Connecting state and local government leaders

Pittsburgh Selects 3 Startups to Work With the City Under a New Pilot Program

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Connecting state and local government leaders

With PGH Lab, “we are excited to see this relationship deepen through active prototyping,” said the city’s chief innovation and performance officer.

Three companies have been chosen to participate in a program meant to connect civic-oriented startups with Pittsburgh’s city government, Mayor Bill Peduto’s office said Tuesday.

Dubbed PGH Lab, the pilot initiative aims to give local firms a chance to work with city departments and Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, testing new technologies and services. They’ll get a chance to do so for three months, between late July and early October.

"Previously, there was no formal mechanism for the City to engage with the startup community,” Debra Lam, Pittsburgh’s chief innovation and performance officer, said in a statement Tuesday. She added: “We are excited to see this relationship deepen through active prototyping.”

The three selected companies include: HiberSense, which provides facility managers and property owners with “micro-zone” climate control in buildings, using specialized sensors and vents, with the goal of saving energy and keeping people comfortable in their individual spaces; TransitSource, a company that has built a bike-mounted piece of hardware intended to detect and record data about when cyclists have had close run-ins with vehicles; and Renerge, Inc., which makes a low-cost, portable hydropower system that can be deployed on rivers.

A review committee and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, which is Pittsburgh’s economic development agency, selected the companies from a group of more than 25 applicants, according to Peduto’s office. The city has emphasized that participation in the pilot program is not meant to be a fast-track to formal procurement for a company’s goods or services.

Pittsburgh launched the pilot program earlier this year under a broader initiative known as the Inclusive Innovation Roadmap.

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Bill Lucia is a Reporter for Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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