Resources for your startup

By Jordan Marinkovich, Platform Community Manager

With over $117 million invested in software, hardware and life sciences startups, Innovation Works has been the region’s leading investor in tech startups since 1999. Investment capital is not the only resource that Innovation Works provides our region.

Here is a list of free resources that are available to everyone in our region:

  1. Startup Recipes

Startup Recipes is one of IW’s premiere offerings in our OnRamps to Entrepreneurship program. Many great startups begin with one idea, but forming a company requires more than just the idea. Startup Recipes is a “how-to” companion for the earliest stages of building a startup without using a lot of capital and focuses on getting from an idea to minimum viable product (MVP).

There are over 40 recipes ranging in a variety of topics from creating a landing page to setting up a successful fundraising strategy. More recipes are added regularly. This is a great starting point or valuable tool for any-stage founder to fill in critical business gaps.

2. Internship Programs

Innovation Works proudly offers internship opportunities and support to local startups and manufacturing companies. Our two programs offer unique opportunities for young entrepreneurs to work with innovative companies:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program: This program connects our IW Portfolio companies with students who have one or more of the following affiliations: minority candidates, veteran candidates, candidates with a disability, candidates who identify as women, or candidates who identify as LGBTQIA.

Manufacturing Internship Program: This program matches students with local manufacturers that are looking for innovative minds to help advance modern manufacturing. These manufacturers are looking for students with various backgrounds.

Innovation Work will provide a 1:1 match to help assist startups and manufacturers to pay their interns. More information regarding the 2022–2023 Internship Programs will be coming soon!

3. Startable

Startable is a free program for our region’s youth to learn about entrepreneurship and design-skills. Students learn to create businesses through our open-ended project based learning that takes them through idea formation, networking, customer discovery, marketing and pitching their ideas.

Through IW, Startable’s mission has always been to create an equitable learning experience for populations who are historically underrepresented in the tech community and to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career path. Startable has helped facilitate over 300 youth-run businesses and continues supporting program alumni through additional funding, networking, and education opportunities.

4. Manufacturing Resources

Manufacturing is the fourth largest industry in Pennsylvania. Southwestern PA is home to more than 2,800 manufacturers alone. With IW’s Scalable Innovation Program, we encourage our startups and manufacturers to work together to build products and business in our area.

Scalable offers funding to startups and manufacturers alike to create long lasting relationships that help fuel the local economy. These funds help startups begin manufacturing or scaling their products and also help manufacturers adopt new technology to help drive future business.

Recently, IW has partnered with NextCorps for a Manufacturing Bootcamp. These free sessions cover all the steps and documentation a hardware startup must develop in order to successfully manufacture their product.

5. HR Templates

Strong teams are the backbone of a great business. However, many early stage startups do not have the resources for recruiters or, even, a human resources department. IW’s HR Templates are easy to use guides ranging from pre-employment to retirement and every topic in between.

6. Newsletters

It’s difficult to keep up with the latest news. Sign up to hear what's happening at IW and our accelerators with the monthly newsletter. Our team sends updates to your inbox ranging from IW portfolio companies, programing, and new IW team members to highlights of events happening is the Pittsburgh region.

7. Events

Throughout the calendar year, IW offers free events ranging in topics to help entrepreneurs get to their next stage of growth. Some of our regular event programming includes:

Cafe IW — These events designed for entrepreneurs and business owners to learn skills that are immediately transferable into their daily business practice. Topics have included networking skills, press relations, hiring, and more.

Investor Panels- Leading VCs sit down for an intimate discussion to discuss investment trends, how to land your pitch, and answer those burning questions for entrepreneurs.

Networking Opportunities — IW loves making connections. Many of our events have built in networking opportunities to create and grow ecosystem relationships.

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Innovation Works

Innovation Works is one of the nation’s most active seed funds. AlphaLab (AL), ALGear, and ALHealth are nationally ranked startup accelerator programs of IW.