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Projects & Clients

Since our founding in 2000, we have worked on several projects with Pittsburgh businesses and organizations on a variety of projects such as marketing, financial analysis, and business strategy. Here is a summary of our past and current work.


Current Work

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (PCT) is a nonprofit arts organization that strives to promote cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The PCT offers a variety of cultural events and exhibitions including the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Project Description

UCC partnered with the Undergraduate Marketing Organization for an internal case competition based on the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust (PCT). Competing teams created marketing plans to address low enrollment among college student in the PCT’s Arts Passport program. The case competition attracted 39 undergraduate and graduate students in total. In addition, 5 Carnegie Mellon alumni currently working as consultants in Pittsburgh served as judges for the event. Ultimately, the teams presented unique and creative solutions to further the goals of the PCT.

Type

Marketing

Duration

Fall 2012


Past Work

CMU Solutions Playpower

The Playpower Foundation

The Playpower Foundation was founded by Derek Lomas, Daniel Rehn, and Jeremy Douglass along with researchers from UC-San Diego, MIT, Stanford University, Srishti School, and the University of Sao Paulo. Initial support was also provided by the UC-San Diego division of Calit2, the Center for Research in Computing and Arts (CRCA).

Project Description

Playpower focuses on creating interactive affordable, fun learning games for children in a variety of markets. Currently, they have over $100,000 in funding and connections with many of the top programmers around the world. Their games have received numerous awards and have been proven to be effective educational aids; however, Playpower faces one major barrier to expansion: distribution. UCC has been asked to help Playpower develop and implement a global distribution and marketing plan that not only targets children the United States, but also low-income families in India who can barely afford to send their children to school.

Type

Marketing & Operations

Duration

Fall 2011

CMU Solutions ActiveAided

ActivAided Orthotics

ActivAided Orthotics was founded by Carnegie Mellon University graduate Kelly Collier and UPMC doctor Gary Chimes, Ph.D., M.D. in 2011 and is dedicated to supporting active lifestyles and keeping people of all ages strong, healthy, and pain free. The company’s first product, the ActivAided Recovery, is a flexible back support system incorporated into a body suit that trains self-corrective habits through proprioceptive feedback; offering gentle reminders to create awareness of what the patient’s body is doing.

Project Description

ActivAided Orthotics is currently in a crucial development stage as it begins to conduct user trials and collect initial venture capital funding. UCC was asked to help ActivAided Orthotics develop and refine their business plan so that they would be ready to effectively pitch their company to potential investors. Specifically, UCC is aiding in the creation of a long term finance and marketing plan for the company that will allow ActivAided Orthotics to reach its maximum potential.

Type

Marketing & Finance

Duration

Fall 2011

 

CMU Solutions MiscMarket

 

MiscMarket

MiscMarket is a user generated and location-based ad listing website much like CraigsList, but takes social features from Facebook and Twitter and uses location based features from Google Maps. The website lets users create and search ads in exclusive groups. MiscMarket is targeted to technology adept markets such as colleges and where there are many items such as textbooks or furniture pieces that exchange ownders frequent, but need a more convenient information hub than eBay and a more closed audience than CraigsList.

Project Description

In Spring 2011, MiscMarket partnered with UCC to analyze the market for social commerce and investigate ways to improve their marketing strategies and revenue model. In addition, UCC assisted the startup with their shot at YCombinator.

Type

Marketing, Operations

Duration

Spring 2011

 

 

CMU Solutions Tepper logo

 

The Tepper School of Business Marketing Department

The Tepper School is business school at Carnegie Mellon University. It ranks highly as one of the top business of the nation as well as in a wide range of specializations such as finance and information technology. The school offers degrees from undergraduate to doctorate levels, in addition to executive education programs. The Tepper Marketing Department seeks to communicate with past, current, and prospective students about the school, its programs, and its events.

Project Description

With the various new social media platforms available to a firm, the Marketing Department at the Tepper School wanted to devise a strategy for which platforms they should choose and who to target using these new tools. Our clients conducted market research, including several focus groups and surveys, and analyzed data to find three primary target markets: prospective students, staff and alumni. Based on the data, we presented a deliverable which included how to implement a social media strategy, which platforms and tools to use and what information they should provide.

