Power Moves: Cassie Guerin Joined Better Work Ventures And Two Black-Led Organizations Got Google Funding

Power moves is a column where we trace the alleys and places of talent in the region. Got a new hire, gig, or promotion? Email us: pittsburgh@technical.ly.


Cassie Guerin describes himself as a boomerang.

The Pittsburgh native has left town before, but always ends up coming back. And in her professional life she said Technically that she always tries to return to activities that make her “sing”. Throughout her career, this has happened as a yoga instructor, putting her degree in environmental studies to good use as a green infrastructure researcher and founder. Mirrora virtual accommodation platform optimized for mental health.

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As a big believer in therapy, she noticed a problem when people felt particularly isolated in 2020: there were lots of people who needed to talk, but they didn’t necessarily know where to go to seek support. While Miror isn’t called a therapy app, Guerin said, it brings people together who are tackling similar issues across cultural, social and mental health topics. The startup participated in the AlphaLab accelerator.

Although she said she had never seen herself in the tech field, she appreciated being able to use the platform to bring people together. In 2021, she met Lynsie CampbellFounder and Managing Director of Best Working Companiesa startup studio that partners with “disadvantaged” founders to build community-optimized tech companies, when Campbell attended one of Guerin’s gatherings called Fempreneur for Women Entrepreneurs. Campbell demonstrated that the sense of community that Guerin cultivated was exactly what Better Work Ventures was looking for, and the two began to operate professionally.

Now, between training to become a consultant herself and managing her startup, Guerin joins Better Work Ventures to take charge of facilitating meetings for members of the organization. Community, in addition to helping create the organization’s 12-month strategic plan.

Whether through yoga or technology, Guérin wants to go wherever she can help people improve themselves and their relationships with those around them.

“I am delighted to have conversations about the human [and] the personal aspects of starting and running a business,” said the entrepreneur. “It’s easy to find conversations about accounting, legal and SEO, it’s harder to find a place for an honest discussion about the personal challenges of being an entrepreneur – finding a balance between purpose and financial success between family and business success. … People are at the heart of business. Let’s talk about being human, not just about a founder. »

Google invests in Black Tech Nation Ventures and Gainvest

Black Tech National Ventures partners (left to right) Kelauni Jasmyn, Sean Sebastian and David Motley. (Courtesy picture)

from Pittsburgh Gainvest and Black Tech Nation Venturesan investment start-up and a venture capital firm respectively, were operated by Google to receive funding.

For Gainvest, financing goes through its Google Black Founders Fund for Startups. This fund was launched in 2020 with the aim of easing the constraints on black-led startups and closing the racial funding gap. Recipients come to the fund through nomination or participation in a previous Google program and receive $100,000 in addition to hands-on support to help them grow.

To pay Nasid AliCEO and co-founder of Gainvest, the funding offers the opportunity to catch up on missed opportunities.

“I planned to sell Gainvest last year and part of me regretted not doing so,” Ali said in a statement. “Now, with this opportunity from Google, we have several new partnerships that will be announced before the end of 2022. These partnerships, along with the support of Google, have allowed us to eliminate some growth problems and to finally improve to the mighty and mighty Gainvest. »

meter chargerthe Pittsburgh start-up founded by a technologist Jim Gibbsalso received a $100,000 investment from Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in 2021.

Black Tech Nation Ventures receives unreimbursed amount from Google through a different program from the parent company Alphabet. The organization is one of six black-led ven. The capital companies of the country which will be selected for such financing within the framework of the 60 million dollars which have been allocated by the CapitalG Investment Funds. The news comes amid Black Tech Nation’s own efforts to distribute $50 million for black and underserved startup founders.

Seegrid a new CEO

Last week Gate CEO Jim Rock announced that after eight years he was leaving the robotics business for personal reasons. While his next career move is yet to be determined, he’s not stepping away from the business entirely: Joe Pajera seasoned CEO who has led three companies over the past decade, Takes Dreams, Rock plans to remain a shareholder and board member of Seegrid.

“I have tremendous respect and trust for the team, and want to thank everyone involved in growing Seegrid, including current and former employees, customers, partners, advisors and investors” , said Rock. wrote in a public post on LinkedIn. “As I consider options for the next chapter of my professional life, I will continue to enthusiastically champion Seegrid’s continued success in the growing field of robotics and automation. »

This management change follows news in August that Seegrid had both raised $30 million of a planned $75 million funding round and laid off approximately 90 employees.

The module has become a box-focused accelerator

Module design inc. is on a mission to address displacement due to rising rents in many Pittsburgh neighborhoods by building affordable, energy-efficient homes. Now, after a few years of filling vacant lots across the city with sustainable housing, the South Side-based startup is one of six startups across the country chosen to participate in the 2022 Housing Lab Cohort.

The accelerator — which is hosted by The Housing Laba program of the Californian nonprofit organization terner Housing Innovation Labs a UC Berkeley — was founded in 2019 and the 11 cohort-backed startups have received funding revealed at $340 million since then. As for cohort participants, they can expect to receive $75,000 in funding and six months of technical support and coaching.

“Companies selected for the 2022 Housing Lab cohort are tackling some of the root causes of housing affordability, equity, and the climate crises in the United States,” said Carole Galante, co-founder and CEO of The Housing Lab and founder and advisor to the Terner Center, in a statement. “Their models and solutions are diverse, innovative, and can be scaled to reach communities across the country, not just in their home metropolitan areas. »

Module won third place and $250,000 at the Richard King Mellon Foundation first pitch competition in early 2022.


Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments. -30-

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