Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seeing Pittsburgh's Future

If you missed Innovation Works' 2008 Community Meeting this evening, you missed an opportunity to see the Pittsburgh Region's future up close. The event was hosted inside the South Side facilities of Immunetrics, Inc., a small but rapidly growing company that helps in the development of new drugs using modeling based on human biology. And on the way through the building, you could visit with a number of the technology startup companies that Innovation Works has been helping to grow.

Those who attended heard some pretty exciting news:

  • Alpha Lab, a new program that Innovation Works started last year to accelerate the growth of software and entertainment technology startup companies, received applications from over 100 companies from 10 states to fill twelve slots in this innovative incubation program, and they're now receiving inquiries from entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to come to Pittsburgh to start or grow their businesses.

  • Innovation Works is now providing strategic human resources assistance to startup companies, helping them fill dozens of management and other positions. This is not only a tremendous help to the companies, all of which are too small to have their own HR departments, it's just the kind of talent attraction effort the region needs.

  • And Pittsburgh Equity Partners has completed their first round of fundraising on a new early stage venture capital fund for the region. They now have $5 million in the kind of investment funding that many startup companies are starving for, and hopefully additional individuals in our community will invest in this important fund.

In some ways, the most exciting thing about the meeting was that about 400 people from all across the 10-county region attended, demonstrating the kind of community interest in startup companies that is critical to our region's success. Innovation Works' Annual Meeting is beginning to rival the Allegheny Conference's Annual Meeting for attendance, and has it beat hands down in terms of both excitement and efficiency.

You can see more of the region's future in Innovation Works' 2008 Community Report, Fostering Entrepreneurial Growth. Download it and read it -- you'll be inspired about how bright the region's future is.


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