Pittsburgh Technical Council

Pittsburgh Tech News Roundup Featuring Apogee, 2nd Skull, Covestro & IAM Robotics

Pittsburgh Tech News Roundup Featuring Apogee, 2nd Skull, Covestro & IAM Robotics

Article Published: June 3, 2016

Pittsburgh tech companies large and small are making headlines this past week. IAM Robotics got some funding, 2nd Skull introduced pro athletes, Apogee receives top honors and Covestro sponsored the Energy Innovation Center. Get all of the details.

Venture Group Comet Labs Invests in Pittsburgh Startup IAM Robotics

IAM Robotics announced an investment by Silicon Valley group Comet Labs. Comet Labs is a venture initiative focused on helping business-to-business intelligent machine, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, startups scale. They invest capital, and provide resources that accelerate the product and customer development cycles -- resulting in a shorter time to paying customers. Their portfolio companies include both platform technologies, as well as specific industry applications using intelligent machines.

Saman Farid is the managing director of Comet Labs. He introduced the investment group by saying, "Comet Labs actively invests in robotics and AI technology companies augmenting the scale and scope of human abilities. We believe that an inflection point has arrived that allows robotic solutions to understand and interact with the physical world in meaningful ways, and we are actively investing in and partnering with companies building those solutions."

Comet Labs has taken a particular interest in the problems being address by IAM Robotics. Farid said, "Warehouses have remained largely unchanged for dozens of years. Many attempts are being made with half-measures, however IAM Robotics is one of the only companies ambitiously attempting to solve the whole set of problems, from scanning objects to picking and general automation in the warehouse, they can make a significant impact to the bottom line and workflow of fulfillment centers. They have assembled a world-class team of engineers and have a proven ability to execute".

“It’s wonderful having a vote of confidence from a key player in the community of robotics investors,” said CEO of IAM Robotics, Tom Galluzzo. “Comet Labs sees the best robotics and AI startups from all over the world and Silicon Valley. The fact that they see the value of what IAM Robotics is bringing to the market is a new level of validation for us. This is the first of many exciting partnerships and bridges we will build into the broader network of AI technology companies and investors.”

2ND SKULL Protective Headgear Introduces Pro Athletes and New Product Innovation

2nd Skull announced the introduction of its professional athletes coinciding with the company’s new campaign: “LOOK LIKE THE PROS WHILE ADDING PROTECTION TO YOUR HEAD ™”.

“We are proud to introduce Meghan Klingenberg, defender and World Champion with the US Women’s National Soccer Team. On the football front we have Brian Quick, wide receiver for Los Angeles who was a second round selection in the 2012 NFL draft. We are also thrilled to introduce Francisco Cervelli, a premiere catcher for MLB who plays for Pittsburgh. Our athletes personify values that align with ours. The passion they exemplify on the field as well as the generosity off the field were critical in our selection.

"The 2ND SKULL® Cap is a protective skull cap that looks just like the one that Cam Newton wore on Super Bowl 50. 2ND SKULL® products enhance these by having a thin, soft, flexible and breathable layer of protective material that delivers impact protection. The special urethane molecules are soft at rest but harden upon impact, absorbing the energy” - said Federico Olivares, CEO of 2nd Skull, LLC.

The Pittsburgh-based protective headgear company has a product for every sport. The 2ND SKULL® Cap is a protective skull cap for any sports helmet that delivers unmatched value for athletes as it can be worn throughout the year in multiple sports. The 2ND SKULL® Cap is permitted for use at the High School level for football, hockey, baseball and lacrosse. For non-helmet sports like soccer, basketball or women’s lacrosse, the company created the 2ND SKULL® Band, a protective headband that can also be used in multiple sports.

Apogee IT Services Named Top Service Provider

Once again, Apogee IT Services has been highly ranked on Penton Technology’s ninth-annualMSPmentor 501 Global Edition and the list of top-ranked Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in North America. The MSPmentor 501 ranking is the IT channel’s biggest and most comprehensive list of the best MSPs throughout the world.

Apogee IT Services is based in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, with branch offices in Boston and New Hampshire. Apogee provides Managed IT Services to over 150 small and medium sized businesses with a focus on legal, manufacturing, financial services, professional services, non-profit and other industries. Technology services include proactive IT management, multi-layer security including data backup and disaster recovery, 24/7 monitoring and alerting, Help Desk and end-user support, network infrastructure design, and strategic advisement, among others.

Apogee has experienced tremendous growth since Michael Halperin, CEO, became top executive of the 25-year-old company in April 2014. This year, Apogee is ranked #132 on the list, up 43 spots from last year. In April 2015 Apogee acquired CMIT Solutions – Boston, uniting two cutting-edge MSPs and further enhancing Apogee’s power and excellence in the MSP world.

Covestro LLC announces sponsorship with the Energy Innovation Center

Covestro LLC, a leading polymer materials supplier, announced a multi-year sponsorship with the Energy Innovation Center, located in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The sponsorship will contribute toward the Energy Innovation Center’s mission to advance sustainable technologies.

“Sustainability sits at the heart of our business strategy, as we continue to push for more energy-efficient solutions through our products and technologies,” said Jerry MacCleary, president of Covestro LLC. “Our sponsorship with the Energy Innovation Center reflects this commitment, while also connecting us to a hub of like-minded organizations who share our vision for a cleaner future. Together, we can make a stronger impact.”

The Energy Innovation Center aims to promote clean technologies and sustainable workforce development by engaging corporate and community leaders in collaboration, education and research. The facility itself was transformed from the former Connelly Trade School into a LEED Platinum-certified building. The renovation incorporates high-tech materials from Covestro, including polyurethane insulation, floor coatings and polycarbonate solutions.

“The Energy Innovation Center provides a firsthand demonstration of how our materials can enhance the aesthetics of a building, while also dramatically improving its energy performance and resiliency,” said MacCleary.

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