Department of Innovation and Performance Announces PGH Lab Cohort 8.0 Participants

Department of Innovation and Performance Announces PGH Lab Cohort 8.0 Participants

Seven local startups selected to pilot products with city departments

PITTSBURGH – The Department of Innovation and Performance today announced its selection of seven startups for PGH Lab Cohort 8.0. Founded in 2016, PGH Lab is a six-month partnership program that connects local startups with local government. PGH Lab provides the opportunity for businesses to pilot products and services, gain feedback, and network with subject matter experts and municipal leaders. The program supports innovation in local government to be more efficient, transparent, sustainable, and inclusive through exposure to new technologies, services and partnerships.  

“The City of Pittsburgh is excited to announced the next cohort of PGH Lab participants,” said Mayor Ed Gainey. “PGH Lab offers our city an unparalleled opportunity to encourage collective problem solving through civic collaboration, while creating a more open and transparent government.” 

“Pittsburgh’s strategy for delivering better results is grounded in nurturing talent and innovation,” said Heidi Norman, director of Innovation & Performance. “We look forward to working with this year’s cohort to help make our government more efficient, open and responsive.”  

The seven participants for this year’s cohort were selected from a pool of 17 applicants. They include: 

  • Green Bean: a platform that provides employers tools to offer stipends, discounts and policy support for employees who make energy-related purchases such as solar panels, efficient HVAC systems, heat pumps and electric vehicles. Green Bean will be partnered with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. 

  • Roto Software: a platform that enables users to post when free or extra food is available for pickup by the public. Roto Software will be partnered with the Department of City Planning, Sustainability and Resilience Division.  

  • Element Exo, Inc: a patented lower back lift assist exoskeleton that assists users with tasks that require bending and lifting. Element Exo, Inc. will be partnered with the Department of Public Works.  

  • Poly Platform: a platform designed to make government more accessible to all levels of the socioeconomic divide by providing a more integrated and user-friendly platform for all residents to use. Poly Platform will be partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services. 

  • Ecotone Renewable: a system designed to help rehabilitate Pittsburgh soil and reduce food waste by adding nutrients from repurposed food waste while reducing water and air pollution. Ecotone Renewable will be partnered with the Department of City Planning, Sustainability and Resilience Division.  

  • Pittsburgh Drone Services: a service that provides drone training for communities of color and educates the public on drone technology. Pittsburgh Drone Services will be partnered with the Department of Permits, Licenses & Inspections and Department of Mobility and Infrastructure.  

  • Airviz Inc: a device that works to detect, understand and improve air quality in Pittsburgh. Airviz Inc. will be partnered with the Office of Sustainability and Department of Public Works.  

Previously, the PGH Lab 7.0 Cohort featured four companies (Royally Fit, Dashcam For Your Bike, Farm to Flame and Kloopify) that worked directly with the Department of City Planning, Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, Department of City Planning: Sustainability & Resilience Division, and the Office of Management and Budget: Procurement Division. The projects supported by PGH Lab Cohort 7.0 helped the City work toward its goal of reducing pollution, improving resident's equitable access to resources, and integrating environmental considerations into decision making.  

To date, PGH Lab has seen 148 applicants, 44 companies have completed pilot projects, and four companies have moved on to paid engagements as a result of positive case study results. For more information on PGH Lab, please visit the website at:


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Maria Montano
Communications Director
Mayor's Office