Type

Marketing

Duration

Fall 2010

 

 

CMU Solutions Hill Group

 

The Hill Group

The Hill Group, Inc. has a successful, 50-year history in the management consulting industry. The firm has a superior record helping organizations focus to improve performance. The Hill Group provides advice and counsel to some of the world's largest corporations, governments, and not-for-profit organizations. Some of the services available through The Hill Group include Strategy and Operations, Performance and Diagnostic Measurement, and Training and Organizational Development.

Project Description

We partnered with The Hill Group, a Pittsburgh based consulting group, who were contemplating how to enter the market for government consulting contracts. Our team researched the different segments of government consulting including small business contracts and women owned business contracts to analyze the market standing of The Hill Group. We found that the firm was primed to enter the market for Women-owned contracts and our deliverable produced a timeline for certification as a women-owned business and the benefits and ways to promote the group’s image as a women-owned business in the community to leverage connections and gain more government contracts.

Type

Strategy

Duration

Spring 2010

 

 

CMU Solutions Food Bank

 

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that collects and distributes food through a 380+ member network in 11 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Through food solicitation, fund raising, special events, and community partnerships, the Food Bank gathers food at our 94,000 square foot warehouse in Duquesne, PA. Food Bank currently distributes around 21 million pounds of food per year.

Project Description

Within recent years, the Pittsburgh Community Foodbank has experienced a reduction in food distribution efficiency. While the Foodbank works well to acquire, transport, and deliver goods to distribution centers, their member agencies were constrained by several factors, such as staff, agency leadership, and hours of operation. Thus, we hypothesized that member agencies served as bottlenecks in the food distribution process and created a Member Agency Assessment Tool (MAAT) that evaluates the efficiency of Food Bank member agencies based on order placement, storage of Foodbank goods, inventory processing, and distribution.

Type

Strategy

Duration

Spring 2009

 

 

CMU Solutions Venture

 

Venture Outdoors

Venture Outdoors is a local non-profit organization working to make it easy for people to get outside. They offer over 500 Public Programs a year including kayaking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, fishing, cross country skiing, canoeing and geocaching trips. They have activities for all ages and skill levels, and travel to local, city, county and state parks around the region.

Project Description

The Pittsburgh based non-profit organization for outdoor recreation wanted to involve more college students in their programs. The organization wanted an efficient pricing strategy for their programs for their different customer base as well as hold customers accountable to their commitments. Our team developed a tiered pricing strategy, differentiating between regular and specialty programs, for which we found they could charge a premium of 25%. We also identified inefficiency in managing data of customers attending events/ programs, which resulted in difficult of holding customer accountable to their commitments. Therefore, our team’s deliverable provided steps to implement a membership system where members can have an account and would have to make reservations through the membership account allowing us to track their involvement over time.

Type

Market Research, Analysis

Duration

Spring 2009

 

 

CMU Solutions MtWash

 

Mount Washington (CDC)

Mount Washington Community Development Corporation's mission is to focus on issues vital to the community well being while involving residents, homeowners, property owners, businesses, and institutions within the community.

Project Description

Assisted in the redevelopment of the old South Hills High School for commercial/residential use.

Type

Market Research, Analysis

Duration

Spring 2004

 

 

CMU Solutions vivisimo

 

Vivisimo

With millions of monthly visitors to our website and an established enterprise customer base, Vivísimo is recognized internationally as the leader in document clustering (automatic categorization) software. The technology has been featured in the U.S. (Wall Street Journal, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Information Today, Search Engine Watch, etc.) and in Germany (Der Spiegel, CHIP Magazine), the UK (The Register) and elsewhere.

Project Description

n/a

Type

Marketing

Duration

Spring 2004

 

 

CMU Solutions SCORE

 

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE is America's premier source of free and confidential small business advice for entrepreneurs. They offer advice online and in-person at one of our 350 offices nationwide. SCORE is composed of 13,000 mentor volunteers, all of whom are retired business owners, executives and corporate leaders who share their wisdom and lessons learned in business. It is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small business start, grow and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Headquartered in Herndon, VA and Washington, DC, SCORE has 350 chapters throughout the United States and its territories. It was founded in 1964.

Project 1 Description

This project involved updating the Chambers of Commerce Database, by contacting different business/organizations. Analysis was done on the data collected.

Type

Marketing

Duration

Spring 2003

Project 2 Description

This project dealt with the production or a survey for customer feedback. SCORE hosts seminars, and has a survey for the businesses to fill out a month after receiving the consulting. We designed a survey for them to give their customers after a year in order to obtain customer feedback with the ultimate goal of improving customer satisfaction.

Type

Marketing

Duration

Spring 2003

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