A Pittsburgh venture capital fund, Coal Hill Ventures, is launching a new business accelerator, dubbed the Robotics Hub, to identify, build and guide the most promising startups — regardless of origin — in the burgeoning field of advanced robotics. GE Ventures is its founding sponsor.
"The Robotics Hub concept grew out of almost a year of interaction between business and technical leaders throughout Carnegie Mellon University, the growing Pittsburgh robotics community and industry leaders nationally," said Chris Moehle, managing director at Coal Hill and previously associate director for new ventures at Carnegie Mellon's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC). "Thanks to a founding sponsorship from GE Ventures, it is now a reality."
"We look forward to staying close to this evolving ecosystem," said Alex Tepper, managing director at GE Ventures. "We are here to invest time and resources in companies looking to help push the boundaries of industrial robotics, among other areas of strategic interest."
"Pittsburgh has the capabilities to become the world center of ultra-advanced robotics," said Andrew W. Moore, dean of Carnegie Mellon's School of Computer Science. "One part of this strategy is to make a frictionless path from CMU labs to go-to-market plans to full scale product development. The Robotics Hub has assembled the team we need to make this happen."
"A number of robotics companies have spun out of CMU, and many of the innovations created here have been licensed by industry," said Martial Hebert, director of CMU's Robotics Institute. "We have an opportunity to substantially increase the number of startups with roots in Pittsburgh and so we welcome the assistance that the Robotics Hub promises to provide."
"We think, in a relatively short amount of time, Pittsburgh will be the place people come to start their robotics company," Moehle said. "Between GE Ventures, Carnegie Mellon, its National Robotics Engineering Center and the broader Pittsburgh ecosystem, there is a tangible resource pool that is hard to find anywhere else. Through the Robotics Hub, we plan to use our resources to ensure that the best startups around can access this unique intellectual and physical support structure. We want to make sure that teams and technologies that can be truly transformative have what they need to realize their potential."
"The creation of the Robotics Hub will not only advance Pittsburgh's reputation as a center for technology innovation and advanced robotics, but it will also help to generate economic growth and development throughout the region," said Bob Dammon, Dean of CMU’s Tepper School of Business.
"Pittsburgh is working hard to create a supportive environment for new businesses in the technology sector, and this is the perfect example of utilizing locally developed technology and talent," said Pittsburgh Councilman Dan Gilman.
Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s article about the Robotics Hub.