Governor Visits Alpha Lab Gear To See Latest Entrepreneurial Inventions

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf dropped by Innovation Work’s Alpha Lab Gear in East Liberty on Thursday to praise the work of Pittsburgh’s young entrepreneurs.

“This is an amazing city, and those of us who have watched what is going on in Pittsburgh, it’s really amazing, and it’s in no small measure due to things like this,” said the governor.

Wolf posed for pictures with young men and women half his age whom he says are coming to Pittsburgh for its opportunities.

With about $30 million seed money from the state, noted Wolf, “People with good ideas can gather together, and actually take those ideas, test them a little bit, try them out, refine them, and then go out to market to raise that $2 billion in private capital.”

The governor met individually with a few of the entrepreneurs, including Avi Geller who moved here from California to start Maven Machines.

He’s developed special head phones for truckers, as he told Wolf.

“There’s over 500,000 accidents per year involving trucks in the U.S., so what we’ve done is we’ve created sensors and algorithms that will monitor a driver in real time and detect if they are fatigued or distracted, alert them, alert a fleet manager,” said Geller.

Then there’s Dick Zhang with his drone with unique software that can map progress on construction sites.

“We’ve got all these software tools to help construction superintendents say, I’m on progress here, I’m behind schedule here, I need to get guys on the ground over there.”

Might be perfect for a PennDOT project.

“Nothing confirmed yet, but we’re on a couple of their projects right now.”

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Hahna Alexander told Wolf about a special in-sole for shoes that she’s invented that generates power when the wearer walks.

“The power is stored in a battery pack that goes outside your shoe, has a USB out so anything you can charge off your computer you can charge off our insole,” said Alexander.

She later showed KDKA money editor Jon Delano how it works, who asked how much power is really generated.

“If you walk for about two hours, you would get one hour of talk time back on your cell phone,” said Alexander.

Sounds pretty cool.

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