My Battery "Cell-ution" to Climate Change - Becca Segel, Pitt ChemE PhD Student

How can a battery cell reduce climate change? (And what do orca whales have anything to do with it?) In this blog post, we’re catching up with Becca Segel, a Pitt Chemical and Petroleum Engineering PhD student and CEO of FlowCellutions, as she delves deeper into how her idea answers these questions as well as shares her entrepreneurial journey with the Big Idea Center and advice for students interested in innovation!

Our TeamFinder Experience: Finding a Teammate and a Friend!

You know what they say: teamwork makes the dream work! And for Pitt student startup team Potluck (consisting of Joe Slomowitz '23, Oliver Yao '22, and Avi Moses '24), our TeamFinder tool helped them build the dream team! In their featured Big Idea Blog article, learn why Joe & Oliver needed to recruit an additional team member for their idea, how TeamFinder became beneficial in this process, and what important milestones the team has been able to achieve with the addition of Avi. The team also shares some pointers on how to make the most out of your team-building experience.

Top 10 Big Idea Blog Posts of 2021

With another year in the books, we at the Big Idea Center would like to take a look back and reflect upon the incredible memories and stories that 2021 has brought us as we highlight our 10 most popular Big Idea Blog posts of 2021! We hope that as you browse these insightful articles written by Pitt alum, current Pitt students, our entrepreneurs in residence, local business owners, and more, that you gain inspiration from their points of view as well as additional knowledge to further equip you on your entrepreneurial journey as you head into 2022!

Why I Bet on the Goodwill of the Crowd - Leah Lizarondo, Co-Founder & CEO of 412 Food Rescue

Pictured: Leah Lizarondo, Co-Founder & CEO of 412 Food Rescue. Courtesy of Laura Petrilla Photography When I was first pitching my nonprofit tech platform to funders, I was often met with skepticism about a key component of the model: “You’re really going to rely on volunteers to do all this?” The answer, even back then, was an unequivocal “yes.” Five years and an incredibly effective network of 25,000 volunteers later, I hope more nonprofit leaders and donors are seeing what I see.

Reflections on Success from a Female Tech Founder & CEO - Gaby Isturiz

Pictured: Gabriela (Gaby) Isturiz, Founder of eBillingHub & Aderant (formerly Bellefield), Partner at Fund XX, & Innovation Advisor at Bryce Catalyst, winning the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" award. In 1996, I decided to move from Venezuela to the United States to pursue better opportunities, start a master’s degree, and, ultimately, get a good job in technology. Doing so meant leaving behind my family, friends, culture, and pretty much starting a life from scratch in a country where I couldn’t even speak the language well and knew no one. It was a journey full of challenges and sacrifices. I needed to study harder, go the extra mile, and work harder than anyone else to compensate for my handicaps.

What to Expect During Your First EIR 1-on-1

Are you thinking about meeting with one of our entrepreneurs in residence (EIRs)? If so, you might be wondering if there’s anything you need to prepare ahead of your EIR 1-on-1. While each of our EIRs’ meetings take on an individualized approach, there are some steps that each of them have in common. In our newest blog post, our entrepreneurs in residence have created a helpful outline as to what students should generally expect when meeting with an EIR for the very first time.

Bon Voyage Babs: An Interview with Our Newly Retired Director

In our newest blog post, we sat down with Babs Carryer, our newly retired Director, as she reflects on her time at Pitt and the Big Idea Center and shares her fondest Big Idea Center memories, how the Big Idea Center has changed over the years, what her hope is for the Center moving forward, and what she’s looking forward to during retirement!

6 Ways to Create a Dazzling Customer Experience - John Henne, Fourth-Generation Owner of Henne Jewelers

Photo courtesy of James Knox, Pittsburgh Tribune Review Henne Jewelers was founded in 1887 by my great-grandfather Rudolf J. Henne, two years before Pitt formed its first collegiate football team. For 134 years the business has grown and evolved, led by three more generations of Henne children, including myself. While remaining in the East End of Pittsburgh, Henne Jewelers changed storefronts three times. It became known as the Pittsburgh destination for engagement rings and wedding bands, and in 1999 it became an Official Rolex Jeweler. Today it continues to be part of the fabric of Pittsburgh, having served tens of thousands of customers from across the region, the nation, and even internationally. Being the fourth-generation and current owner of Henne Jewelers, I believe that our customer care has been the key driver in Henne Jeweler’s legacy, and is the reason for our continued success. When it comes to creating a dazzling customer experience, here’s my advice: