Pittsburgh Power Moves: Alum-founded startup joins Venture for America’s accelerator and robotics founder departs

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: [email protected].

Carbon Compost joins the Venture for America accelerator

Carbon Compost is an East Liberty-based sustainability startup aiming to make it easier for people to manage food waste in cost-effective ways. Now, it’s one of six companies that has been selected to participate in the 2023 Venture for America accelerator program, which exclusively supports startups headed by former fellows. In Carbon Compost’s case, that’s Louis Mennel, who joined VFA in 2019.

For its participation in the three-month accelerator, Carbon Compost will receive a $2,500 monthly stipend, networking opportunities, mentorship, and a chance to win $10,000 in prize money during the Demo Day event in Baltimore.

RE2 Robotics’ former leader exits

Jorgen Pedersen, COO of Sarcos, with one of RE2’s earliest robotic arms. (Photo by Atiya Irvin-Mitchell)

After over 20 years at the helm of what was once RE2 Robotics, specializing in the development of intelligent mobile manipulation systems, Jorgen Pedersen is stepping down from the company he founded.

This move comes about a year after the company’s acquisition by Salt Lake City-based Sarcos Technology. Pedersen has spent that transitional time helping the two companies operate as one. Now, according to his LinkedIn post, he’s ready to move onto a new chapter.

Pedersen didn’t share what his plans moving forward were, but wrote that although he won’t be at the company anymore, robotics will remain a significant part of his future.

“The past year has reminded me just how much I love building a robotics company centered on values that truly put people first,” Pedersen wrote. “I love working with smart, kind people. I love the process of building a great place to work and solving challenging real-world problems. My passion for robotics and entrepreneurship drives me towards the next chapter.”

Preamble is in this industry bizdev program

Preamble, a Downtown Pittsburgh-based startup that produces SaaS-based safety and ethical values systems for AI platforms, has joined NVIDIA Inception, a business development program supporting companies attempting to change industries with technological advancements.

As a participant of this free program, Preamble will be able to work with industry experts and look to other AI-driven organizations for market support and technology collaborations, as well as receive NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute credits and tech support.

“Leveraging NVIDIA’s powerful GPUs [Graphics Processing Units] and development expertise will allow us to build a robust, fully customizable safety layer for our customers. This relationship will enhance our abilities, furthering our mission to build a safer and more inclusive AI future,” Preamble CEO and cofounder Jeremy McHug said in a written statement.

More Pittsburgh moves:

  • Duolingo’s new chief marketing officer is Emmanuel Orssaud, who was previously head of international marketing for the East Liberty-based edtech company.
  • Wexford-based biotech firm Coeptis Therapeutics has named Colleen Delaney its new chief scientific and medical officer.
  • PECA Labs added three new board members to its board of directors to further guide the company in developing and commercializing cardiovascular implants: Jeffrey P. Carpenter, Jeffrey O’Donnell, and Samuel E. Navarro. These pros are a vascular and endovascular surgeon, the managing director for medtech accelerator Runway Healthcare, and a finance executive, respectively.
  • Module has been selected as a finalist in the Wells Fargo Affordable Housing Breakthrough Challenge.
  • Abridge AI has announced a partnership with Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare where its transcription technology will be available to 3,000 clinicians at over 400 locations over the course of three years.
  • Carnegie Mellon University has welcomed Food Rescue Hero founder Leah Lizarondo to its Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program at the university’s Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.


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