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Pittsburgh is a great place to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to are not aware of the local resources that are available to help them.

With applications for the Pittsburgh Founder Institute now open, we are excited to release the Pittsburgh Startup Ecosystem Canvas, which has been updated to v4 below! It was developed by the Pittsburgh Founder Institute and local leaders Greg Coticchia and Randy Eager

This is just a draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version. 

Are you looking to build a startup in Pittsburgh? Then apply to the Pittsburgh Founder Institute today!

The links are also listed below, for searchability.

Startup Stages


There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

A. Inspire

  • Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters, Startup Digest)
      1. Awesomecast
      2. Built in Pitt
      3. Launch Collective Mastermind
      4. NEXTPittsburgh
      5. Pitchwerks
      6. StartNow Pittsburgh
              • Inspirational Events: Open, inclusive, beginner startup events (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups) 
                1. #UnstuckPgh
                2. Black Tech Nation
                3. Carnegie STEM Girls
                4. Entrepreneur, Start up and Small Business Monthly Q and A
                5. Events at Work Hard Pittsburgh
                6. Freedom-Obsessed Female Entrepreneurs of Pittsburgh!
                7. From Startup to Success
                8. Girl Develop It Pittsburgh
                9. Girls Who Code
                10. Global Entrepreneurship Week
                11. Going Deep Summit
                12. Hustle HER Way Summit
                13. Inclusive Innovation Week
                14. Invest In Her
                15. Lesbians Who Tech Pittsburgh
                16. Open Coffee Club at AlphaLab
                17. PGH Tech Meetup
                18. Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum
                19. Pittsburgh VR Meetup
                20. Product Development Management Association - Pittsburgh Chapter
                21. Startup Weekend Pittsburgh
                22. Thrival Festival
                23. Young Entrepreneur's Society of Pittsburgh (YESpgh)

              B. Educate

              • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire, like 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, Startup Found 101, etc).
                1. Ascender Starter & Builder Series
                2. Bagels and Bytes
                3. Cafe Innovation
                4. EdTech PGH
                5. General Assembly Pittsburgh
                6. Google Developer Group (GDG) Pittsburgh
                7. Keiretsu Forum
                8. ngPittsburgh
                9. Pittsburgh ProductCamp
                10. Pittsburgh Startup Founder 101
                11. Pittsburgh Technology Council
                12. Pittsburgh Technology Innovation Group
                13. Start Smart Legal Seminars and Workshop (IPI/Pitt Law School and Project Olympus)
                14. Startup Grind Pittsburgh
              • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development. (Ex. bootcamps and comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
                1. Academy Pittsburgh
                2. Alice Bootcamp
                3. All Star Code
                4. Ascender Bootcamp
                5. Big Data (Next Gen Hadoop) Ingest & Transform
                6. Concept to Launch
                7. Connects
                8. Dale Carnegie Training (leadership, communications, presentations, sales skills)
                9. Founder Institute
                10. Lean Startup Machine Pittsburgh
                11. Next Gen Native Hadoop Big Data Apex Users Group
                12. ONLC Training Centers
                13. PGH Lab
                14. Pittsburgh Agile
                15. Pittsburgh Code & Supply
                16. Pittsburgh Startup: Idea to IPO
                17. Praxis
                18. ProductTank Pittsburgh
                19. Startable Pittsburgh
                20. Startup Ideation Bootcamp
                21. Startup Pitch Bootcamp: Learn How to Pitch from Top Entrepreneurs

              C. Validate

              • Team Formation: Resources for teaming up. (i.e. events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching )
                1. CoFoundersLab
                2. Ellevate
                3. Entrepreneurs' Organization
                4. FounderDating
                5. LaunchPGH
                6. Network After Work Pittsburgh
                7. Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum
                8. Startup Job Fair (CMU and Pitt)
                9. Tech Happy Hour - Pittsburgh
              • Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)
                1. Code for Good
                2. CodeDay
                3. Conservation Hackathon 2018
                4. FCHacks
                5. HackPGH
                6. Pittsburgh Hardware Startup Meetup
                7. Pittsburgh TechFest
                8. Prototype Pittsburgh
                9. She Innovates Hackathon
                10. Steel City Codefest
                11. SteelHacks 2018
                12. TartanHacks
                13. The Pitt Challenge
                14. The XFactory

