Frequently Asked Questions

I want to sell my product to the city. Is this the right venue?

PGH Lab provides local startups with an opportunity to test their products and services with the City of Pittsburgh. PGH Lab is not a fast-track to procurement. The City will not compensate the startup at a market rate for the use of its product or service, all products will be returned to the startup upon completion of the pilot. Startups interested in selling their product or service to the City should refer to Beacon, the e-procurement platform to learn about bid opportunities.

I am responding to a Request for Proposals (RFP) announced by the city. Can I submit my response here?

This is not a venue to sell the City of Pittsburgh products or services, initiate a procurement agreement, become an approved vendor, or respond to an RFP. Please refer to Beacon and City Procurement Procedures for these actions.

Does the city offer financial support to startups participating in PGH Lab?

The City works hard to connect startups to a network of resources here in Pittsburgh to support their growth and their ability to sustain a pilot. The City cannot compensate the startup for use of its product or service.

I want the Mayor to announce support for my company / initiative? Is this the right outlet to make my request?

Participants in the PGH Lab program will receive public attention from local news outlets. However, the PGH Lab program is not the portal for requesting a formal letter of support from the Mayor.

Can startups not located in Allegheny County still apply?

At this time, Pittsburgh and Allegheny County startups are preferred but we are open to a broader range of startups in neighboring counties. Please direct inquiries to pghlab@pittsburghpa.gov if interested.

What if I am an established company?

PGH Lab defines “startup” according to the phase a pilot product is in rather than the age or size of the company. If you have products or services with revenue streams but have a pilot-ready product that is pre-customer, you should still apply. The pilot would only test that beta phase product.

What if I have a product ready for pilot testing but already have paying customers?

Companies with paid pilots or paying customers are eligible to apply. However, we expect most applying companies to have no or very little revenue.

Will the city keep my product/service at the end of the pilot?

Any equipment used will not be retained or considered property of the City of Pittsburgh or participating authorities. All products tested as part of PGH Lab will be returned at the end of the pilot.

What are the benefits to startups who participate in this program?

Startups have an opportunity to test their product. This test case is valuable in seeking investors and customers. Startups will also be connected to a range of city resources. Startups are encouraged to test, gain valuable market feedback, and iterate. If selected, startups will also have access to coworking spaces within the City-County Building.

What support and resources will the city provide before, during, and after the pilot?

The city will provide a dedicated program liaison, access to any equipment, infrastructure, or staff required to successfully execute the pilot. Coworking spaces at the City-County building for on-site work will also be available for all participating startups.

What resources and commitments will be required of participating startups?

The goal for both startups and the City is to have successfully completed pilots. To that end, a startup must have time, staff, equipment, and other required resources to sustain and complete a 3-4 month pilot. In addition, the startup is required to allocate time for weekly check-in meetings with program manager, meetings with city champions, and a company presentation day. Please check the PGH Lab Rules & Regulations Booklet for detail information on company expectations.

I don’t have a tech startup but I do have a new service can I still consider applying to PGH Lab?

Yes, if you have an innovative service that presents great potential to improve city operations and help the City of Pittsburgh deliver quality services, tell us how your service works. Refer to FlyWheel and Global Wordsmiths pilot projects for inspiration.