This week for La Perspective we spoke with Jennifer Van Dam from AlphaLab, located in East Liberty. AlphaLab provides much needed to support to new technology companies in the form of funding, education and support. If you are an early-stage technology company this is is for you! Read on below. 

Jennifer Van Dam
AlphaLab Program Coordinator, Innovation Works,

Favorite place in Pittsburgh: Besides AlphaLab -- I would have to say Tazza D’oro in Highland Park

1. What does AlphaLab do?

AlphaLab provides early-stage technology companies with an extensive mentor network, educational sessions with industry leaders, and a rich entrepreneurial work environment.

2. What are the qualifications of applying?

We have accepted companies with just a vision/concept and we’ve accepted companies that entered AlphaLab with a working product, customers and in a few cases, funding. In each case, we felt there was a compelling market opportunity and an exceptional team that had the capabilities and desire to rapidly iterate and grow their company with the support of the AlphaLab program.

3. What support does AlphaLab give?

AlphaLab provides funding, mentorship, and educational sessions. We invest $25,000 in exchange for 5% common-stock equity. Over the time of the program, scheduled educational sessions cover topics from customer validation to financing, all geared towards helping each team build the best company possible.Each company is able to benefit from the guidance of entrepreneurs, technologists and investors who have developed and launched products, raised capital and negotiated manufacturing and distribution partnerships.

4. How to apply?

AlphaLab’s application is closed for the Fall 2015 Cycle, but we’ll have another application that opens up in the Spring. When the application is open you can apply by going to and following @alphalab on Twitter.

5. Is there anything else you would like to share?

We host events that are open to the public like Open Coffee Club and are always interested in hearing new ideas and partnering with community organizations.