Launches in Public Beta (CKIA, LLC) has launched in a Public Beta release last week. The Web site is a free user-generated college ratings site, providing high school students, college students and parents with “4.0” ratings of colleges in a variety of categories from academics to student housing to athletics to campus quality.

ckiaThe Company was founded on a strong belief that college related decisions should be based upon FREE, relevant, unfiltered, and unbiased information.  The Company hopes to close socio-economic gaps in the post-secondary information market and operates by the slogan; ‘the college experience.  without the visit.’

Co-Founder Lauren McKibben says, “CollegeKnowItAll is the antithesis to outdated and overpriced so-called ‘expert’ college ratings. Our proprietary college rating system is based on a 4.0 scale where academics is no longer the only factor and endowment means jack squat.” She continues, “Many consumers wouldn’t stay in a hotel, eat at a new restaurant, or buy a car without reading a consumer review so it seems intuitive that a high school student would want to read student reviews prior to choosing a college.”

All of the ratings on the site are submitted be real college students. In addition, there is an entry-level jobs and internship board to attract current college students to the site. Posting jobs and internships is free for any employer. 

“College ratings are just the beginning. We hope to add ratings of grad schools, career schools, and online degree programs to be the one-stop shop for obtaining free, unbiased post-secondary information,” says McKibben.

Art + Technology Roundtable

During the 2008 Three Rivers Film Festival, the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Pittsburgh Filmmakers partner to bring you an unprecedented Art + Technology Roundtable. This panel discussion will feature several of our region’s foremost thought leaders in this arena, as they explore how the intersection of art and technology is impacting our lives, our culture and our future. Join us for thoughtful insight from Mickey McManus, MAYA Design; Jesse Schell, CMU Entertainment Technology Center and Dylan Vitone, CMU College of Fine Arts School of Design / Pittsburgh Filmmakers School of Film, Photography and Digital Media. Moderated by Audrey Russo, Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Art + Technology Roundtable

Tuesday, November 18
5 – 7 p.m.
Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Avenue, 15213 

Read More or Register

Wild Pockets Game Jam Recap

Sim Ops Studios, a CMU Spin-off company had just launched their newest technology, Wild Pockets, into private beta. As part of that launch, they held their first ever Wild Pockets Game Jam on October 18 – 19 at the Entertainment Technology Center.

Seventy six people attended the 24 hour marathon coding event. Sim Ops Studios presented a 2 hour Wild Pockets tutorial before setting the participants loose to see if they could code a 3D game of their choice in 24 hours using the Wild Pockets platform. Of the 18 teams present, 12 submitted games and 2 additional teams submitted rough prototypes.

After 24 hours, the games were judged by a panel of industry professionals and the winners were:

1st Place
Miner Mania

Team Mechanimal
Nicholas McClay, Matthew DeLucas, Victor George and Dan Dwire

2nd Place
Asteroid Apocalypse

Dream Team
Enrique Ma. R. Sarmiento, Sarah McGee,Kyle Dolan, Chun-ta Chen

3rd Place
Happy Happy Doom Fall

Game Designers on an Plane
Aaron Vanderbeek, Monil Monil Gandhi, Francisco Souki, and Carlos Hurtado

You can play the games that were submitted on the Wild Pockets website or check out photos from the event on their Flikr page

People’s Choice Award

The Game Jam judges chose their favorite games but now Sim Ops would like to see what you think! Voting begins on Election Day – November 4 – and continues until November 20. On November 4 – visit the Game Jam Voting Page to cast your vote for your favorite games. The results will be announced on November 24.

If you’d like to create your own games, sign up for thier beta.

Plug-in, Play, Vote!

Face2Face: Art + Technology at the Three Rivers Film Festival

In a true marriage of art and technology, the Pittsburgh Technology Council joins forces with Pittsburgh Filmmakers to bring you Experimental Filmmaker, Ernie Gehr, one of the most celebrated and internationally recognized artists working in the medium of film. On the heels of his recent exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Gehr brings his innovative audiovisual masterpieces to the Pittsburgh region. Join us during the 2008 Film Festival for this opportunity to network and learn how new technologies have affected both emerging and established artists working with the moving image.

