Tour of AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear


The AlphaLab accelerator programs are designed to help startup technology companies accelerate their progress through early stages of customer discovery and product development through a rapid, iterative “lean” approach. Started in 2008 and recently ranked the #6 accelerator in the US, AlphaLab provides critical resources to help startups launch successfully – including funding, mentorship, an extended alumni network, free office space, and the collective expertise of the Innovation Works team.

AlphaLab Gear was launched in 2013 as the hardware accelerator program based on the AlphaLab model to provide additional resources and expertise in areas specific to physical product companies including product design, manufacturing, supply chain and retail distribution. AlphaLab Gear companies also benefit from being part of the extended AlphaLab network, leveraging the alumni and mentor networks, software/Internet expertise built over prior AlphaLab program cycles.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 19 Sep 2016
  • Time: 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
  • Add_To_Calendar_icon Add Event to Calendar
  • 6024 Broad Street
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • United States 15206
  • Building: AlphaLab Gear

  • Co-sponsored by Mey Sen
  • Starts 29 August 2016 12:00 AM
  • Ends 15 September 2016 11:59 PM
  • All times are (GMT-05:00) US/Eastern
  • No Admission Charge


Ilana Ilana of AlphaLab Gear


Ilana Diamond, Managing Director, AlphaLab Gear

Ilana Diamond is the Managing Director of AlphaLab Gear, Innovation Works’ hardware start-up accelerator which provides physical product startups with investment, mentorship and connections.  She helps entrepreneurs make rapid progress through the early stages of product and customer development  by leveraging her experience and network, gained from over twenty years of leading and growing companies, from early stage to exit.

Prior to joining AlphaLab Gear, Ilana was CEO of Sima Products,  an international consumer electronics accessory company that develops, manufactures and distributes products under the Sima, First Alert, Cherokee  and MGM Studio brands.  Ilana built Sima’s management team, developed and managed a network of Asian manufacturers and led profitable sales growth at national brick and mortar retail chains such as Target and Walmart , internet retailers such as, and specialty catalog retailers.  Based on innovative technology developed by Sima, she also founded and managed a commercial alerting startup, raised outside capital and spun the company off into a separate entity. In 2010, Ilana negotiated the sale of Sima and transitioned operations to the new owners.  Earlier in her career, as a management consultant for PwC, Ilana provided marketing strategy advice, turnaround assistance and merger and acquisition support to executive management of Fortune 500, middle-market and growing companies.

Ilana holds a BA in Biological Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Afshan Afshan of Innovation Works


Afshan R. Khan, Manufacturing Program Manager

Afshan Khan serves as the Manufacturing Program Manager at Innovation Works.  In this role, she helps bring regional manufacturers and startups together to learn about new technologies, explore our region’s manufacturing capabilities, and make connections to build new products right here in southwestern PA, and domestically.  In addition, Afshan also provides early stage companies and manufacturing companies with technology support, including training on agile development methodologies, business plan development, financial analysis and resource identification, and marketing strategy and plan development.

Prior to joining Innovation Works, Afshan was CEO of Focal Point Products, an international manufacturer and distributor of polyurethane millwork building materials for home construction, commercial projects, and building renovation.  Earlier in her career, Afshan held a number of key positions in Xerox Corporation, in business development, M&A, and strategic planning.

Afshan has an MBA from the Carnegie Mellon Tepper Business School, and a BSc in Business Administration and English from Duquesne University.

Ilana of AlphaLab Gear


Afshan of Innovation Works