This week, Dr. Rasu Shrestha, MBA comes into the Epicast studios to talk about his role as an innovation leader at both UPMC and its subsidiary, UPMC Enterprises. If you’re not already familiar with UPMC, it’s a major healthcare organization that grew out of the University of Pittsburgh, and not long ago it became the largest employer in Pennsylvania. UPMC Enterprises is the creative arm, building products and businesses with entrepreneurs.
Dr. Shrestha is a kind-hearted, design-thinking innovator, working to improve healthcare through technology and innovation in the age of defensive medicine and courtroom thinking. In this episode, he tells our host Scot MacTaggart about the current state of healthcare, about his experience with entrepreneur pitches, and what he is ultimately looking for from the startup community.
Just like all the TV commercials and web banner ads have been threatening, cybersecurity threats are everywhere. This week’s guest wants to fix the real problem you’re facing: your coworkers. You know how they leave the doors unlocked and that one time, the one manager left their key in the door? They’re just as careless with information security. So, Jon and his colleagues built Wuvavi, a platform that trains and tests everyone in your office to avoid getting hit. Three years later, the company has a long list of clients, large and small, and is now considering how they will build their sales and channel strategies to take the company to the next level.
Jim Gibbs is back for the first time since Episode 1! Meter Feeder has grown and changed a lot in the year and a half since his last appearance. The company is done raising cash for now, they’re working on a couple of different strategies that has the company growing at a very aggressive clip. They’re working on parking operators, self-driving cars, and on frictionless rollouts in new cities. This episode is also good for Jim’s perspective on app ratings, on asking for money, and on Pittsburgh as a home base. If you’re not already subscribed after 70 weeks, get there. It’s time!
Have you wondered how to attract real sponsors? Melinda Colaizzi knows that business. She’s the principal at Pitch Consulting, the founder of the Women Who Rock festival, and she’s an accomplished musician herself. This week, Scot attempts to make the most of all the expertise Melinda brings into the studio. Their conversation includes strategies for selling sponsorships, the hard shift toward buying local, and the reputation the Magee-Womens Research Institute has built that makes it the perfect beneficiary of the proceeds from the Women Who Rock event.
Women Who Rock Benefit Concert: May 10, 2018 at Pittsburgh’s Hard Rock Cafe. More information at womenwhorockpgh.com
This week’s show proves that no matter what field you’re in, it has a lot of parallels with other fields. Our guests for this episode are Alyssa and Don from SciVelo, a unique organization affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. SciVelo calls their work “commercial translation” - and it’s not what you think. Rather than translating between spoken languages, SciVelo translates the work of one set of professionals for use by others, specializing in the research work done at Pitt. Pitchwerks listeners should hear a number of interesting things, especially how the SciVelo team organizes its inventory, its prospects and its opportunities like any other business.
We never seem to have any lazy people on the show, do we? This week, it’s John Quayle, one of two partners behind the StartNOW Pittsburgh newsletter, the principal consultant behind Quayle Creative, and a very busy member of the Active X-It fund. He’s a good friend of our host Scot MacTaggart, and kindly accepted our request to come into the studio to help to decode what is happening in Western PA’s startup scene. The insights he offers are useful anywhere though, laying out some very useful insights for everyone who isn’t in San Francisco, Boston, or some other fully matured startup hotbed.
This week on The Pitchwerks Podcast we’ve got three young men working to save the world - Tanner Cook, Grant Halleran and Aakash Pathak from CleanRobotics. Together with host Scot MacTaggart, the team analyzes buyer motivations, end user education, and a two-tiered demonstration strategy for their product, Trashbot. Trashbot solves a problem you might not even know that you have - the complexity of proper recycling - by analyzing waste and sending it automatically to the landfill or the recycling plant based on a number of factors.
AMAZINGLY sharp conversationalist Priya Amin comes into the studio this week, prepping for an investor pitch competition and talking about Flexable, the startup that she and cofounder Jessica Strong have grown into a common presence at major employers and events in Pittsburgh. This episode was recorded just before Priya left for the New England Venture Fair, so she and Scot work on her NEVF investor pitch a little bit, while also making time to discuss cofounder relationships and expansion strategy.