Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential and significant activities for the College of Engineering and Carnegie Mellon University. Here you'll find programs, resources, and opportunities related to entrepreneurship and innovation.



Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

The Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship builds on the strengths of Project Olympus and the Don Jones Center for Entrepreneurship to advance university research and ideas. The College of Engineering plays a significant role in the Swartz Center, encouraging participation in center activities and entrepreneurial mentorship. The center works with CMU colleagues to create meaningful and lasting contributions to Carnegie Mellon's entrepreneurial mission. These contributions enhance the innovation ecosystem throughout the campuses, within western Pennsylvania and beyond. The center assists faculty, students, staff, and alums across the entire community in exploring the commercial potential of their innovations.

The Swartz Center is suited for those with an idea and the drive to form a company or develop an idea toward commercialization.

CMU Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation

The Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation connects Carnegie Mellon inventions with companies that can successfully introduce them to the public. These creations fall along many stages of the commercialization continuum, from embryonic technologies that, with some work, will fundamentally change an industry to “off-the-shelf” technology that is ready for a company to bring to market.

CTTEC is the first place for faculty and others (including graduate students) to disclose technology supported by CMU funds, sponsored research, and discretionary funds. Students in a class situation generally do not need to contact CTTEC (although they are welcome to do so).

Innovation Works

Innovation Works invests capital, business expertise, and other resources into high-potential companies with the greatest likelihood of regional (Southwestern PA) economic impact. IW is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in this region and one of the most active in the country.

IW is suited for well-formed companies and ideas that are ready for commercialization.


AlphaLab, a program of Innovation Works, is a leading startup accelerator that helps innovative technology companies launch quickly and successfully. Companies come from various sectors, including web services, mobile, gaming, and physical products, with an emphasis on IT and software companies. Their program runs twice a year for 20 weeks. During this time, up to 10 companies are provided $25,000 in investment capital (in exchange for equity), office space, strategic business support, mentorship, and educational sessions to help them accelerate the launch and growth of their company. At the end of five months, the startups will present their company at AlphaLab Demo Day to investors and press nationwide.

AlphLab is suited for those with a solid idea and a focus on commercialization.

AlphaLab Gear

Alphalab Gear, a program of Innovation Works, is a hardware and robotic startup accelerator that provides physical product companies with investment, mentorship, and connections. They leverage their experience and network to help entrepreneurs progress rapidly through the early stages of product and customer development. AlphaLab Gear uses the same principles and methodologies as AlphaLab, Pittsburgh's nationally acclaimed startup accelerator while incorporating unique expertise, education, and mentorship in the areas of industrial and engineering design, advanced manufacturing, mass consumer distribution, and supply chain management. Companies received $25,000 - $50,000 (in exchange for equity), office space, TechShop membership, mentorship, educational sessions, and additional benefits.

AlphLab Gear is suited for those with a solid idea and a focus on commercialization.