Innovation Works, Inc.

Manufacturing Program Associate - Innovation Works, Inc. and Robotics Factory Accelerator

AlphaLabGear - Pittsburgh, PA - Full Time

Manufacturing Program Associate


Position Summary:

The Manufacturing Program Associate is highly visible within the startup and will have the opportunity to support and shape the AlphaLab Gear and Robotics Factory accelerator programs within Innovation Works’ Hardware group. This role is focused on increasing the success rate of the region’s technology companies and technology-adopting manufacturers by providing business expertise, direct investment and hands-on support.


The Manufacturing Program Associate works closely with the Manufacturing Program Manager to help oversee and manage the implementation of IW manufacturing programs. These programs engage regional manufacturers and early stage hardware companies in bringing new products to market and expanding market opportunities, through an approach that emphasizes product design and development, manufacturability, and creation of localized supply chains. This approach leads to the launch of new products, the generation of new revenue, and the creation of new jobs in southwestern PA.


With early stage companies, the Manufacturing Program Associate provides support to IW’s hardware and robotics accelerators and portfolio companies through Scalable Innovation, identifying manufacturing needs and supply chain options for those needs, engaging and connecting specific design, manufacturing and supply chain partners for those companies, and assisting in establishing and expanding regional and domestic partnerships in product design and development, prototyping, raw materials and components, tooling, contract manufacturing, packaging and distribution.  Scalable Innovation enables early stage companies in southwestern PA to accelerate their progress and help them gain a competitive advantage.


Scalable Innovation also benefits regional manufacturers, where the Manufacturing Program Associate provides guidance and connections, and helps facilitate funding to explore areas of product expansion, find new customer opportunities and market segments for sales growth.  Support includes a collaborative network for new product opportunities with early stage companies, identifying public and private resources for business growth, and facilitating grant funding and incentives through the Innovation Adoption Program, the Manufacturer Intern Program and the Scalable Incentive Program.


Primary Responsibilities:


  • Provide guidance to entrepreneurs and early stage technology companies with respect to manufacturing, and provide connection between those companies and experts in the field
  • Assist in developing and maintaining a collaborative network of hardware startups and manufacturing companies interested in expanding their products and markets and engaging with high-growth early stage companies; In instances where introductory meetings should include multiple IW team members, the Manufacturing Program Associate identifies and coordinates scheduling with those team members
  • Assist in implementing and coordinating the Scalable manufacturing curriculum at both the AlphaLab Gear and Robotics Factory accelerators. This program is an intensive and comprehensive approach covering early stage design and manufacturing topics.  Organize office hours with startups, manufacturers and manufacturing experts; organize facility tours, design jams and build jams
  • Collect and organize feedback from startups and manufacturers who engage with IW Manufacturing Programs.
  • Assist in collecting and maintaining impact data resulting from IW Manufacturing Programs.  Increase supply chain participation in the areas relevant to early stage needs for design and development, prototyping, raw materials and components, contract manufacturing, tooling, packaging, and distribution
  • Engage and build relationships between early stage companies and supply chain partners that will lead toward quotes and proposals, purchase orders and projects, revenue growth and increased employment
  • Identify manufacturing candidates for the Innovation Adoption Program and facilitate the funding process, overseeing milestone completion, invoicing/payment, project reporting, and all contract obligations, when required
  • Identify manufacturing candidates for the Manufacturer Intern Program and administer the application process with those companies
  • Identify projects for the Scalable Grant Program and administer the funding process, overseeing milestone completion, invoicing/payment, project reporting and all contract obligations, when required


Secondary Responsibilities:


  • Promote entrepreneurship and technology in the region by representing Innovation Works at various manufacturing, technology-related and economic development events
  • Support projects that enhance Innovation Works’ ability to provide resources and knowledge  to the regional technology and manufacturing communities


Qualifications and Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field, minimum three years’ experience
  • Demonstrable hands-on experience in a manufacturing, prototype and/or fabrication environment with experience in supply chain management, product development and/or innovation, entrepreneurial development, and agile development methodologies
  • Prior program- or project-coordination and management experience, preferably with start-up to mid-size product company
  • Demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects and time-sensitive issues for various stakeholders with attention to detail, deadlines, and overall quality. Ability to execute individually on program operations and working with fellow team members.
  • Needs to be flexible and adaptable in a fast moving environment.
  • Ability to drive results (both individually and collaboratively) in an organization with minimal supervision.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork, verbal and written communications are a must.
  • Comfort communicating with substance in a direct, transparent, and empathetic manner.
  • Breadth of technology and commercial market understanding preferred with the ability to quickly learn about new industries, business models, and technologies





  • Prior experience working in a hardware startup company or with startup companies is strongly desired.
  • Online presence and passion for the entrepreneurial/startup and manufacturing community is important. Demonstrated ability with building community and partnerships is a strong plus
  • Proficient in use of technical tools such as CAD/CAM/CNC, Adobe Suite, 3D slicers, etc.
  • Ability to use productivity tools such as Google Apps, Slack, Calendly, Streak, and Salesforce are important. Individuals should be comfortable using various social networks to promote AlphaLab Gear, Innovation Works, its companies and to engage with the startup community.
  • To include any other duties assigned.


Complete other duties and projects as assigned.



Innovation Works provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

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