Pittsburgh’s economic development community is reporting numbers from 2013 that reflect a watershed year, with strong growth, increased investment and a robust entrepreneurial climate.
gt;In its annual report, Innovation Works (IW) announces that it assisted 188 companies and invested $6 million in the region. A record 37 new companies received first-time investment from IW through its seed fund and accelerator programs, making IW the seventh most active seed investor in the U.S. in 2013.
“There is a general sense of momentum in our region’s startup community,” says IW President and CEO Rich Lunak. “Whether it's the increased level of spinouts from our universities or the growing number of grassroots organizations, co-working spaces, hackathons and other day-to-day events — Pittsburgh's startup community is energized. Entrepreneurs are launching new products, receiving national recognition, gaining customer traction and expanding into larger offices to support greater levels of revenue and jobs.”
And, he adds, 2014 is off to a strong start: “Pittsburgh's first quarter venture investment totals were the highest of any quarter in five years and that bodes well for future growth.”
Lunak attributes the success to the fact that “Pittsburgh’s startup community is characterized by multiple areas of technical strength. The region has a highly educated workforce that feeds our diverse startup community in areas that range from computer science and biotechnology to electronics, energy and advanced materials. One broad area where we have a clear advantage over any other region in the country is the merge point where hardware and software meet, whether that's sensors, robotics, 3-D printing and customization, mobile apps for connected devices — these are all examples of growing technology trends and unique strengths of Pittsburgh.”
In a separate development, Site Selection magazine named the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) one of the U.S.'s top 10 economic development organizations for 2013 — the only such group in the Northeast — based on the group's 2013 performance.
Source: Rich Lunak, Innovation Works and Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
Writer: Elise Vider