              2. Launch Stage

              In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

              A. Start

              • Establish: Law firms & banks for startups 
                1. Baer Crossey McDemus
                2. BNY Mellon
                3. Brentwood Bank
                4. Bridgeway Capital
                5. Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
                6. Cherin Law Offices, P.C.
                7. Citizens Bank
                8. Cohen & Grigsby, P.C.
                9. Cozen O’Connor 
                10. Dollar Bank
                11. Elliott & Davis
                12. FHLBank Pittsburgh
                13. First Commonwealth Bank
                14. First National Bank
                15. Fox Rothschild LLP
                16. KeyBank
                17. Kisner Law Firm
                18. Kraemer Manes & Associates
                19. Leech Tishman
                20. Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
                21. Morgan Lewis 
                22. OGC Law
                23. Pepper Hamilton LLP
                24. PGH Startup Law
                25. PNC Bank
                26. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
                27. Reed Smith LLP
                28. S&T Bank
                29. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
                30. SSB Bank
                31. Standard Bank
                32. Stonecipher Law Firm
                33. The Lynch Law Group, LLC
                34. Wells Fargo Bank
              • Workspace: Co-working and flexible workspaces (note: “official” office space goes in 3.1.a. Infrastructure) 
                  1. Alloy 26
                  2. Ascender
                  3. Avenu
                  4. Beauty Shoppe
                  5. Bruno Works
                  6. CatapultPGH Coworking
                  7. Club Level CoWorking
                  8. Cube
                  9. Factory Unlocked
                  10. Industrious
                  11. Innovate28
                  12. Level
                  13. Looking for Group Pittsburgh
                  14. Novel Coworking Golden Triangle
                  15. One Valley
                  16. Spaces Bakery Square
                  17. Stack
                  18. The Global Switchboard Space
                  19. Whetstone Workgroup
                  20. Work Hard Pittsburgh

                                                      B. Develop

                                                      • Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups.  
                                                        1. 2440 Media
                                                        2. ANTLR Interactive
                                                        3. Blue Archer
                                                        4. C-leveled
                                                        5. Cintacs
                                                        6. CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)
                                                        7. Clark and Chamberlin
                                                        8. Cohen & Company
                                                        9. Collins & Ganley, P.C.
                                                        10. CrawfordEllenbogen, LLC
                                                        11. Davis, Davis & Associates
                                                        12. Dennis Piper & Associates, CPA
                                                        13. Drift2
                                                        14. DS Financial Advisors
                                                        15. EchoHR Consulting
                                                        16. FiveStar Development
                                                        17. H2R CPA
                                                        18. Holsinger PC Certified Public Accountant
                                                        19. Hyperfluid Solutions
                                                        20. Imperial
                                                        21. Infoshape
                                                        22. IQInc
                                                        23. Joyce, Inc.
                                                        24. Kathy L. Hess & Associates
                                                        25. OpenArc
                                                        26. Paxton
                                                        27. Posti & Associates
                                                        28. PrimePay
                                                        29. Rivers Agile
                                                        30. ROKET
                                                        31. Siegel and Company
                                                        32. Sisterson
                                                        33. Sparkbox
                                                        34. Treetop Interactive
                                                        35. Truefit
                                                        36. W. Cotton Mather CPA
                                                        37. Wilke
                                                        38. ZAP Solutions
                                                      • Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS)
                                                        1. Ascender Incubation
                                                        2. BHiveLab Incubator
                                                        3. eCenter
                                                        4. IncubateHER
                                                        5. Indiana County Small Business Incubator
                                                        6. New Sun Rising
                                                        7. One Valley
                                                        8. PantherlabWorks
                                                        9. Project Olympus Incubator Program
                                                        10. Riverside Center for Innovation
                                                        11. VentureBridge
                                                        12. Work Hard Pittsburgh Cooperative Business Incubator


                                                      C. Launch

                                                      • Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
                                                        1. AlphaLab
                                                        2. AlphaLab Gear
                                                        3. Alpha Lab Health
                                                        4. Idea Foundry
                                                        5. Numo
                                                        6. SteelBridge Labs
                                                      • Pitch & Demo: Show local startups for investment (i.e. demo days for companies seeking seed investment)
                                                        1. Alloy 26 Demo Day
                                                        2. AlphaLab & AlphaLab Gear Demo Day
                                                        3. AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup
                                                        4. Launch Pad Pitch competition
                                                        5. Launch Pad Pitch competitionLaunchCMU
                                                        6. LeechTishman LaunchPad
                                                        7. McGinnis Venture Competition
                                                        8. PGH Tech Council — Tech 50
                                                        9. Pitt Innovation Challenge 
                                                        10. Project Olympus Show & Tell
                                                        11. Randall Family Big Idea Competition
                                                        12. Startup Blitz
                                                        13. UpPrize Challenge

