and biking.

Dejana Raggi, Program Coordinator, AlphaLab Gear/Hardware/Robotics

Dejana taught middle school English Language Arts (ELA) in the public and private school setting. She developed and implemented a digital curriculum for ELA, used online platforms to bolster student engagement, and differentiated content to meet the needs of all learners. Additionally, she worked at Breakthrough Pittsburgh as an Instructional Coach during their intensive summer teaching program. In her role as Program Coordinator at AlphaLab Gear, she looks forward to developing programming and facilitating professional growth for entrepreneurs. Dejana holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Allegheny College.

Afshan Khan, Portfolio Executive

Afshan was CEO of Focal Point Products, an international manufacturer and distributor of polyurethane millwork building materials for home construction, commercial projects, and building renovation. Earlier in her career, Afshan held a number of key positions in Xerox Corporation, in business development, M&A, and strategic planning. Afshan holds an MBA from the Carnegie Mellon Tepper Business School, and a BS in Business Administration and English from Duquesne University.

Jeff McDaniel, Portfolio Executive

Jeff has 15 years’ experience in innovation, corporate strategy, manufacturing and energy technologies, and operations in both early stage and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Innovation Works/AlphaLab Gear, Jeff was in charge of business development and strategy for the emerging technology R&D portfolio for Westinghouse Electric Company. Before joining Westinghouse, Jeff held marketing, strategy, and development roles at the Ex One Company, a global manufacturing technology incubator headquartered in western Pennsylvania. He led the successful commercialization of Imagen, LLC, a manufacturer of dental implant and bio-medical devices through 3D printing, becoming that startup’s General Manager and Vice President. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Naval Academy and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Matt Verlinich, Senior Program Manager, Manufacturing Program

Matt was the founding General Manager of TechShop Pittsburgh. He then went on to found Clear Ice Rocks, where he invented, prototyped, crowdfunded, mass-produced, and fulfilled orders to over 55 different companies. In his role as Manufacturing Program Associate, Matt engages with accelerator and early stage hardware companies to identify design and manufacturing needs, and provides connections to resources for design for manufacturing, prototyping, components, and supply chain partners.

Connor Claussen, Program Coordinator, Manufacturing Program Associate

As a Pittsburgh native, entrepreneurship has been Connor’s passion for as long as he can remember. He is deeply fascinated by innovative businesses and their ability to make the world a better place through their products and services. Connor successfully founded, operated, and eventually sold a consumer packaged goods (CPG) food brand. During this venture, he was proud to lead efforts to implement and acquire USDA Organic Certification for our manufacturing plant, which was a significant milestone for his company. This achievement was a testament to the hard work, dedication, and commitment to provide high-quality, organic food products to his customers. Connor is excited to continue pursuing his passion for entrepreneurship, learning, and making a positive impact on the world.

Innovation Works Support

Jordan Marinkovich

Innovation Works Staff, Jordan Marinkovich
"I'll make sure you can leverage all of IW's networks, resources, and programs."

Rae Mauer

"I'll help prepare you for events such as showcases and venture fairs."

Jane Joseph

Innovation Works Staff, Jane Joseph
"I'll help you refine your messaging and build brand strategy."

Peter Erin

Innovation Works Staff, Peter Erin
"I'll work to connect you to relevant investors."

Dwayne Tabb

"I'll provide web design and content assistance as you need it."

Sophie Burkholder

Innovation Works Staff, Sophie Burkholder
"I'll teach you the basics of venture capital and fundraising."
office hours

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You'll be able to meet virtually with a member of the AlphaLab Health team