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Founder First, Founder Always. Join us in 2022: Founder Institute is the #1 place in the world to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses.

Today’s economic 'New Normal' is full of reshuffling industries, and new problems in need of solutions - now is a time for entrepreneurs to act. 

Whether you need to test and validate early hypotheses before making a large financial commitment to your startup idea, or you are ready to push your startup to the next level through aggressive weekly growth sprints to refine your vision, improve key metrics, and prepare for investor diligence, Founder Institute has the proven processes and network to help you do it.

If you could use a structured process that tells you what to focus on when, and a lifetime of support from Pittsburgh's top investors and entrepreneurs, then apply to the Pittsburgh 2023 Founder Institute today.

We will be hosting several free startup events in Pittsburgh over the coming weeks, where you can learn from top entrepreneurs all from the comfort of home:

Pittsburgh Events:

  • Startup Holiday Mixer: Meet the FI Pittsburgh Network (In-Person): 6:00pm, Dec 12, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • TheDevShop Startup Pitch Competition: Pitch to Win $2,000 in Prize Money: 6:00pm, Jan 16, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • Meet and Greet and FI AMA with FI Pittsburgh Leaders & Alumni: 6:00pm, Jan 30, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • Pittsburgh Startup Office Hours: Get Business Advice from Experts: 6:00pm, Feb 02, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • [Restricted] Pittsburgh 2024 VIP Launch Mixer (In-Person): 12:00am, Feb 22, 2024 (America/New_York):

Global or Regional Events:

  • Founder Institute Online Information Session:
  • Pitch Lounge: Get Feedback on Your 1-Minute Pitch Idea from Startup Experts: 1:00pm, Dec 13, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • [Restricted] Head Start to Funding Lab Enrollment and Q&A Session (Online Event): 1:00pm, Dec 14, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • Ask an Investor Anything: Q&A with a Venture Capitalist: 1:00pm, Dec 18, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • Startup Funding AMA & Founder Institute Info Session, with Jonathan Greechan (CEO, Founder Institute): 1:00pm, Dec 20, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • Startup Funding AMA & Founder Institute Info Session, with Jonathan Greechan (CEO, Founder Institute): 8:00pm, Dec 27, 2023 (America/New_York):
  • How Do You Find Product-Market Fit for Your Startup: 1:00pm, Jan 08, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • Founder Showcase: Pre-Seed Startup Pitch & Networking Event (Online): 1:00pm, Jan 10, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • How to Secure Your First Investment as a Startup Founder in 2024: 1:00pm, Jan 17, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • Startup Growth Workshop: Essential Elements: 1:00pm, Jan 24, 2024 (America/New_York):
  • Startup Ideation: Finding a Problem That Matters: 1:00pm, Jan 31, 2024 (America/New_York):

Make better, faster business decisions in 2022 by sharing your latest progress, challenges, and strategies for constant feedback and evaluation from our expert mentors and advisors, every step of the way–scale your team, develop new business opportunities, and recruit an amazing advisory board with the world's largest network of international startup founders, CEOs, advisors, and investors.

The Pittsburgh accelerator is led by some of the region's top startup leaders, including David Cerniglia (Software Developer, The Dev Shop), Greg Coticchia (X, X), Juan Lacey, Pitt Admin, Randy Eager (Founder & Managing Partner, ResTec Solutions). In addition, some of Pittsburgh's top entrepreneurs will be participating as mentors in the program, including:

