Techstra Solutions Joins the City of Pittsburgh PGH Lab 4.0 Cohort

City Welcomes Fourth Cohort of PGH Lab Program Supporting Local Startup Firms

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 29, 2018) 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, Pittsburgh Parking Authority, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates today announced fourth cohort of the PGH Lab program.

PGH Lab connects local startup companies with the City of Pittsburgh, local authorities, and non-profits to explore new ways to use technology and new services to make local government and non-profits more efficient, transparent, sustainable, and inclusive. In the program, startups can utilize city government and local authorities ‘assets to test their beta-stage products and services in a real-world environment for three-four months. In the pilot testing period, startups and City Champions, who are government employees, are tasked with co-creating pilot projects that can address a complex urban challenge.

“When the startups and the City Champions work together, they can work on proving and strengthen innovative ideas, test assumptions, and create space to do things differently when addressing urban challenges.” said Mayor William Peduto.

The City of Pittsburgh and the participating authorities have successfully completed three cycles and engaged 15 local startups, putting forth a variety of products and new services. Although the program does not provide a path to procurement, two companies have moved to paid engagements after the completion of their pilot projects.  The fourth cycle of PGH Lab is constituted by local startups and small businesses proposing solutions ranging from impact hub pop-ups, smart lots, smart facilities solutions, composting and environmental sustainability, IT network security, and business consulting. The majority of the startups have gone through extensive training from nationally and regionally renowned local incubators and accelerators including Alpha Lab and Alpha Lab Gear, Work Hard Pittsburgh, and New Sun Rising.

The City of Pittsburgh, local authorities, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates welcome the fourth cohort of PGH Lab:

Change Agency serves as a hub for civic initiatives to build a more welcoming, inclusive, and equitable Pittsburgh. Current projects include All for All and Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh, which aim to further immigrant inclusion and bring people of all ages together. Impact PGH pop-up which builds on existing work, embraces a physical space for emerging social entrepreneurs and creatives from underrepresented populations and traditionally stonewalled communities to positively impact our region. Change Agency will be working alongside the Department of Public Works and the Office of Community Affairs, City of Pittsburgh.

DECO Resources provides environmental consulting and green design for water, energy, and technology in green infrastructure. DECO Resources supports sustainable development through Design – Engineering – Construction and Operations.  DECO Resources will be working alongside the Department of Planning, City of Pittsburgh.

Honeycomb Credit is a crowd financing platform that connects small businesses seeking expansion loans with community members looking to invest local. Working alongside the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Streetface Program, Honeycomb Credit will use its platform to pilot the first ever crowd-financed facade improvement matching program.

IT Security Solutions, Inc., offers cyber security domain expertise services ranging from technology security audits and penetration testing to continuous network scanning for businesses of all sizes. The company recently launched ITS Safe™, a proprietary managed security solution that blocks hackers from attacking networks ITS Safe is managed for the clients to keep their businesses safe. IT Security Solutions, Inc., will be working alongside the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

LifeWhere is a connected home services solution.  LifeWhere uses LifePulse technology that attaches to machines in the home to monitor the health of home utilities, alerting homeowners and service providers to a problem before it happens. The startup will be working alongside the Department of Public Works, City of Pittsburgh.

RoomLeopard is a website platform that addresses the dual problems of unused space not being used and the community needing space for events, meetings, and gatherings but not easily finding and renting those spaces.  RoomLeopard will be working alongside the Department of Public Works, City of Pittsburgh.

Techstra Solutions is a business consulting firm that helps companies navigate change and implement new strategies that achieve the business value of Digital Talent Transformation. Techstra Solutions has worked with large organizations to execute digital transformation, technology implementations, and operational improvements. The startup will be working alongside the Department of Innovation & Performance, City of Pittsburgh.

Worm Return helps organizations and individuals use vermicomposting strategies to reduce waste and improve food/plant quality. Worm return staff offers consulting services to gardening groups, green committees, schools, and community organizations to help them create food waste solutions. The startup will be working with the Department of City Planning, City of Pittsburgh.

The fourth cohort of PGH Lab will be offered access to Urban Leap, a pilot project management and monitoring platform, co-working space in the City-County Building, procurement workshops, access to the City’s network, and mentoring and guidance from City affiliates.

For news and updates, follow PGH Lab on Twitter at @PGH_Lab.

For any questions regarding the program and the cohorts contact: Annia Aleman, PGH Lab Program Manager, at