With the inauguration of a new mayor comes the continuation of a City of Pittsburgh-sponsored accelerator that started under the previous one.A few days before Mayor Ed Gainey's swearing in ceremony, PGH Lab announced a new cohort of startups that would work with the City to launch pilots for their products and services in an effort to gain valuable market feedback. Local government, for its part, gets the advantage of gauging the feasibility and interest in new technology it's considering for implementation. Alumni of the program include companies and organizations such as Meta Mesh Wireless Communications, CleanRobotics and Honeycomb Credit. Though the companies for this seventh cohort were chosen according to goals outlined by former mayor Bill Peduto's administration, they'll work to align those with new ones from Gainey's, as Trever Stoll, a civic innovation specialist in the City's Department of Innovation and Performance, told Technical.ly. He specified that the selection process for the accelerator was agnostic and separate from both administrations. Seven companies were chosen out of a total pool of 13 who applied, Stoll said. Common themes across many of them involve the use of tech and other products to improve equity and sustainability across different environments. "Following our commitment to highlight equity and inclusion under previous cohorts, we continued these effort while launching our call to action and application process for the 7.0 Cohort," he said. "One of our goals here at PGH Lab is to use this platform to uplift our local startups while identifying innovative solutions for the city and our partnering authorities." The latest cohort of companies will benefit from new insights of Alaa Mohamed, a former policy analyst in Peduto's cabinet who recently took on the role of senior civic innovation specialist for the City's Civic Innovation Office. While the accelerator itself does not offer any funding, the mentorship opportunities, valuable alumni network, and chance to test products with the support of local government offer a chance for unique growth and development. Meet the seven companies in the first cohort of 2022:Dashcam for your Bike app to help bikers record rides with their phone cameras and share dangerous moments on the road. Its LinkedIn company page also lists the data visualization site RCVis.com as another of its projects.company's plans for growth and customer acquisition in the new year.
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.-30-