Become a Startup Scout

Join the VC Startup Scout program and amplify your impact. Utilize your unique insights to identify emerging startups, bolstering your professional network and enhancing your industry influence.


AlphaLab is a well-known startup accelerator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 2008 by Innovation Works, which is one of the most active seed-stage investors in the United States. AlphaLab provides early-stage technology companies with an extensive mentor network, educational sessions, and a rich entrepreneurial work environment to help them grow.

One of the unique features of this accelerator is that it operates on a cycle-based program, offering funds, mentorship, and office space twice a year to selected startups. In each cycle, companies receive $25,000 in exchange for 5% equity, as well as access to a $50,000 optional convertible note. AlphaLab's resources and connections extend beyond the initial seed funding stage, often helping startups secure additional funding and support for their growth.

AlphaLab has a proven track record in helping startups succeed. One of its major success stories is NoWait, a restaurant waitlist app, which was part of AlphaLab's fifth cycle in 2010. NoWait grew its product within AlphaLab's ecosystem, got subsequent rounds of financing, and was eventually acquired by Yelp for $40 million in 2017.

Another example of success is The Zebra, an insurance comparison site, which participated in AlphaLab's program in 2013. The accelerator helped the startup refine its business model and secure a round of funding. Today, The Zebra has become the nation's leading car insurance comparison site.

AlphaLab’s contributions extend beyond supporting individual companies. It has spawned a complementary program called AlphaLab Gear, a hardware and robotics accelerator. Furthermore, in an effort to foster diversity in the startup ecosystem, AlphaLab has collaborated with other local groups to launch the Include program, a fellowship designed to support women and minorities in entrepreneurship.

This accelerator's success and influence can be witnessed in its alumni, such as Leah Lizarondo, CEO of 412 Food Rescue, who has gone on to become an influential voice in food recovery and sustainability. Moreover, AlphaLab investors like Birchmere Ventures, Innovation Works, and The Pittsburgh Seed Fund have continued to play a significant role in fueling the growth of startups in the region.

In conclusion, AlphaLab represents a key piece of the startup and VC ecosystem in Pittsburgh and beyond, providing early-stage companies with the necessary funding, mentorship, and a nurturing environment to grow and thrive. As such, it has proven to be instrumental in shaping the landscape of startup success in the region.

As a Scout, You Can...

Kickstart Your Venture Capital Career

Showing your skills in picking successful startups and advising founders is the surest way to build your reputation and secure a venture capital role.

Explore →

Help Your Ecosystem Thrive

Your community, region, or group thrives when its founders are given the chance to succeed before going back and reinvesting in their comunities.

Explore →

Earn a Share in Startups Without Investing in Them

Earn a share in startups you scout without the funds to invest directly just like a VC partner.

Explore →

Monetise Your Content & Community

As a podcaster, community manager, or event organiser you have a front-row seat to interesting startups which you can monetise by helping them fundraise.

Explore →

Create a Fairer Society

By identifying under-represented founders you're level the playing field for anyone to success based on merit independent from their social or ethnic background.

Explore →

Help Friends Get Funded

Help your friends who are neck-deep in their startups get the funding they need to succeed.

Explore →

Grow Your Personal Brand

Explore →

Join as a Scout at Your University

Available Programs

Startup Investor?

Invest in the future and join AlphaLab's dealflow network. Our network offers exclusive access to promising startups, innovations, and individuals from our acclaimed accelerator program. Don't miss out on these exciting opportunities.

Learn More →

Scout Programs in Other Global Startup Hubs


Do you interview founders & startups? Take your conversation insights to the next level by scouting your favourite podcast guests.

Scout founders you interview →

Co-Working Space Organiser

Do you help run a co-working space as an organiser or a greeter? Do you come across interesting entrepreneurs and startups?

Scout startups you sit next to→

Event Organiser

Do you organise an event, conference, or trade show? Help your founder attendees get discovered.

Scout startups at your event →


Are you active in the entrepreneurship club at your college? Doing an MBA? Or are you a PHD student at a technical university? Help your fellow students get funded.

Scout startups at your university →

All trademarks, logos and brand names are the property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, trademarks, and brands does not imply endorsement.