Incubator Participants 2019
The mission of Prototype PGH is to build racial and gender equity in tech and entrepreneurship. In 2019 we are embarking on a new way to do this by incubating 5 women owned companies. Each company has a desk and equipment storage at Prototype, personalized mentorship from our board of directors and advisors, and access to our workshops, tools, and equipment. If you are interested in being part of our next cohort please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Virginia Dere LLC
Gabrielle Haywood, Playwright, Speaker, Entrepreneur and transplant from Atlanta, turned "Swimsuit Designer"; when she could not find a fashionable, yet comfortable swimsuit for a water aerobics class. A few years ago, in her quest to find a colorful swimsuit that had more coverage around the thigh and leg area, she discovered the market lacking in Fashionable but modest coverage. Hence, her flagship product, the "KneeKini" was birthed. Gabrielle is now the proud owner of Virginia Dere, LLC, home of her product, the KneeKini. The KneeKini, is a capri-length swimsuit, with bold and bright color patterns designed for women who want a little more coverage below the thigh, without forfeiting style.
Dump Star Media LLC
Meagan Koleck is an independent filmmaker and educator native to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania whose background includes video production, maker education, and new media. In her personal projects, Meagan utilizes camp and satire to explore disruptive glam-feminism and American ideologies.
In the fall of 2018, Meagan founded Dump Star Media LLC, a production company specializing in creative producing and consulting for independent films. Dump Star Media's mission is to enable and empower independent artists, specifically filmmakers and storytellers who represent marginalized groups. Looking forward, Dump Star Media plans to build upon community engagement by creating a traveling movie theater to bring like-minded artists together in a physical space.
Hannah Eko is a writer, multi-media storyteller, yoga-teacher-in-training and MFA candidate who currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA. Like you, she considers writing about herself in third-person a tad strange. She teaches creative writing, edits long-form fiction, and is a facilitator of writing retreats, goddess inspired gatherings, and artist support sessions. You can find her writing in B*tch and Bust magazines as well as Buzzfeed. She enjoys geeking out on Wonder Woman, astrology, and the Divine Feminine. Hannah blogs at hanabonanza.com and has quite the colorful Instagram (@hannah.eko). You should ask her about love. In second-person.
Kelly Hiser is co-founder and CEO of Rabble, a startup dedicated to empowering libraries to support and sustain their local creative communities. As Rabble's CEO, she directs the development team that builds MUSICat, an open source platform built with libraries to create online local music collections. Through MUSICat, libraries have paid working hundreds of musicians tens of thousands of dollars in licensing fees for local collections.
Kelly also stays engaged as a historian and a scholar, writing and speaking about gender, race, music, technology, and the digital humanities. She holds a Ph.D. in music history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters of Music in musicology from the University of Miami. Kelly has spoken for the American Musicological Society, Madison's Social Good Summit, and the Public Library Association; she'll be presenting at South by Southwest in 2019. Earlier in life she worked as a pianist, and she still spends part of most days at the piano.
Stairways to Success
Natasha has an undergraduate degree in Business/Communications and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Carlow University. She has previous work experience in higher education administration at Carlow University and current professional work experience in the Career Services Department at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. In her role, Natasha assists graduate students in identifying and securing internships and job opportunities.
Natasha’s passions include mentoring high school girls on professional and educational endeavors such as life skills, college explorations, financial literacy, networking, and career development. Natasha has launched a non-profit called Stairway to Success in fall 2018; its goal is to provide resources to underrepresented youth about post-secondary opportunities. She serves on the advisory board of ACH Clear Pathways.