                                                      3. Growth Stage

                                                      Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

                                                      A. Recognition 

                                                      • Investor Networking:  Connect professional investors with founders. (i.e. events or groups that facilitate connections with professional investors)
                                                        1. 3 Rivers Venture Fair
                                                        2. 412 Venture Fund
                                                        3. Angel Investment Network
                                                        4. Black Tech Nation Ventures
                                                        5. BlueTree Allied Angels
                                                        6. Forty x 80
                                                        7. Moss Generation
                                                        8. Next Act Fund
                                                        9. PA Angel Network
                                                        10. Pipeline Angels Angel Investing Bootcamp
                                                        11. TiE Pittsburgh
                                                      • Major Media: Mainstream local business press. (i.e. major local or regional publications that frequently champion local businesses)
                                                        1. ABC Pittsburgh
                                                        2. CBS Pittsburgh
                                                        3. Crain's Pittsburgh
                                                        4. FOX Pittsburgh
                                                        5. NBC Pittsburgh
                                                        6. Pittsburgh Business Spotlight
                                                        7. Pittsburgh Business Times
                                                        8. Pittsburgh Current
                                                        9. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
                                                        10. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
                                                        11. Smart Business Magazine

                                                      B. Funding

                                                      • Angels / Micro-VCs: Seed-stage investors  
                                                        1. Andrew Rabin
                                                        2. Andrew Williams
                                                        3. Arjun Hattiangadi
                                                        4. Benjamin J. Garber
                                                        5. Brian Jeffrey Gross
                                                        6. Catherine Mott
                                                        7. Drew Volpe
                                                        8. Edward Engler
                                                        9. Evan Tahler
                                                        10. Ezz-Eldin Moukamal
                                                        11. Guillaume Binet
                                                        12. Innovation Works
                                                        13. Jim Ruiz
                                                        14. Joey Rahimi
                                                        15. John Hammer
                                                        16. John Petote
                                                        17. LifeX Seed Fund
                                                        18. Matt Newton
                                                        19. Mountain State Capital
                                                        20. Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
                                                        21. Raffi Krikorian
                                                        22. Ryan Walsh
                                                        23. Ryusuke Kubo
                                                        24. Severin Hacker
                                                        25. Taylor Davidson
                                                        26. Tim Marman
                                                        27. Troy Polamalu
                                                        28. Victoria Kulli
                                                        29. William Guttman
                                                        30. Zach Malone
                                                        31. Zachary Marburger
                                                      • Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
                                                        1. 20/20 Capital Group
                                                        2. 3 Rivers Capital
                                                        3. Adams Capital Management
                                                        4. Birchmere Ventures
                                                        5. BlueTree Venture Fund
                                                        6. Chrysalis Ventures
                                                        7. Coal Hill Ventures
                                                        8. Draper Triangle
                                                        9. Eagle Ventures 
                                                        10. Edison Partners
                                                        11. FFC Capital
                                                        12. Grouse Ridge Capital
                                                        13. Incline Equity Partners
                                                        14. PGH VC Association
                                                        15. Pi Capital Group
                                                        16. Pittsburgh Equity Partners
                                                        17. PNC Riverarch Capital
                                                        18. Riverfront Ventures
                                                        19. Rosetta Capital
                                                        20. Scottie Ventures
                                                        21. Stone Pier Capital
                                                        22. Stonewood Capital
                                                        23. Tecum Capital
                                                        24. Topanga Partners

