Got an idea for a company? Have a full-blown business plan or no business plan at all? Submit a two-page proposal for the Thrill Mill’s next Business Bout. All proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 19th, 2013!
The Business Bout is a business plan competition where applicants compete for access to funding and a slot in Thrill Mill’s startup accelerator. Last year, we awarded $25,000 in funding. This cycle, we will be awarding $95,000 (one $25,000 winner and 14 $5,000 winners)! In addition, each team will receive more than $50,000 in services from Venture Boot Camp, Carnegie Mellon University Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babs Carryer, and C-Leveled, along with one year of 24/7 access to our 5,000 square foot accelerator space in East Liberty.
Be sure to tune in to TechVibe Radio this Saturday at noon on FM News Talk 104.7.
C-Leveled’s Denise DeSimone is stopping by to announce a new investment fund aimed at startups. We can’t wait to give you the whole story!
FiskIT will detail how it has new spin on managed IT services. We’ll also discuss how immigration reform is vital to helping tech companies succeed with Jeremy Robbins of Partnership for a New America.
Hosted by the PTC’s CEO Audrey Russo and Director Visibility Initiatives Jonathan Kersting with cohost Charlie Batch, TechVibe is on the air every Saturday at noon bringing you interviews and conversations from the Pittsburgh region’s fast-moving technology and entrepreneurial communities.
It’s just a few weeks away. March 9, TechShop is set to open its doors in Bakery Square. The Pittsburgh Technology Council has been following every move. We had techShop on TechVibe Radio in January and we even shot a little promo video.
I just got back from from some pre-media events this afternoon and the machinery is being installed. Activity is all over the place. TechShop Founder Jim Newton gave me a personal tour of the progress. He’s double stoked to be making the final descent and land TechShop in Pittsburgh next month as its seventh location.
TEQ has coverage of TechShop in its upcoming March issue, but we’ve decided to provide Techburgher readers with a first read of the story. It’s right below, by yours truly!
TechShop to Build Dreams in Pittsburgh
When I opened the doors at San Francisco’s TechShop last summer, I became immersed in a melee of makers intensely toiling with seemingly every tool and technology required to turn an idea into a product right at their fingertips.
I never heard of TechShop until a few hours before stepping foot inside, and I was completely stoked to learn that the membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fab studio had plans to open its doors in Pittsburgh.
Less than a year later, TechShop will cut the ribbon on March 9, offering local makers, artists, entrepreneurs and anyone else a launch pad for their ideas —a real place for inspiration through perspiration.
With proximity to tech companies, a revitalized East End and the universities, Dan Woods, Chief Experience Officer and VP of Business Development, couldn’t be more excited for TechShop’s latest location. There are six TechShops across the country with more in the works.
TechShop is setting up the equipment.
“There’s an incredible convergence of art and technology here,” said Woods. “We love the location here with all of the neighborhoods. This is a convergent area.”
At TechShop, Woods is responsible for the general management of products, corporate strategy and sales. Before joining the team, he was the co-founder of MAKE Magazine, which focuses on how-to projects for makers.
TechShop members have access to a world-class workshop with machines, tools, training, inspiration and support they need to pursue their passions, develop new skills and launch new businesses.
Tech Shop at a Glance:
• More than $1 Million Worth of Machines, Tools and Equipment, including CNC prototyping tools to industrial sewing and textiles equipment, laser cutting and electronics, to
A view of the welding area.
welding and machine shop equipment.
• Hundreds of Classes Each Month for Members & Non-Members
• Friendly, Knowledgeable, Highly Trained staff
• Community of Innovative Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs
• Group Event Spaces and Workshops
In addition to the more than 4,000 individual members who belong to TechShop, corporations are increasingly turning to TechShop as a strategy for motivating employees, developing new workforce skills and fueling innovation. Universities are partnering with TechShop as an open innovation studio for their faculty, students and alumni, said Woods.
TechShop is collaborating with the VA Innovations team and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to provide cutting-edge training and equipment for veterans seeking to become more competitive in the job market or aiming to become successful entrepreneurs. This effort supports the VA Innovation Initiative’s (VAi2) interest in finding new ways of providing Veterans with resources that help them to serve an important role in America’s economy. More info to come on the program at http://www.va.gov/VAi2/TechShop.asp
“We provide folks with the light bulb, a-ha moment. You can feel the satisfaction of discovery,” said Robert Thomas, Director of Experience, with his drywall dust-covered TechShop hoodie zipped up tight during a walk through of the facility while still under construction. “The greatest component is
This machine is begging to get dirty!
allowing people to make their own way. Set a path and allow people to create a product and get it in the market. Incredibly bright folks will be accessing this space.”
