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TransTech Events

FROM 7/31/19

Breaking News—a half day “Introduction to I-Corps” workshop has been added to TransTech

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has just sponsored The TransTech Energy Business Development Program to host an introduction to the Innovation Corps (I-Corps) workshop. The introduction will be a half day session devoted to explaining what I-Corps is all about and the benefits of receiving the training.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) launched the “Innovation Corps” (I-Corps) program about 8 years ago to move more funded research to commercialization and to benefit the world; and the Department of Energy (DOE) has since adopted it. I-Corps helps prepare faculty, researchers, students—really anyone with an innovative idea and an entrepreneurial spirit —to identify valuable product opportunities and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery with guidance from established entrepreneurs.

According to Randy Quinn, director of the I-Corps program at WVU, “Essentially, I-Corps is an “entrepreneur bootcamp” for anyone to discover what it’s like to take a product to market and determine whether their idea for a new product or technology can be successful.”

  The new dates for TransTech are now:

  October 28 – 30, 2019

Hilton Garden Inn, Southpointe, Canonsburg, PA

  More info on the Intro to I-Corps workshop to come soon! In the meantime, if you have questions, contact .

FROM 7/23/19

2019 TransTech Conference & Pitch Competition Update

Save the Date! Plans are underway for TTE’s 8th annual conference and pitch competition set for October 29 – 30, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn - Southpointe, Canonsburg, PA. TTE will again showcase early-stage energy innovations in the Tech Belt Region and offer networking opportunities with entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and industry experts. TTE remains one of the most important events of the year focusing on early-stage clean-energy-enabling technologies in the region.

The Theme for TransTech this year: Infrastructure Security.

This includes energy security as well as security for other critical infrastructure—like the region’s economic future, the U.S. access to a supply of rare earth elements, identity security, and cybersecurity for the nation’s defense, financial, food production and other industries.

            Topics for keynotes and panel discussions will include:

    • Securing the National and Worldwide Electrical Grids physically

o   Microgrids and solar as grid backup

o   The current state of batteries—what kinds of breakthroughs are possible? Needed?

    • Cybersecurity and securing our computer networks and controls

o   Biometric security/securing our identities

    • Securing the region’s economic future

o   StartUp West Virginia—what is it and what does it mean for West Virginia and the Tech Belt region?

o   What is the current status of the Appalachian Storage Hub?

    • Securing the U.S. supply of rare earth elements

o   DOD’s perspective

o   Computer technology

o   Possible new sources

o   How do we build a secure supply chain? What rare earth elements do we actually need?

    •  Additional topics:

o   Securing the Food Supply Chain, Securing the Internet of Things, global water security

o   What are the unmet needs in these security spaces? Where are the business opportunities and what are the enabling technologies that will help?

o   An SBA workshop and discussion of the new WV matching fund for SBIT/STTR grants; a USDA workshop

o   Plus the staples of business development conferences like: how do I raise money for my startup?  Where do I find great talent to help me grow?


TransTech Energy Business Development Program has a New Director: Randolph (Randy) B. Quinn

Randolph (Randy) B. Quinn has been appointed TransTech Energy’s new Director with the program reporting to the WVU Research Corporation through the Office of Technology Transfer. In his position as Associate Director of Innovation and Research Commercialization, TransTech is one of Randy’s top priorities.

“I’m proud to take the reins of this great program led by West Virginia University working in cooperation with other regional universities like Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh,” said Mr. Quinn. “And I am grateful for the support of the many great entrepreneurs, investors, industry executives and technology experts who make up the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In its 7 years of existence, TransTech has managed to help grow over 100 regional startup companies in the clean energy space, acquire investment and create jobs. And I look forward to continuing that winning tradition.”

 Mr. Quinn earned his MBA and Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Pittsburgh. He is also an Adjunct Professor for WVU’s Statler College of Engineering and the John Chambers College of Business and Economics. Mr. Quinn comes to this role from private industry working in new product development for the healthcare and information technology sectors.

Contact:, at 304-293-1797 for more information.


The Father of TransTech, Dr. Carl Irwin, Announces his Retirement

The TTE staff and larger TTE community extends a hearty thank you and best wishes to TTE’s past director, Carl Irwin, in his retirement. Carl’s vision for supporting the development of transitional energy technologies has been instrumental in helping many of the region’s researchers, innovators, and business startups engage with financial investors and move towards commercializing their products.

 “TransTech is really Carl Irwin’s brainchild,” said Bruce Sparks, Director of the WVU Office of Technology Transfer.  “He has been instrumental in its success and we thank him for it.”


Attention: Innovation Centers Working with Entrepreneurs and Start Ups

Be sure to share information about the Pitch Competition with entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing new energy and/or advanced manufacturing technologies.  Check out THIS LINK for pitch competition information. TTE offers mentoring to pitch applicants for making an investor pitch, and pitch presenters can compete for $30,000 in cash prizes and $20,000 in in-kind technology support and mentoring.

TTE’s October 29 pre-conference workshop will be presented by Small Business Administration representatives. It will address Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) opportunities and other incentives to attract or support small businesses in West Virginia, including the state’s new SBIR/STTR matching program (see this new program’s description below in “Economic and Entrepreneurial Developments in WV”).


Inviting New and Current Partners for the 2019 TTE Conference

TTE welcomes new and long-term partners to join us for this year’s conference! We invite you to take advantage of the many opportunities to be involved - as a pitch application reviewer, pitch event judge, exhibitor, participant, and co-sponsor. Contact Angela Shock for more information at

TransTech will continue its University and Federal Laboratory partnerships with The National Energy Technology Laboratory, DOE, ARPA-E, Case Western Reserve University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh and new this year: the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center located in Warren, OH.

TTE would like to publicize your energy- and entrepreneurial-related events. Please send information to