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Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone Awards Grants

Four small businesses in the heart of Pittsburgh received more than $73,000 in grants, thanks to the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ).

The PCKIZ recently announced the following winners of its first Genesis Grants:

  • bit-x-bit, a forensic investigation and e-discovery company, $18,902
  • Mechanimal, a science/technology-oriented graphic design firm, $17,379
  • Mygov365, a platform to follow local, state and federal legislative processes, $18,600
  • Special Pathogens Laboratory, microbiology services, $18,493.

The Genesis Grants will be awarded on an ongoing basis throughout the current fiscal year, with $150,000 expected to be distributed to PCKIZ companies.

“By awarding these grants to some of the most promising companies within the PCKIZ, we are helping to unlock potential for jobs that will help to revitalize the Hill District and other neighborhoods in the city,” said William Generett, executive director of the PCKIZ. “At the same time, we are advancing innovation among new and young companies.”

Not only do the companies gain from the grant and other support from the PCKIZ, students who gain internships and workers who land jobs benefit. “All of this is a definite ‘win-win’ for the region,” said Janet Stout, director of Special Pathogens Laboratory. “As we are supported and encouraged to grow and prosper, we support the region with new jobs and vitality for the area.”

In its first year of operation, the PCKIZ has signed 15 companies into the program, including three startups specializing in forensic investigation, Web development and Internet marketing, and science-based computer artistry. Other PCKIZ firms provide “green” and traditional maintenance products, biomedical products, health care consulting and high-tech products and services.

The PCKIZ also hosted monthly networking and orientation events; facilitated summer internships, with plans to create year-round internships; and created the semi-annual PCKIZ Business Idea Challenge, drawing ideas for new products or businesses from local university and college students.

For more information on the PCKIZ, visit www.pckiz.org.

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