Older Plans: Some things don’t take off. Past proposals: Tech Captains, AlphLabs, N@.


In June and July of 2008, Olympicpedia was held at a Sq. Hill cyber cafe and gaming studio. That business has since closed. We gathered there for a couple of hours in mid-day to pound on Wikipedia and got some computer enrichment. Perhaps the best of times was with the sessions that could be summed up as “supervised Battlefont.”

Other blasts from the past that provide digital dust in a trip down memory lane include a proposal for afterschool activities in 2013. It called for a computer club called Tech Captains. None of the proposals were acted upon at that time and the realm of after-school activities for high school students is still unsettled. The right combination of supervision, challenges, interest and leadership for a successful and thriving program is still a work in progress. Reading Warriors and Robotics work. The hope of grabbing technology, coding, LiveCode, Raspberry Pi and lifeguard / health education is still untested.

A departed friend and giant in the Pittsburgh high-tech community, Ron Morris, was fond of asking the hard questions of entrepreneurs about their past failures. He would say, “Show me your failures.” Without some stumbles, twists and turns along the way, and without the lessons from the School of Hard Knocks, he’d worry greatly.

It is fair to say, the sandbox of failed proposals and ventures within this quest of merging youth and technology in original ways is far from empty. Retooling is part of the process.



The third PDF is a proposal from 2013 that went to AlphaLabs, a state-supported incubator. It did not get funded.


About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Swim, SKWIM and Water Polo coach and publisher in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Executive Director of SKWIM USA, a nonprofit advocate organization and webmaster to the International Swim Coaches Association. Head varsity and middle-school swim coach for The Ellis School. Former candidate for public office on multiple occasions.

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