Pittsburgh Can Pittsburgh Grow to be a Heart for Life Sciences? Here’s a listing of startup sources to make that occur

As Pittsburgh advances in technology sectors like robotics, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence, some are wondering what the city’s next big horizon might be. In recent events, it was heard on the street that it could be life sciences.

A recent public offering from a local biopharmaceutical company and expertise from healthcare systems such as UPMC or the University of Pittsburgh Medical School convinced some technology leaders that Pittsburgh has great potential to become a center for life sciences. However, to get there, existing startups need to grow and attract the heavy investments it takes to work on clinical trials.

Technically compile a list of local resources trying to achieve this. From accelerators to network communities to healthcare partnerships, these groups and organizations all play a key role in making the life sciences dream come true in Pittsburgh. We plan to update this list later this month as we find more resources in our coverage, but here are some to get you started. Send an email to with suggestions for more.

This startup accelerator is made for healthcare and life sciences Innovation works helps bring young companies to market during a six-month program by taking the often complicated path to clinical trials and FDA approvals. Like other accelerators at Innovation Works, AlphaLab Health offers founders the opportunity to network with one another, with the community and with local investors. The accelerator partners with Allegheny Health Network, also to give entrepreneurs access to medical know-how there. Those selected for the cohort will also receive up to $ 100,000 in early-stage funding and have the potential to become an Innovation Works portfolio company.

This breakfast series serves as a resource for those looking to network within the life sciences industry. The idea is to bring people from the private sector, public work and academic research together to build an innovation community with shared resources and mentoring. The casual breakfast takes place every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. either in the LifeX Labs Buildings near the Hot Metal Bridge or on zoom.

In addition to hosting the weekly BioBreakfasts, LifeX Labs also acts as a support hub for life science companies in the area, helping them with commercialization, access to capital and running the business. In doing so, LifeX Labs helps eliminate some of the risk associated with investing in the life sciences and makes its portfolio companies more attractive to individuals and venture capitalists alike. As an accelerator and as a general goal for workshops, seminars, office hours and lecture series, LifeX Labs is worth participating in for every life sciences entrepreneur or company.

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, founded in 2002, aims to develop medical expertise in Pittsburgh economically in order to expand the local life sciences community. With a portfolio of companies in medical devices, healthcare IT, diagnostics, and more, PLSG aims to provide the medical professionals behind these companies with executives who can take businesses to the next commercial level of success. The organization also acts as a resource hub for anyone interested in life sciences in academia, the private sector, and other interested parties.

An initial announcement of the formation of this alliance came earlier this summer, led by the University of Pittsburgh with $ 1.2 million in grants from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Although the membership-based organization is not fully up and running, a Pitt representative at a recent event indicated that there will be more news about the alliance before the end of the year. Once established, the group will aim to address the strategic challenges of making Pittsburgh a center for life sciences by nurturing the community among nonprofits, private sector companies, civil servants and others.

The local branch of this organization aims to promote and support women in the life sciences industry. Through community events, webinars, mentoring, founder forums, and more, this group aims to build a network of women in Pittsburgh corporations, colleges, and other life sciences organizations.

As part of the larger UPMC healthcare system, UPMC Enterprises is a program that focuses on helping early-stage life science companies and giving them access to the medical expertise and clinical environment of the nonprofit healthcare organization. As part of the UPMC Enterprises portfolio, companies can get direct feedback on their technology and test it on real patients. The program is primarily focused on helping companies with digital health solutions or translational medicine, and its current portfolio includes growing companies such as Shorten and ALung technologies.

Sophie Burkholder is Corps member 2021-2022 for Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that brings young journalists together with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Foundations.


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