Former Players

Former Pittsburgh Steeler, philanthropist, keynote speaker, and businessman Charlie Batch, along with several partners, has formed a new partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and its Innovation Institute to launch a wellness, fitness, human-performance, and rehabilitation-focused company.  The Pittsburgh-based startup, called Impellia, will develop and commercialize Pitt-created technologies and other technologies from around the country.

As part of the new relationship, Impellia has completed option agreements for three Pitt innovations. All three have been shepherded to the verge of commercialization by both the Pitt faculty members who developed the technologies and the University’s Innovation Institute—which is dedicated to promoting and fostering innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship.

"This is an important new partnership for the University,” says Marc Malandro, associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization and interim director of the Innovation Institute. “This startup marks just the beginning of what we anticipate will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship between Pitt and Impellia that will help transform Pitt research into innovations that benefit injured athletes and others. We’re excited to be working with such a great and talented group of people.”

Adds Batch: “Sports medicine and rehabilitation technology is a natural draw for me. What we see in these technologies is the ability for us to bring innovation available to elite athletes out to everyday people.”

The process of matching Pitt technologies with the interests of Impellia began last summer with an introductory conversation with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, a regional trade organization for local technology-based companies, according to Evan Facher, director of enterprise development for the Innovation Institute. The topic: Pittsburgh’s growing reputation as a hotbed for emerging technology and science. The organization’s leaders referred Batch and his partners to Pitt’s Innovation Institute.

“We had a getting-to-know-you meeting with Impellia,” says Facher, who participated in the ongoing discussions and negotiations with Batch. “They had a list of some of our technologies they were interested in, so we brought in those innovators to give 30-minute presentations to the group.”

With Batch, cofounders of Impellia include Richard Walker, an accomplished attorney, software executive, and lifelong friend of Batch who played football with him at Steel Valley High School; Dave Morin, a serial health care technology entrepreneur and international speaker on health care technology; and Ed Kim, a veteran startup and technology company executive.

“We work with leading researchers and universities from all over the country to identify innovative digital health care and sports technology,” says Walker. “Pitt’s reputation in this space is outstanding. We told the Innovation Institute team what we were looking for, and they put before us an impressive portfolio. The experience has been very positive.”

To read the full article and learn about the three innovations, click here to visit University of Pittsburgh News Services.