                                                      C. Growth

                                                      • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale) 
                                                          1. 42Floors
                                                          2. Acuity HR
                                                          3. Boyden Executive Search
                                                          4. Compass Business Solutions, Inc.
                                                          5. Hurley Insurance Brokers
                                                          6. Instant Offices
                                                          7. JLL Pittsburgh
                                                          8. Kennon Insurance Consultants
                                                          9. LoopNet
                                                          10. McIlrath Insurance Agency
                                                          11. Offices
                                                          12. OfficeSpace
                                                          13. Regus
                                                          14. Rofo
                                                          15. Rupp-Fiore Insurance
                                                          16. Simpson & McCrady
                                                          17. The Bradley Partnerships, Inc.
                                                          18. Wagner Agency, Inc.
                                                                                          • Expansion: Growth accelerators/consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
                                                                                            1. Accenture
                                                                                            2. ARC Advisory Group
                                                                                            3. Aspirant
                                                                                            4. Cayenne Consulting
                                                                                            5. CEO Boot Camp
                                                                                            6. CGI
                                                                                            7. Chief Outsiders
                                                                                            8. Conduent
                                                                                            9. Confirmed
                                                                                            10. Deloitte
                                                                                            11. Ernst & Young
                                                                                            12. FTI Consulting
                                                                                            13. Full Circle
                                                                                            14. JLL
                                                                                            15. KORYAK Consulting
                                                                                            16. KPMG
                                                                                            17. KRNLS
                                                                                            18. LifeX Labs
                                                                                            19. Manufacturing 360 Consulting
                                                                                            20. McKinsey & Company
                                                                                            21. MMasters Corp
                                                                                            22. Plus Consulting
                                                                                            23. Protiviti
                                                                                            24. PwC
                                                                                            25. Rivers Agile Workshop
                                                                                            26. SCORE 
                                                                                            27. SDLC Partners
                                                                                            28. Synergen
                                                                                            29. Towers Watson

                                                                                          D. Success Stories

                                                                                          Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

                                                                                            1. 4moms
                                                                                            2. Activaided
                                                                                            3. Argo AI
                                                                                            4. ATRP Solutions
                                                                                            5. Avere Systems
                                                                                            6. Bellefield Systems 
                                                                                            7. Black Locus
                                                                                            8. DesignAdvance
                                                                                            9. DiamondKinetics
                                                                                            10. Duolingo
                                                                                            11. Dynamics Inc.
                                                                                            12. ebillinghub
                                                                                            13. EquityNet
                                                                                            14. Expii
                                                                                            15. Forest Devices
                                                                                            16. FOREVER
                                                                                            17. Gridwise
                                                                                            18. Helomics
                                                                                            19. Hibersense
                                                                                            20. Hyliion
                                                                                            21. Interphase Materials 
                                                                                            22. JazzHR
                                                                                            23. Jetpack Workflow
                                                                                            24. LearnBop
                                                                                            25. LegalSifter
                                                                                            26. LendingHome
                                                                                            27. Malcovery Security
                                                                                            28. Matrix Solutions
                                                                                            29. Module Housing
                                                                                            30. Net Health Systems, Inc.
                                                                                            31. Nowait
                                                                                            32. Panopto
                                                                                            33. ReCaptcha
                                                                                            34. Rijuven
                                                                                            35. Seegrid
                                                                                            36. Shoefitr
                                                                                            37. ShowClix
                                                                                            38. Skyword
                                                                                            39. Wombat Security


                                                                                          Supporters


                                                                                          To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

                                                                                          1. Evangelists

                                                                                          Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.  (i.e. Local leaders who have taken a leadership position, speak at a lot of startup events, mentor all the programs, etc. )

                                                                                            1. Adam Paulisick
                                                                                            2. Andy Chan
                                                                                            3. Andy Hannah
                                                                                            4. Annia Aleman
                                                                                            5. Babs Carryer
                                                                                            6. Barry Rabkin
                                                                                            7. Ben Utter
                                                                                            8. Ben Wilson
                                                                                            9. Bobby Zappala
                                                                                            10. Brad Frost
                                                                                            11. Brian Finamore
                                                                                            12. Catherine Mott
                                                                                            13. Craig Markovitz
                                                                                            14. Dave Nelsen
                                                                                            15. David Cristello
                                                                                            16. Don Charlton
                                                                                            17. Don Morrison
                                                                                            18. Dr. Rasu Shrestha
                                                                                            19. Greg Coticchia
                                                                                            20. Henry Thorne
                                                                                            21. Ilana Diamond
                                                                                            22. Jennifer Wilhelm
                                                                                            23. Jim Jen
                                                                                            24. John Dick
                                                                                            25. John Quayle 
                                                                                            26. Josh Lucas 
                                                                                            27. Justin Reese  
                                                                                            28. Kannu Sahni
                                                                                            29. Kelauni Cook
                                                                                            30. Kenny Chen
                                                                                            31. Ketaki Desai
                                                                                            32. Kevin Dowling
                                                                                            33. Kit Mueller
                                                                                            34. Kit Needham
                                                                                            35. Linda Handley
                                                                                            36. Lynn Banaszak
                                                                                            37. Mark DeSantis
                                                                                            38. Marta Dalton
                                                                                            39. Mary Del Brady
                                                                                            40. Melanie Querry
                                                                                            41. Mike Capsambelis
                                                                                            42. Olga Pogoda
                                                                                            43. Prashant Ambe 
                                                                                            44. Randy Eager
                                                                                            45. Ray Milhem
                                                                                            46. Rich Lunak
                                                                                            47. Robb Myer
                                                                                            48. Ryan Gayman
                                                                                            49. Sean Ammirati
                                                                                            50. Suzy Teele
                                                                                            51. Zachary Swetz


