Together, Interns and Liftoff PGH Team Broaden Innovation Horizons

Behind the scenes, the Liftoff PGH team welcomed a group of students to their first ever virtual internship program. Although 2020 required a shift to remote interning, everyone rose to the challenge and collaborated to achieve Liftoff PGH's goal. The six interns grew in their professional skills and awareness of Pittsburgh's health innovation landscape while bringing the events of Liftoff PGH to life. Their support with social media, logistics, and communications was vitally important, in addition to their assistance with key projects ahead of the December 2020 virtual event.

Khulood al Ali, Natalie Pyle, and Kaitlin Roderick interned from June to December 2020. Originally from Saudi Arabia, Khulood recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a dual degree in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering & Technology Innovation Management. Natalie is another recent grad, from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Industrial Engineering and a certificate in Supply Chain Management. Kaitlin is a current CMU Health Care Policy and Management master's student.

Khulood, Natalie and Kaitlin supported the summer Generation Fempreneur speaker series, and they contributed outreach to local nonprofits and colleges in the fall. Kaitlin Roderick helped to organize the End-of-Life Liftoff PGH 2020 session as well as the Generation Fempreneur sessions in December. Kaitlin will be staying on with JHF in 2021 to further support Liftoff PGH's work.

Another team of interns helped create Liftoff PGH's mobile app ahead of the December 2020 conference. Rongjia Li, a back-end developer from Shanghai, began building the app with designer Ashley Liang in early 2020. Over summer 2020, they were joined by a second designer, Feiyan Zhang, to further develop an immersive digital experience personalized to each Liftoff PGH participant. All three interns attended CMU's Entertainment Technology Center master's program.

This year's interns also assisted with promotion for the Ideathon Pitch Competition, which prepared young Pittsburgh entrepreneurs to launch their innovations ahead of the final pitch competition during Liftoff PGH 2020. Interns recruited and engaged Ideathon mentors and judges, and some participated in a 10-week bootcamp with John Cordier.

Thank you and best wishes to our wonderful interns! We can't wait to see where your journeys take you next.

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