Event sponsored by PNC and Wooden Iguana.
Drinks sponsored by Net Health Systems.

Face2Face: Art + Technology at the Three Rivers Film Festival

Thursday, November 13
5 – 6:15 p.m., Networking & Cocktails
6:15 – 8 p.m., Featured Speaker, Ernie Gehr
8 p.m., Screening of Ernie Gehr’s Most Recent Shorts (Additonal fee of $8)
Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Avenue, 15213
$30 Member | $35 Non-Member

Read More or Register

2008 Tech 50 Winners Announced

Last night, the Pittsburgh Technology Council hosted the annual Tech 50 Awards. This year’s Tech 50 Awards pushed into uncharted territory honoring new companies within seven categories and a CEO of the Year. To keep pace with a fast-moving industry, Tech 50 added the Green Technology and High Rise categories to the mix. The Green Technology category recognizes companies in the energy and clean technology sectors, whereas the High Rise category was created to honor large, established technology companies across industry sectors.

Advanced Manufacturing


Respironics, Inc. – Designs, develops, manufactures and sells respiratory products to be used in the home, hospitals and emergency medical situations. Its products and services are available in more than 131 countries through a network of direct operations or a network of specialized distributors.


All Water Systems, Inc. – Specializes in service, sales, installation, and consultation for commercial and industrial water treatment systems.

CardiacAssist, Inc. – Develops, manufactures, and markets cardiac assist devices.

Data Science Automation, Inc. – Offers a complete array of mechanical, electrical, control and software engineering services.

Neuro Kinetics, Inc. – Develops, manufactures and sells non-invasive, early diagnostic and screening devices.

Omni Prepaid Group, LLC/ Gift, LLC – Provides prepaid solutions including: gift card sales, processing, tracking, fraud protection and customer service.

The Proud Group – Technology solution provider that helps manufacturers become more efficient and profitable by automating plant floor processes.

Tollgrade Communications, Inc. – Provides network service assurance products and services and sensor technologies.

Green Technology


BPL Global – A smart grid technology company transforming the way energy and information are delivered, BPL Global’s revenue swelled 4,020 percent and the company grew from five to 53 employees since 2005.


CNX Gas Corporation – A natural gas company operating in the Appalachian Basin of the U.S. and a leading producer of coal bed methane.

CONSOL Energy, Inc. – A high-BTU bituminous coal and coal bed methane producer.

Plextronics, Inc. – Specializes in printed solar, lighting and other electronics using organic solar cells and organic, light-emitting diode technology.

Print Net, Inc. – Offers environmentally friendly “green printing services” from initial concept to final delivery and distribution.

High Rise


MEDRAD, Inc. – Manufactures, sells and supports diagnostic and therapeutic imaging products. The company earned the Malcolm Baldridge Award in 2003 and was named 2007 Best Plant by Industry Week.


Alcoa – One of Pittsburgh’s first manufacturing and technology companies and is the global leader in the production and management of aluminum.

ANSYS, Inc. – Designs, develops, markets and globally supports engineering solutions used in multiple industries.

Eaton Corporation – Is a worldwide leader in manufacturing power distribution and power protection equipment.

McKesson Automation – Provides solutions to improve patient medication safety and medication use efficiency.

Information Technology


BitArmor – The producer of DataControl tm, a powerful new software that provides a faster, easier, more cost-effective way to protect and manage sensitive data throughout any organization. BitArmor’s innovative approach to data security has created a new standard for how business will guard their most valuable assets.


Apangea Learning, Inc. – Provides Web-based, one-to-one tutoring and supplemental instruction.

Carnegie Learning, Inc. – Provides intelligent software tutoring, combined with text and teacher-led classroom instruction.

Confluence – Provides software platforms to automate and integrate fund administration processes for financial institutions around the globe.

InterTECH Security Group, LLC – Offers innovative solutions integrating all aspects of a customer’s security needs.

Motionplan, Inc. – Develops custom learning solutions that include e-learning, performance support and blended curriculum to meet client-specific needs.

Tower Care Technologies, Inc. – Produces software that helps non-profits and others raise money, operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively.

Vivisimo – Their Velocity software helps organizations maximize the business value of their information by neatly categorizing it at blistering speeds.

