accelerator program alphagear lab 2
Dick Zhang, founder & CEO of Identified, with a model helicopter that can gather data in hazardous environments.

AlphaLab Gear

An offshoot from the more general tech accelerator AlphaLab, this Pittsburgh program focuses on hardware, robotics and "Internet of things" companies. It takes a 5% stake for a $25,000 investment or 9% for $50,000. AlphaLab has graduated an impressive 75 startups; the new program has eight companies currently enrolled.

The mentors from nearby Carnegie Mellon provide the biggest value, according to Hahna Alexander, CTO of Sole Power, which makes a power-generating shoe insole to charge portable devices and graduated from the general accelerator in 2012.

"Whatever you need -- manufacturing and distribution or on the business side, they can connect you to the people to get it done," she says.

Other participants (still in the program)

  • PieceMaker Technologies: 3D printing kiosks for retail stores that let customers personalize products on the spot. The startup aims to pilot the kiosks in April.
  • Saturday Garage: Robotic woodworking and other advanced precision tools for DIY robotics enthusiasts.

First published January 16, 2018: 12:06 PM ET

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