Upon visiting TechShop, visitors will immediately notice that each of the work areas has pony walls to provide line of sight across the shop. Thomas explained that this is to promote collaboration and interaction with members. He said TechShops are places where members build real communities and relationships.
“Techshop is opening in Pittsburgh. This is one of many new dreams to come true for a city now flourishing in creativity and innovation,” says Kim Harvey, Director of the Creative Technology Network at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. “This is yet another opportunity for us to make, play and work our way toward showing the world the vibrant city we have become.”
TechShop CEO Mark Hatch appears to be equally excited about the latest location.
“Pittsburgh has been at the heart of American ingenuity, making and manufacturing since it was founded. We are excited to open this location in an area with a deep
In a few short weeks, TechShop members will be creating.
ecosystem of great technology-related companies and institutions,” says Hatch. “Our newest location will offer programs that support the growing community of makers and innovators by providing tools, equipment, software and instruction in a large, open workshop space.”
Newton Consulting, LLC, announces the opening of its new company headquarters building on the main street of historic Claysville, Pa., about 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
“We’re very excited about this move on a number of levels,” said company President and Founder Rick Newton. “It marks an era of rapid growth for our company, it provides a comfortable and collaborative working environment for our employees, and it invests in our local community.”
The company, which serves a client base across North America and in Europe, has experienced significant growth in recent years. Since 2009, the company grew from 33 employees to 73 today; from $8.5 million revenue to a projected $20.2 million in 2012; and from 26 clients to its current 47. The company also launched wholly owned subsidiaries in London in 2011 and in Canada in 2012, both doing business as Newton Enterprise. The company’s growth has been recognized in the Inc. 5000 and Pittsburgh 100 awards.
“We can attribute our growth to our business model that allows us to remain flexible in the marketplace while also attracting and retaining some of the top information technology, recruiting, and business consultants in the industry,” said Chief Operating Officer Bill Boehner. “This allows us to respond nimbly to evolving business needs while also providing the best of customer service.”
The company purchased a 1980s-era two-story building on State Route 40 – also known as the Historic National Road and Claysville’s Main Street, and refurbished the exterior to resemble an 1880s-era building to embellish the town’s historic character. Newton Consulting offices are on the second floor of the 10,000-square-foot building. The first floor is under renovation for potential lease. Local contractors were hired for the majority of the renovation work, which included interior design and construction, exterior brick work, paving, and the installation of an elevator.
“Our new headquarters space serves an immediate need for our company’s administrative and operational departments that support employees working all over the U.S. and U.K., while also providing the flexibility of an open work space for future growth,” said Director of Office Operations and Corporate Controller Shari Kienzle.
In 2012, the company added Operations Strategy and Mobile Application service lines to its suite of services that includes IT Strategy and Project Management, Talent Acquisition, Application Development and Support, and Systems Integration. “We offer business solutions that help take clients from vision to performance,” said Boehner.
Newton Consulting was founded in 2003 by Rick Newton, who had over 20 years of experience integrating and managing information technology for other corporations. Newton saw the unmet opportunity for business services to be delivered in the spirit of servant leadership, rather than solely driven by profits. He also wanted to create a healthy and productive work environment where strong relationships were formed with clients and employees while maintaining balance between work and family life and sharing in the risks and rewards of the business. With a simple yet powerful vision of what professional consulting could and should be, Newton created a unique business model that embodies strong core values and hired his first employees in 2006.
Through its early years, Newton Consulting operated as a “virtual” company with most employees working from their home or at client sites. A headquarters office for administrative employees was eventually created in a refurbished carriage house on Newton’s home property a few miles from Claysville. With rapid company and employee growth, the need for additional space and operational function grew.
“Many people in the industry thought I should move the company headquarters to a business district like Southpointe or in Pittsburgh,” said Newton. “But I feel very strongly about giving back to my local community, and community revitalization is part of that picture.”
An open house for the public is being planned for the spring. For employment opportunities with Newton Consulting, please visit the company’s website www.newtonconsulting.com.
For part 2 of the TechVibe Radio Accelerator Series with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, we talk to Shareholder Craig Heryford about foundational steps tech startups must take when launching their operations. Listen to the entire interview right here.
Listen to the Pittsburgh Technology Council’s TechVibe Radio Show every Saturday at noon on FM News Talk 104.7.