Life Sciences


RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc. – Provides complex cancer diagnostic testing using a proprietary technology platform that allows more definitive diagnoses of the disease. Their unique Pathfinder technology optimizes DNA amplification techniques, making it possible to perform multiple mutational analyses on the most minute specimens.


Celtic Healthcare – Provides comprehensive homecare services designed to provide an integrated approach to all levels of home-based care.

invivodata, inc. – Combines behavioral science, information technology and clinical expertise to capture clinical trial data directly from patients.

MED3000, Inc. – Uses information technology solutions to improve the performance of group medical practices and physician networks.

medSage Technologies, LLC – Offers patient management systems to help homecare providers deliver better care at lower costs.

Net Health Systems, Inc. – Provides integrated clinical, financial and regulatory software for wound management.

ReGear Life Sciences, Inc. – Develops and markets innovative products that provide deep-tissue therapeutic heating that facilitate the healing process.

Starr Life Sciences Corp. – Creates unique devices for medical research with technology that non-invasively diagnoses and monitors the health of laboratory rats and mice.

Rising Star


Cohera Medical Inc. – Developer of TissueGlu, a medical adhesive that has the potential to redefine the medical adhesive paradigm. No product on the market currently provides strong adhesive properties with the biocompatibility necessary for internal use in deep wounds. TissueGlu and Cohera Medical are poised to revolutionize wound closure.


Bright Innovation – Specializes in product research and design to help its clients connect with potential customers.

ClearCount Medical Solutions – Provider of a sponge management system that combines the benefits of counting and detection.

e-STAFF Consulting Group, Inc. – Fills IT/IS positions for clients throughout the Pittsburgh region.

Etcetera Edutainment – Uses proprietary video game technology to develop a variety of training and entertainment solutions that are immersive, customizable and cost-effective.

Mobile Fusion, Inc. – Builds products that help professionals get a clear and rich view of those dangerous and inaccessible places in the world assisting military, police and first responders.

Thorley Industries, LLC – A consumer product company that develops new products based upon low-cost electronics and keen consumer insights.

Virtus Advanced Sensors – Specializes in the commercialization of next-generation inertial sensor technology developed using MEMS and micro-machining methods.

Service Provider


Newton Consulting – An elite, and leading provider of IT Consulting, Newton Consulting and the ANSYS team successfully integrated acquired domestic and international sites for Pittsburgh-based ANSYS, migrating them to ANSYS’ Oracle ERP infrastructure on budget and in record time.


FTI Consulting – Global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex, regulatory, and economic environment. – Has created the world’s largest marketplace for freelance talent.

Ideal Integrations – Experts in the latest computer technologies, utilizing the right products, deploying the right people and making their clients’ success their passion.

IMPAQT – A search engine marketing agency which helps Fortune 1,000 companies gain revenue, branding , and top Internet rankings.

Information Systems Services, Inc. – Information technology services that include: consulting, contract IT services, HR sourcing and infrastructure outsourcing Support.

SiGenix – Provides product development, hardware and software design and rapid prototyping services to the medical and transit industries.

SYCOR AMERICAS Inc. – Specializes in business consulting and information technology in the energy, plastics, chemical, and life sciences industries.

CEO of the Year


Gregory S. Babe, Bayer Material Science, LLC – Currently spearheading comprehensive organizational initiatives to improve the company’s competitiveness in the turbulent chemical industry of today, Greg has also served as a spokesman for the chemical industry, speaking to the local media about the essential issues that face the chemical industry in Pittsburgh and across the nation.


James E. Cashman, III, ANSYS – Under Cashman’s leadership ANSYS achieved record results across all four quarters in 2007 driven by organic revenue growth.

Dr. Giorgio Coraluppi, Compunetix, Inc./Chorus Call, Inc./Compunetics, Inc. – As a telecommunications innovator, Giorgio has won acclaim for his dedication to research and development.

D. Raja, Computer Enterprises, Inc. – Raja has consistently grown CEI while maintaining the integrity and core value CEI was founded on.

David A. Souerwine, McKesson Automation – Achieving both revenue growth and high employee satisfaction, Dave has added business processes and a metrics-driven management approach to McKesson.

Post information by TEQ Magazine staff writer Tim Hayes. View the complete article.