Professional Development

Resource Roundup: CMU is ready for a fall of tech entrepreneurship with a startup bootcamp and seminar series

Check out these seven new resources available in Pittsburgh this fall for tech novices and experts alike, from coding bootcamps to legal seminars to biz growth office hours.

Sunset over Pittsburgh.

(Photo by Flickr user Matt Evans, used via a Creative Commons license)

Resource Roundup is a look at open applications for business and career-building programs around the region. Want to tell us about a program or new opportunity for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at pittsburgh@technical.ly.


As summer winds down an we look ahead to fall, now is a great time to engage with some of the upcoming resources Pittsburgh organizations, companies and institutions have to offer those looking to grow or launch a new business, or develop burgeoning tech skills.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, here is a sampling of places to look for entrepreneurship and technical communities, workshops, networking and more over the next several weeks. Plus, don’t forget to check out our Events Roundup for even more to look forward to this month.

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Carnegie Mellon University’s annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp through the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship is taking place on Saturday, Sept. 11. The half-day bootcamp will be a mix of in-person and virtual activities this year, featuring highlights of CMU clubs and programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level to support startups. While registration is not limited to CMU students and alumni, they might benefit the most from exposure to these on-campus resources. However, there will be a chance to explore community-based ones like Innovation Works and LifeX Labs as well.

Following a short introduction to foundational ways of thinking in entrepreneurship will be a small panel of CMU alumni who went on to have successful startups and growth companies, including agricultural tech company Fifth Season. Finally, bootcamp attendees will have the chance to pitch a business idea and network with others at the event.

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Register here

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Also launching from the Swartz Center again this fall is the CONNECTS seminar series, which is free to attend and will be hosted on a hybrid model of Zoom and in-person talks. Though the series is largely curated for students looking to commercialize their product or business ideas — as newly venture-backed data analytics firm BlastPoint did — CONNECTS is also open to entrepreneurs and innovators in the Pittsburgh community at large. And any current businesses looking for new talent are encouraged to come to the seminars as well.

There are several talks scheduled throughout the fall semester, often with more than one per week. Up first is the president of RUH Consulting, Rebecca Harris, who will host a conversation on how to act and think like an entrepreneur today.

See the schedule

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Earlier this summer, Apprenti collaborated with Pittsburgh Tech Council nonprofit arm Fortyx80 to launch Apprenti PGH — a tech apprenticeship program focused on increasing entryways to the industry with a focus on underrepresented groups. No prior experience in tech is required to apply, but the application includes a competency assessment that has questions on math, critical thinking, logic and soft skills. After passing the test, participants are paired with hiring partners, and after a series of interviews, have the opportunity for a one-year paid apprenticeship with that company.

The first software analyst cohort for Pittsburgh will launch this month, but the test is free to take any time. Those interested in the program can reach out to directors Maria Fattore or Marie Pelloni, whose contact information is available here.

Take the assessment

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University of Pittsburgh’s Start Smart Legal Seminars help founders understand the legal implications to consider when launching a company, including awareness of intellectual property law, raising capital, term sheet negotiations and company formation. Held online during Tuesday evenings throughout the fall, the free seminars are led by David Lehman and Adam Kelson of K&L Gates as well as Stephanie Dangel of the Pitt Law School during some sessions. Be sure to look at the schedule and descriptions before attending, as some sessions are prerequisites for understanding later ones.

Register here

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East Liberty-based startup community hub and coworking center Ascender hosts educational events open to the public, as well as member-only events on entrepreneurship, company growth and technical skills. Coming up this week is one on building an ecommerce site with minimal coding, but past sessions have included business strategy workshops and open discussions with founders, investors and others in the local startup ecosystem.

See the schedule

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For those with a new business idea that don’t know where to start, Innovation Works hosts office hours for anyone seeking advice on how to grow and scale a venture, with specialties in advice on manufacturing, software and hardware. General open office hours take place every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Beyond direct advice from an Innovation Works employee, the startup hub’s website also provides entrepreneurs with online resources and guides on how to grow a business, from past webinars to human resources templates to a Build4Scale program design program. All of those and more can be found here.

Register for office hours

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Local coding bootcamp Academy Pittsburgh will start a new cohort on Sept. 20, and is accepting rolling applications for the program until then. Program participants will have a chance to pick up new skills in Ruby, C#, JavaScript and HTML/CSS over the course of the three-month bootcamp with no upfront tuition cost (though there is an income share agreement for graduates). The course work culminates with a capstone project of participants’ choice.

The application includes a series of logic questions, as well as a writing sample and video submission. Following that, applicants will go through an interview round before final selections are made for the program.

Learn more and apply

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Bonus: Know an influential technologist who is making big contributions to the codebase and the community? Nominations are open for Technical.ly’s RealLIST Engineers. The series curates community members who show problem-solving, collaboration and leadership to guide the next generation. We’ll aim to include both those who are established and below the radar. Send in your picks by Sept. 15.

Nominate a technologist

And to stay better connected to your local tech community, join us on the Technical.ly Slack. We’re also looking for feedback via our community survey: How can we do a better job informing you about what’s happening in your local tech economy?


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-
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