                                                                                          2. Government

                                                                                          Public organizations that facilitate local economic development 

                                                                                            1. Allegheny Conference
                                                                                            2. City of Pittsburgh Department of Innovation & Performance
                                                                                            3. Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
                                                                                            4. Inclusive Innovation PGH
                                                                                            5. Innovation PGH
                                                                                            6. P4 Pittsburgh
                                                                                            7. PGH Lab
                                                                                            8. Southwestern PA Veteran's Chamber of Commerce
                                                                                            9. Sustainable PittsburghThe Pittsburgh EcoInnovation District: Uptown and Oakland
                                                                                            10. Urban Innovation21

                                                                                          3. Talent

                                                                                          Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

                                                                                          • Local Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
                                                                                            1. California University of Pennsylvania
                                                                                            2. Carlow University
                                                                                            3. Carnegie Mellon University
                                                                                            4. Chatham University
                                                                                            5. Duquesne University
                                                                                            6. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
                                                                                            7. Penn State in Pittsburgh
                                                                                            8. Point Park University
                                                                                            9. Robert Morris University
                                                                                            10. Seton Hill University
                                                                                            11. University of Pittsburgh
                                                                                            12. Washington & Jefferson College
                                                                                                                • Local Employers (Major technical employers, like Microsoft or Google or large local companies, with large local offices) 
                                                                                                                  1. Aethon
                                                                                                                  2. Alcoa
                                                                                                                  3. Allegheny Technologies
                                                                                                                  4. Amazon
                                                                                                                  5. ANSYS
                                                                                                                  6. Apple
                                                                                                                  7. Aptiv
                                                                                                                  8. Argo AI
                                                                                                                  9. Ariba
                                                                                                                  10. Astrobotic
                                                                                                                  11. Aurora Innovation
                                                                                                                  12. BlackBox
                                                                                                                  13. Bossa Nova Robotics
                                                                                                                  14. Carnegie Robotics
                                                                                                                  15. Cisco
                                                                                                                  16. Comcast
                                                                                                                  17. Deeplocal
                                                                                                                  18. Facebook
                                                                                                                  19. Ford
                                                                                                                  20. GE
                                                                                                                  21. Google
                                                                                                                  22. IBM
                                                                                                                  23. Identified Technologies
                                                                                                                  24. Industrial Scientific
                                                                                                                  25. Intel
                                                                                                                  26. Lumos Networks
                                                                                                                  27. Microsoft
                                                                                                                  28. Modcloth
                                                                                                                  29. Near Earth Autonomy
                                                                                                                  30. Nokia
                                                                                                                  31. Oculus
                                                                                                                  32. Oracle
                                                                                                                  33. Petuum
                                                                                                                  34. PPG Industries
                                                                                                                  35. Re2
                                                                                                                  36. Redzone Robotics
                                                                                                                  37. SAP
                                                                                                                  38. Seegrid
                                                                                                                  39. Siemens
                                                                                                                  40. TeleTracking
                                                                                                                  41. Thermo Fisher Scientific
                                                                                                                  42. Uber
                                                                                                                  43. Westinghouse Nuclear

                                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                *  *  *

                                                                                                                Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Pittsburgh Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a DRAFT, and more input is needed!)

                                                                                                                Are you looking to build a startup in Pittsburgh? Then apply to the Pittsburgh Founder Institute today!

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