  • Afshan Khan: EIR, Innovation Works
  • Akhil Chaturvedi: Machine Learning Engineer, Philips
  • Alan Martello: President, Blue Lotus LLC
  • Ann Pierce: CEO, Rabble AI
  • Atul Bansal: CEO, TimeSys
  • Beth Slagle: Attorney, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
  • Bill Jackson: Co-founder and CEO, Sinovia Technologies
  • Bob Delach: CFO and Business Consultant, Robert J Delach Business Consulting
  • Britta Ulm: Senior Project Manager, Robotic Product Support, Smith and Nephew
  • Catherine Mott: Founder/CEO, BlueTree Venture Fund, BlueTree Allied Angels
  • Chris Rasmussen: CEO, Gajjitz, Inc.
  • Claye Greene: CEO, TechBlue, Inc.
  • Cole Wolfson: Senior Program Manager, AlphaLab Gear
  • Courtney Williamson: CEO, AbiliLife
  • Currie Crookston: CEO, ResTec Solutions
  • Darnell Moses: Principal, Sesom Consulting
  • David Kalson: Shareholder and Co-Leader, Dentons Venture Technology National Practice Group, Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, P.C
  • David Wible: CEO, Plan Grind Deliver
  • Don Morrison: Chairman of Deal Flow, Blue Tree Allied Angels
  • Eric Boduch: Founder, 24 and Up
  • Eric Wise: Founder CEO/VP Industrial Solutions, Wise Telemetry/Otodata
  • Euan Guttridge: Founder, Reinforced Ventures
  • Fahmy Mechael: Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Pittsburgh Glass Works
  • Glenn Watson: Commercialization Advisor, LifeX
  • Greg Coticchia: CEO, Sopheon
  • Henry Thorne: CTO, 4Moms
  • Ilana Diamond: Managing Partner, 412 Venture Fund
  • Ingrid Cook: CEO, SHzoom
  • Jared Glover: CEO, Capsen Robotics
  • Jason Jones: Vice President - Community Development
  • Jeff Schneider: Professor, Machine Learning, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jeff Lizik: President/CEO, RedShift
  • Jennifer Sydeski Hurd: CEO, Connect Wolf
  • Jim Gibbs: Co-Founder and CEO, Meter Feeder, Inc.
  • Jim Jordan: CEO, StraTactic, Inc.
  • Joe Ferrara: CEO, Security Journey
  • John Riley: Owner, The Richards Group
  • John Seiffer: CEO, CEO Boot Camp
  • John Lawton: Principal, LM Resources
  • John Quayle: Chief of Staff, Four Growers
  • Kevin Dowling: CEO, Kaarta
  • Kevin Israel: Partner, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
  • Kit Needham: Director and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Project Olympus, Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Lauren Townsend: Co-Founder, Millie's Ice Cream
  • Lillian Rafson: Founder, CEO, Pack Up + Go
  • Luke Skurman: CEO, Niche
  • Marc Brown: Principal, ABR Ventures
  • Marcel Bergerman: Chief Operating Officer, Near Earth Autonomy
  • Mark Adkins: Founder & President, Smart Hammer Innovation
  • Mark DeSantis: CEO, Bloomfield
  • Martina Truche: Healthcare Innovator , Space Medicine Enthusiast
  • Matt Harbaugh: Managing Director, Mountain State Capital
  • Meghan Skiff: Founder, MixyMarketing
  • Michael Schmanske: Managing Partner, AngelMD Capital, AngelMD
  • Mike Formica: Managing Director Hardware, Innovation Works
  • Mike Bauer: Chief Products OfficerChief Products Officer, Sopheon
  • Nathan Mancine: FI Mentor, Hospital IQ
  • Ned Show: CEO, Chemistry Communications
  • Nicholas Kuhn: CEO, Setex Technologies
  • Nicole Zevola Benvenuti: CEO, 1984
  • Noah Wallach: Founder, Hope OS
  • Rachel Reid, Subtl Beauty
  • Randy Eager: CEO and Co-Founder, SilisiumTech Inc.
  • Rich Lunak: President & CEO, Innovation Works
  • Richard Longo: Interim Director & Business Consultant, Duquesne University/School of Business Small Business Development Center
  • Robert Young: Director of Partnerships, Black Tech Nation
  • Sana Gaspard: CEO, Rubitection
  • Sarjoun Skaff: Founder and CTO, Bosa Nova Robotics
  • Scot Mactaggart: Chief Innovation Officer, Dagostino Electronic Services
  • Sean Ammirati: Partner, Birchmere Labs & Birchmere Ventures
  • Sreekar Gadde: Managing Partner, BlueTree Venture Capital
  • Tina Goodman: Senior Corporate Recruiter, Lucas Systems
  • Tomer Borenstein: Co-founder and CTO, BlastPoint
  • Zach Malone: Partner, Magarac Venture Partners

  • And many more to be announced.

Since 2009, Founder Institute’s highly-structured accelerator programs have helped over 6,800 entrepreneurs to grow quickly, know what to do next, and make key connections through the largest community of startup advisors in the world. 

It all starts with our renowned ‘FI Core’ accelerator, which pushes founders at the idea and pre-seed stages to reach the milestones needed for investment and sustained growth. Alumni of FI Core then receive free access to our advanced ‘Founder Lab’ accelerators for years to come, and can get matched with prospective investors in the FI Venture Network - a collection of global funds actively investing in the earliest rounds of funding.

The results speak for themselves: FI Alumni have raised over $1.75BN in funding, and are building impactful businesses across 200+ cities and 100+ countries all across the globe. (see the FI 50 Report here).

Join us in Pittsburgh to get funded and build a global business. 

Apply to the Pittsburgh 2023 Founder Institute today, or learn more at  


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