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Resource Roundup: Invest in Women x Pittsburgh is funding underrepresented founders

Looking for new startup resources in the new year? Apply for these programs to grow your company, or career.

Ascender Executive Director Nadyli Nuñez. (Photo via LinkedIn)

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

Looking for new funding or startup support opportunities in the new year? Don’t wait until January to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions for your company. From a new partnership between Ascender and a VC firm, to finding funded interns for your company this summer, below are four opportunities for founders and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.

As always, let us know of any opportunities we missed:

Invest in Women x Pittsburgh

  • Deadline: Feb. 11, 2022

Startup community hub/coworking space/incubator Ascender has a new partnership with Chloe Capital, a seed stage venture capital firm focused on investing in companies led by women.

The collaboration involves an event series for successful applicants which will culminate in an in-person event in the spring to bring together the Pittsburgh community, the five companies included in the program, and outside mentors, investors and innovators. One of the five companies selected for the program will receive an investment from Chloe Capital of $100,000, while the other four will have a chance to meet investors through the networking Chloe offers. Notably, alumni of other Chloe programs go on to receive $2 million in investment on average within their first year of completing the program, per the org.

Between Ascender’s and Chloe Capital’s networks of entrepreneurs and other supporters of the tech industry in Pittsburgh and beyond, Ascender Executive Director Nadyli Nuñez said the hope is that the five companies will find long-lasting relationships within the ecosystem as they grow.

Hopefully this won't be the last investment that they make in the city.

“We really want to give exposure to the founders here in Pittsburgh,” Nuñez told, adding that only companies based in Allegheny County or Westmoreland County, or founders committed to relocating there, will be considered for the program.

While Nuñez is well known for her own community building capabilities in Pittsburgh as the leader of Ascender, she emphasized that this partnership is about connecting local founders to people beyond this region.

“The goal is the majority being outside of Pittsburgh, because everyone knows each other here,” she said, though she added that investors and entrepreneurs based in Pittsburgh are also vital to the continued growth of these companies. “Hopefully, we will maybe make them realize that there’s some awesome things going on here in Pittsburgh and hopefully this won’t be the last investment that they make in the city.”

Most importantly, Nuñez said, the partnership between these two organizations will give a bigger push to supporting women- and particularly women of color-led companies in Pittsburgh. Ascender already works to ensure its community is diverse and open to everyone, but this new partnership with Chloe will allow the organization to leverage its existing connections in Pittsburgh to make entrepreneurship here even more equitable.

“I’m very glad that an organization like Chloe capital exists, and that we get to be a part of that, because it’s ridiculous how little funding female entrepreneurs get, especially given the outputs that they give out in terms of revenue and company success,” Nuñez said. “And we need to fix that.”

Pitt Business Tafel Scholarship Internship Program

  • Deadline: None listed

Want a free — but paid — intern for your startup? This program from the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration might be just what you need.

In an effort to both give young companies support and students exposure to the startup world, this program provides funding for local companies to hire interns. To be considered for the program, companies need to be an incorporated entity, have a designated supervisor for the intern, agree to a halfway and final performance review of the intern, and provide the intern with a hire letter that confirms the position will be challenging and include at least 80% professional work.

The Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.

Pitt Cyber Accelerator Grants

  • Deadline: Jan. 14, 2022

Run by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security, this grant program funds projects that fulfill the institute’s mission “to bring the breadth of one of the world’s leading public research universities to bear on the critical questions of networks, data, and algorithms, with a focus on the ever-changing gaps among law, policy, and technology.”

Grants are awarded across three different tier levels, ranging from $2,500 or less to up to $20,000, depending on the size and scope of the project. All Pitt faculty are eligible to apply.

Venture for America 2022

  • Deadline: Jan. 10, 2022

Want to work for a startup but don’t have a business idea of your own yet? This program is for you. In a two-year fellowship for recent college graduates, Venture for America places successful applicants at startups across the country for hands-on experience in helping them grow.

Venture for America is in the middle of its third application timeline, one of four it operates throughout the year with different deadlines. General applications for the third window of the program happening now are due on Jan. 10, with the essay due shortly after on Jan. 18.

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.
Companies: Ascender / Venture for America / University of Pittsburgh

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