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Applications Open for PGH Lab Program Linking Startup Firms to Government

PITTSBURGH, PA (July 25, 2019) Mayor William Peduto, the City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation & Performance, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County Airport Authority today announced the opening application period of the fifth cycle of the PGH Lab program.

PGH Lab connects local startup companies with the City of Pittsburgh, local authorities and independent institutions to explore new ways to use technology and new services to make local government more efficient, transparent, sustainable, and inclusive. The program provides an opportunity for local startups to test their beta-stage products and services in a real-world environment for three to four months. 

Through one common application, startups can propose innovative solutions, match with a participating organization and work with a “city champion,” a leader from the participating organization to guide companies through the duration of the pilot project.  

“The program has led us to form strong partnerships with our local entrepreneurs and authorities. Each cycle brings its own set of challenges and opportunities that are needed to innovate city services and create public value. We are very excited to welcome the Allegheny County Airport Authority this time around,” said Mayor William Peduto. 

The City of Pittsburgh and the participating authorities have successfully completed four cycles and engaged 22 local startups, putting forth a variety of technological and innovative solutions including waste management and composting, business processes automation, equity and inclusion impact pop-ups, and cyber security solutions.

“Throughout the PGH Lab program we were able to develop ideas, learn from experiences, and build a strong proof of concept for our future work. The time spent in the community and learning from our partners at the City of Pittsburgh was invaluable,” says Change Agency Founder and All for All Director Betty Cruz.

For the fifth cycle, the City of Pittsburgh and the participating authorities welcome the Allegheny County Airport Authority as a new testing partner organization. 

“Driving innovation is part of our mission at ACAA and PGH Lab is another connection to our region’s innovative start-ups and world-class tech economy,” said Katherine Karolick, Senior Vice President of Information Technology at the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “We are looking forward to exploring new ideas and concepts to continue driving efficiency and improving the passenger experience at Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport.”

Starting July 25, 2019, startups can propose solutions to complex challenges in the following areas: 

  • Improve Operations: Further improve local government operations to make internal processes more efficient and effective. Solutions in the following sub area of interests will be highly encouraged:
  • Process Improvement: Help us reduce the time it takes to coordinate between projects and eliminate waste in the workplace 
  • Smart Cities: Help Pittsburgh become a smart city by exploring newer and smarter technologies and the use of data to create economic development, enhance the quality of life for people, and improve wide accessibility especially for people with disabilities working and living in the city.
  • Citizen Engagement: Enhance the lines of communication among local government, non-profits, and citizens by expanding digital public engagement and increasing opportunities for all of Pittsburgh’s residents to easily access important information and resources. Citizen engagement solutions that include artists, graphic designers, and photographers are encouraged.
  • Climate Change & Environment: Climate and environmental change are among cities' most pressing issues. Modern cities already monitor air quality, energy use, waste, and stormwater management.  Solutions in sustainability, food waste management, and circular economy or reuse/creating new products out of waste and recycling streams are highly encouraged. 
  • Other: Suggest a pilot project that does not fall under any of the previous categories but will benefit and make a great impact in the City of Pittsburgh and the participating organizations.

Participating companies will be selected through a competitive process. The PGH Lab review committee is constituted of various departments, authorities, and non-profit leaders that will identify startup companies to best match priorities and resources within each organization. Program eligibility, application form, and legal requirements can be found on the website:

The application deadline is August 25, 2019 at midnight. 

All local startups and small businesses are encouraged to apply to this great opportunity. 

For news and updates, follow PGH Lab on Twitter at @PghIP and with the hashtag #PGHLab. 

Contact: Annia Aleman, PGH Lab Program Manager, at


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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office