Avenu Company Spotlight: NurturePA


NuturePA, Inc., a charitable, non-profit organization, is connecting parents with the information and resources they need – exactly when they need it.

Kate Brennan is their enthusiastic and passionate Director of Operations. Here she talks about how they use technology to support new moms and how Avenu is supporting their small non-profit:

What is one thing people are surprised to learn about you/your company?
At NuturePA, volunteer mentors support moms during the first three years of her baby’s life – all through an innovative text messaging program. We use our custom developed software to connect volunteer mentors with moms so that they leave the hospital with support already in their pocket. Volunteer mentors use our software to share parenting information, make referrals to community resources, and, perhaps most importantly, build relationships during a critical time in the life of a mom and her baby. People are often surprised at the meaningful relationships that develop between moms and their mentors without them ever meeting face-to-face. Bottom line — we are supporting moms so they are better able to nurture their babies.

One goal for 2018?
We plan to expand our volunteer pool to 100 mentors so that we can support upwards of 1000 moms and babies. For more information about volunteering with NurturePA, go to our website and click on Mentors.

Why Avenu?
Avenu provides a professional space in very convenient location for our small non-profit to hold meetings, trainings, and a drop in space for day-to-day work. We also love the neighborhood and appreciate its proximity to one of our partner hospitals – UPMC Mercy. We’re proud to have our name on the door at Avenu!

Revv Oakland And Startuptown Merge To Form Avenu

Revv Oakland and StartUptown are merging to form Avenu, a not-for-profit entity with a renewed commitment to equitable economic development in the Fifth/Forbes corridor spanning Uptown and Oakland.

“The new identity, Avenu, captures both our mission — to drive equitable economic development in the corridor — and our geographic footprint. We currently operate seven locations in the Fifth Avenue/Forbes Avenue corridor,”explains acting Executive Director Tad Hale, “and plan to activate additional sites in the corridor to provide increased opportunities for retail, live-work spaces, flexible work spaces and other development.”

StartUptown and Revv Oakland housed some of the region’s most recognizable technology startups that achieved exits — NoWait, Shoefitr, Rhiza, Allpoint Systems, and Powered Analytics — and continue to serve numerous early stage counterparts that are on similar trajectories — StitchFix, Containership and Forest Devices among them. Despite finding success in coworking, founders of both organizations cite a larger vision, beyond just flexible workspace, as motivation.

Furthering this collective vision, Avenu will connect people and programs through place-making, to help create an equitable community of residents, builders and entrepreneurs. “We are collaborative by nature and are eager to participate in transformative projects where we can add lasting value,” says Hale, “We are committed to building a vibrant, equitable corridor by attracting more community-based startups, while continuing to support tech, social, and maker businesses.”

Avenu is increasing its community engagement by making its spaces more available and by partnering to bring increased programming into the corridor.

Avenu unveils its new website (www.avenu-pgh.com) on September 15, 2017.

Revv Oakland’s Startup Profile: TravelWits


Co-founders: Arman Bimatov, Alla Safonova, Maxim Likhachev

Co-founders: Arman Bimatov, Alla Safonova, Maxim Likhachev

What does TravelWits do and what is its mission?
TravelWits.com allows you to book a last minute vacation or getaway much easier than any other travel website. Simply enter your budget, vacation theme, and desired time in transit then our website returns what we call TripKits.

TripKits are pre-built getaways that include the total cost of a trip such as the cost of the flight, hotel, airport parking, and Uber to the resort or hotel. Our website builds TripKits by looking at all transit options such as flying, driving, taking a train or bus, not to mention thousands of hotels and resorts.

People don’t often realize all their options because configuring the total cost of several trips is very time consuming. In addition to building the complete trip, we allow users to purchase the flight, train or bus ticket within the same checkout as the hotel.

TravelWits.com caters to people who want to find new vacation ideas without breaking the bank, or endlessly searching online. As for booking the vacation, TravelWits keep customers informed about pricing changes via email alerts so that when the price is right and moment is right TravelWits allows you to book the entire trip in one single checkout page.

How was the company born?
As founders we personally ran into this issue over and over: every few months we would schedule a weekend getaway, but routinely we had little time or desire to actually plan. Building a website that made it easy to travel last minute has been our main goal, and this came from our personal frustrations and shortcomings with current travel websites.

How long has TravelWits been around?
TravelWits is a young company in the startup phase and it has raised a seed round of funding from Innovation Works. This summer TravelWorks will move out of beta and will launch in four markets. You can checkout the beta product for these markets at:
Getaways from NYC
Getaways from Pittsburgh
Getaways from Boston
Getaways from Washington, DC

Why did you chose to locate in Oakland?
We have close ties to CMU and one of our founders is a CMU research professor. Given, Oakland was a natural fit.

How is Revv Helping Your Business?
Most of all Revv has supported us by offering up an ideal office space in a location that attracts the talent we need. We often work with young engineers, interns and young professionals. Being located in Oakland is helpful to attract these workers.

Oakland Becoming the Next Hot Spot for Tech Startups


Reasons why Pittsburgh provides a great environment for technological innovation through Oakland.

The Atlantic recently published an article, “How to Create a Tech Startup Scene if You’re Not in Silicon Valley,” that illustrated what makes Pittsburgh “one of the liveliest technology ecosystems in the country.” One of the main reasons is that internationally established companies such as Google, Apple, and Disney Research want to expand their presence in the city, particularly in Oakland. These companies are looking for office space close to renowned universities such as Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Click here to read the full article!



Pitt Innovation Challenge

The 2014 Pitt Innovation Challenge has entered round #2!  there are 29 semifinalists of nearly 90 entries competing for the final round.  One of these finalist will be the “Peoples Choice Candidate” chosen through online voting through April 14th.  Each team has created an innovative solution to empower individuals to take control of their own health outcomes.  The three finalists will be awarded $100,000 and additional visibility for their projects.

To view the finalists and cast your vote, please click here.