Innovation Works and the Pittsburgh Robotics Network recently opened applications for the second cohort of their Robotics Factory Accelerate Program. Through the program, selected companies receive funding of up to $100,000 and participate in a six-month program that helps robotics startups launch their businesses.
Applications to the Accelerate Program’s second cohort are open through Feb. 29, 2024.
According to the Robotics Factory, the second cohort will run from June through December 2024. Accepted companies are provided 12 months of office space at the Robotics Factory’s co-working space in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, which features prototyping and testing shops.
The Accelerate Program is funded through a $63M Build Back Better Regional Challenge grant awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative.
The Robotics Factory also offers programs called Create and Scale to support growing robotics startups in the Pittsburgh region.
Inaugural Accelerate Program provided workshops and mentorship
Inaugural Accelerate participants included companies specializing in machine vision, bicycle safety, and cell processing, said Ven Raju, President and CEO of Innovation Works.
The Robotics Factory provides Accelerate Program participants mentorship opportunities with established robotics executives via the Pittsburgh Robotics Network.
“Our team provided the inaugural cohort over 500 hours of 1-on-1 coaching, 18 skill development workshops, and 250 additional hours of coaching from our experienced mentors,” said Kevin Dowling, Managing Director of the Robotics Factory and hardware for Innovation Works.
During the inaugural Accelerate program, autonomous underwater intelligence startup Aquatonomy validated their target market through customer interviews, site visits, and market research, and scheduled a pilot for 2024. The team also built and tested their hardware and software systems for their underwater robot.
“We have learned so much not only through workshops on diverse topics thoughtfully curated and offered by experts, but also through event opportunities made available to us, where we met mentors, investors, customers, media, government officials, and more,” said Dr. Xiaoyu Kaess, co-founder of Aquatonomy.
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