2014 PCKIZ Grant Competition

Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone (PCKIZ) Grant Competition

A Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) is a designated zone established in communities that host institutions of higher education – colleges, universities, junior colleges and technical schools. These zones are designed to foster innovation and create entrepreneurial opportunities. They do this by gathering and aligning the combined resources of educational institutions, private businesses, business support organizations, commercial lending institutions, venture capital networks (including angel investors) and foundations.

The Pittsburgh Central KIZ is a flagship program of Urban Innovation21.

Urban Innovation21 is providing grant funding to support the growth of companies located and registered within the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone. To qualify for funding, applicants must document how the use of PCKIZ grant funding will establish or enhance the applicant’s capability to commercialize new technology, increase their competitive viability in their respective marketplaces and/ or create jobs within the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone. Each applicant can request up to $25,000 in grant funding.

For more information about Urban Innovation21 and the PCKIZ, visit www.ui21.dev/pittsburgh-central-kiz/.

Applicant Requirements

The PCKIZ Grant Competition application deadline has passed as of June 15, 2014, 5pm. Grant decision will be announced in August 2014.

Eligibility:

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • The product or process being developed must be classified into at least one of the following industry sectors: Biomedical, Biotechnology, Energy, Green Building Materials, Material Science, Information Technology, and Technology.
  • The company must be a start-up business less than 8 years old located within the physical boundaries of the Pittsburgh Central KIZ and registered with the PCKIZ on June 1, 2014,  or before.
  • Currently registered students at Carlow University, Community College
  • of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, and Point Park University are encouraged to apply.
  • Currently employed faculty at Carlow University, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, and Point Park University are encouraged to apply.
  • Graduates of Alpha Labs are encouraged to apply.
  • Portfolio companies of Innovation Works and The Idea Foundry are encouraged to apply.
    • Companies that are working with the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development and the City of Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority are encouraged to apply.
    • Companies that receive grant funds must remain within the PCKIZ for a 1 year time period from the date that the company receives the PCKIZ grant.

Project examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Market analysis/research performed by one of the PCKIZ partners
  • Patent applications
  • Product design/development
  • Prototype development and testing
  • Feasibility analysis performed by one of the PCKIZ partners
  • Specialized consulting services
  • Purchase of equipment/ software that can specifically help the business create jobs
  • Partial salary to hire a graduate from one of the PCKIZ participating universities to specifically help the company with a project that can help the business create jobs.
  • Marketing materials

Grant funding CANNOT be used directly for:

  • Facilities (rent or purchase)
  • Insurance
  • Legal fees (except for intellectual property and patents)
  • Delinquent taxes or debt
  • Refinancing of existing debt

Review and Approval:

Application Due Date:   Applications will be reviewed as submitted until funding is exhausted according to the following schedule:

  • Grant Application Deadline: June 15, 2014; Grant Decision Announced in August 2014.

Evaluation Criteria: A PCKIZ Grant Review Committee will evaluate each application and determine the level of funding commitment that will be made to each applicant and the milestone requirements that must be met to receive all of part of the grant. Finalists will be asked to make a brief presentation before the PCKIZ grant committee. The Board of Directors will then approve final grant recommendations of the PCKIZ Grant Review Committee.

The PCKIZ Grant Competition application deadline has passed as of June 15, 2014, 5pm.

NOTE: An applicant who has already received more than $20,000 in grant funds from the PCKIZ can still apply, but must have an extraordinary application to be considered for funding.