Innovation Works is a nationally prominent seed stage investor and has developed industry-leading accelerator programs, AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear. Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network make up one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery and finance systems in the country. By combining IW’s proven acceleration model with unparalleled clinical access and support, AlphaLab Health will surround you with the resources to accelerate your time to impact.
“AlphaLab Health provided early stage capital, industry connections, the expertise of a top research institute and access to highly regarded clinicians. All of these resources propelled our research and development program forward.”
"Alphalab Health has been a game changer. Having an idea and creating the technology is one thing, making a company out of it is a whole new ball game, especially in the healthcare space. Our mentors at AlphaLab Health really helped us to create a structured approach to explore product market fit. They showed us how to navigate the complex healthcare system, providing us with invaluable connections along the way. A game-changer."
"AlphaLab Health was the perfect springboard for us. The partnership between Innovation Works and Allegheny Health Network gave us a unique blend of expertise and mentorship across healthcare and entrepreneurship, allowing us to iterate our product and go-to-market strategies. By the end of the program, we were accepted into Techstars where we continued to build on our momentum from ALH, tripling our customer count, and helping us close our seed round. We’re very grateful for the opportunities provided to us by AlphaLab Health and know our journey wouldn’t be the same without it."
Aaron Tainter is the Director of Accelerator Programs for the IW family of accelerators, overseeing AlphaLab, AlphaLab Health, AlphaLab Gear, and the Robotics Factory. With a rich background in finance, venture capital, and operations, Aaron brings a wealth of expertise to guide companies in optimizing their financials, operational plans, and fundraising strategies. Outside of the accelerators, he enjoys playing and watching a variety of sports as well as coaching the sports of his young boys.
Maria is the Program Manager for Life Sciences where she focuses on the AlphaLab Health accelerator and the associated recruiting and operations. In this role, Maria is actively involved in the accelerator lifecycle from beginning to end and works closely with the companies, partners, and mentors participating in the program. She was a Graduate Research Assistant in the uBiointerface Lab at the University of Pittsburgh where she specialized in developing electrochemical methods for eradicating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Previously, Maria served as a teaching assistant for the Hk Maker Lab, a summer engineering design program for NYC high school students, and selected projects to be incubated at the Harlem Biospace. Maria holds a BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and an MS degree in Bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to joining Innovation Works, Cigdem worked at the innovation offices of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. In Colorado, she built and ran a biotechnology accelerator program called SPARK Colorado, in collaboration with Stanford University. Cigdem drafted and co-secured the NIH REACH grant, which enabled SPARK Colorado to receive $4M and become part of a national network of innovation hubs funded by the NIH. She was faculty at Boston College, a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, and a pre-doctoral fellow at Oxford University. She also worked at the Turkish Chambers of Commerce, running economic development and institutional capacity-building programs with international partners. Cigdem enjoys working with founders and thinking through challenges around the processes of innovation and venture formation, especially in life sciences, where the potential for direct impact is huge!
Dr. Cohen graduated in 1976 from Syracuse University with a BS in Biology. He earned his medical degree from SUNY – Upstate Medical Center in 1979, completed a Urology residency at Case Western Reserve in 1984 and finished a Fellowship in Urology Fellowship at The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 1985. He joined Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in 1985. He was President of Triangle Urological Group, served as CMO of AGH 2013-2014 and was President of AGH from 2016-2020. Presently, he is the Chief Physician Executive, Community Health and Innovation. Dr. Cohen is President of Chemimage Corporation.
Stephen graduated in 2008 from Marietta College with a BA in Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He began his career with Deloitte working in the technology advisory practice and joined Highmark Health in 2012. His focus has been around developing and bringing Highmark Health’s long-term strategic vision to life. His concentration has been on the AHN’s $1B growth platform including Oncology, Wexford Hospital, north-west PA redevelopment, clinical mergers, and acquisitions. He was part of Highmark’s largest spin-up Home and Community Services (HMHCS).
You'll be able to meet virtually with a member of the AlphaLab Health team