Bioengineering Student and Entrepreneur
Noah Snyder, who recently completed a PhD in bioengineering at Pitt, smiles broadly recalling the first time he was gripped by the entrepreneurial impulse that has propelled his life forward ever since.
During his Pitt studies, he participated in a Saturday-morning workshop to help faculty and students identify research projects that address unmet health care needs. The workshop—organized by Pitt's Innovation Institute—also offered guidance on commercializing promising research to benefit the larger community.
“In that presentation it became clear to me that being an entrepreneur was what I wanted to do,” says Snyder. “I didn’t have an idea yet for a product or a company, but I knew the path I was going to follow.”
In the nearly two years since his epiphany, Snyder has taken advantage of every resource offered by Pitt's Innovation Institute—and the work has resulted in the formation of a company, Interphase Materials, nurtured from idea to reality.
Snyder began by recruiting and collaborating with several fellow Pitt graduate students to extend some interesting research. The results won top prizes in three different Pitt business plan competitions, and the lab-developed technology has since been licensed and accepted into the local AlphaLab Gear business accelerator, where the technology and business strategy continue to evolve.
A Pitt Innovation Institute workshop inspired Noah Snyder to become an entrepreneur. “I didn’t have an idea for a product or a company, but I knew the path I was going to follow,” he says.
Today, Snyder is the president and CEO of Interphase Materials, a company that develops specialized additives and coatings that are anti-fouling, anti-corrosive, and environmentally safe. The company "specializes in places where hardware meets environment," including anti-barnacle marine applications and medical implants. All of this created from the seeds of ideas and research nurtured at Pitt by Snyder (ENGR '15G) and fellow graduate students Kasey Catt and Andrew Glowacki (ENGR '15G).
“Noah and his team have really taken advantage of all the Innovation Institute has to offer, and have put what they have learned directly into practice to build their business,” says Marc Malandro, Innovation Institute Founding Director. “They are indicative of the surge in entrepreneurial activity at Pitt."
Interphase Materials is one of more than 117 startup companies launched through the University of Pittsburgh since 1996.