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Pittsburgh is truly 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 is currently in Draft v1 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 start a company in Pittsburgh? Then apply to the Pittsburgh Founder Institute today!

Text version included below, for ease of searching:

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. NEXT Pittsburgh
    4. 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. Boss Lady Grind - Pittsburgh
    4. Carnegie STEM Girls
    5. Entrepreneur, Start up and Small Business Monthly Q and A
    6. Events at Work Hard Pittsburgh
    7. Freedom-Obsessed Female Entrepreneurs of Pittsburgh!
    8. From Startup to Success
    9. Girl Develop It Pittsburgh
    10. Girls Who Code
    11. Going Deep Summit
    12. Inclusive Innovation Week
    13. Invest In Her
    14. Lesbians Who Tech Pittsburgh
    15. PGH Tech Meetup
    16. Pittsburgh VR Meetup
    17. Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum
    18. Startup Weekend Pittsburgh
    19. Thrival Festival
    20. 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 Founder 101, etc).
    1. Bagels and Bytes
    2. EdTech PGH
    3. Google Developer Group (GDG) Pittsburgh
    4. ngPittsburgh
    5. Pittsburgh ProductCamp
    6. Pittsburgh Startup Founder 101
    7. Pittsburgh Technology Innovation Group
    8. 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. Big Data (Next Gen Hadoop) Ingest & Transform
    5. Concept to Launch
    6. Connects
    7. Founder Institute
    8. Lean Startup Machine Pittsburgh
    9. Next Gen Native Hadoop Big Data Apex Users Group
    10. ONLC Training Centers
    11. PGH Lab
    12. Pittsburgh Agile
    13. Pittsburgh Code & Supply
    14. Pittsburgh Startup: Idea to IPO
    15. Praxis
    16. ProductTank Pittsburgh
    17. Startable Pittsburgh
    18. Startup Ideation Bootcamp
    19. 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. Tech Happy Hour - Pittsburgh
  • Build First Product: Hackathons & resources to build. (i.e. hackathons and other builder-focused events and resources)
    1. CodeDay
    2. Code for Good
    3. Conservation Hackathon 2018
    4. FCHacks
    5. HackPGH
    6. Pittsburgh Hardware Startup Meetup
    7. Pittsburgh TechFest
    8. She Innovates Hackathon
    9. SteelHacks 2018
    10. TartanHacks
    11. The Pitt Challenge
    12. 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. Citizens Bank
    7. Cohen & Grigsby, P.C.
    8. Cozen O’Connor
    9. Dollar Bank
    10. Elliott & Davis
    11. FHLBank Pittsburgh
    12. First Commonwealth Bank
    13. First National Bank
    14. Fox Rothschild LLP
    15. Kisner Law Firm
    16. Kraemer Manes & Associates
    17. Leech Tishman
    18. Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP
    19. Morgan Lewis
    20. OGC Law
    21. Pepper Hamilton LLP
    22. PGH Startup Law
    23. PNC Bank
    24. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP
    25. Reed Smith LLP
    26. S&T Bank
    27. Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
    28. SSB Bank
    29. Standard Bank
    30. Stonecipher Law Firm
    31. The Lynch Law Group, LLC
    32. 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. Spaces Bakery Square
    16. Stack
    17. The Global Switchboard Space
    18. Whetstone Workgroup
    19. Work Hard Pittsburgh

B. Develop

  • Formalize: Accounting, development and HR for early-stage startups.  
    1. 2440 Media
    2. ANTLR Interactive
    3. Blue Archer
    4. Cintacs
    5. Clark and Chamberlin
    6. C-leveled
    7. Collins & Ganley, P.C.
    8. Davis, Davis & Associates
    9. Dennis Piper & Associates, CPA
    10. Drift2
    11. DS Financial Advisors
    12. EchoHR Consulting
    13. FiveStar Development
    14. Holsinger PC Certified Public Accountant
    15. Hyperfluid Solutions
    16. Imperial
    17. Infoshape
    18. IQInc
    19. Joyce, Inc.
    20. Kathy L. Hess & Associates
    21. OpenArc
    22. Paxton
    23. Posti & Associates
    24. PrimePay
    25. ROKET
    26. Siegel and Company
    27. Sisterson
    28. Sparkbox
    29. Treetop Interactive
    30. Truefit
    31. W. Cotton Mather CPA
    32. Wilke
    33. ZAP Solutions
  • Prepare for Seed: Incubators and advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources for startup TEAMS, Startup Next, etc)
      1. Ascender Incubation
      2. BHiveLab Incubator
      3. eCenter
      4. IncubateHER
      5. Indiana County Small Business Incubator
      6. New Sun Rising
      7. PantherlabWorks
      8. Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
      9. Project Olympus Incubator Program
      10. Riverside Center for Innovation
      11. VentureBridge
      12. Washington Area Business Incubator
      13. 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. Blast Furnace
    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 Demo Day
    3. AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup
    4. LaunchCMU
    5. LeechTishman LaunchPad
    6. McGinnis Venture Competition
    7. PGH Tech Council — Tech 50
    8. Project Olympus Show & Tell
    9. Randall Family Big Idea Competition
    10. Startup Blitz
    11. 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. Active X-it
    3. Angel Investment Network
    4. BlueTree Allied Angels
    5. Keiretsu Forum
    6. Next Act Fund
    7. PA Angel Network
    8. Pipeline Angels Angel Investing Bootcamp
    9. 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 Post-Gazette
    9. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    10. Smart Business Magazine
    11. B. Funding
  • Angels / Micro-VCs: Seed-stage investors
    1. Andrew Rabin
    2. Andrew Williams
    3. Arjun Hattiangadi
    4. Barry Rabkin
    5. Benjamin J. Garber
    6. Brian Jeffrey Gross
    7. Catherine Mott
    8. Dave Mawhinney
    9. Drew Volpe
    10. Edward Engler
    11. Evan Tahler
    12. Ezz-Eldin Moukamal
    13. Frank Demmler
    14. Guillaume Binet
    15. Jim Jen
    16. Jim Ruiz
    17. Joey Rahimi
    18. John Hammer
    19. John Petote
    20. LifeX Seed Fund
    21. Matt Newton
    22. Mountain State Capital
    23. Raffi Krikorian
    24. Ryan Walsh
    25. Ryusuke Kubo
    26. Severin Hacker
    27. Taylor Davidson
    28. Tim Marman
    29. Troy Polamalu
    30. Victoria Kulli
    31. William Guttman
    32. Zachary Marburger
    33. Zach Malone
  • 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. Kennon Insurance Consultants
    8. LoopNet
    9. McIlrath Insurance Agency
    10. Offices
    11. OfficeSpace
    12. Regus
    13. Rofo
    14. Rupp-Fiore Insurance
    15. Simpson & McCrady
    16. The Bradley Partnerships, Inc.
    17. 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. CGI
    6. Conduent
    7. Deloitte
    8. Ernst & Young
    9. FTI Consulting
    10. Full Circle
    11. KORYAK Consulting
    12. KPMG
    13. LifeX Labs
    14. McKinsey & Company
    15. Plus Consulting
    16. Protiviti
    17. PwC
    18. SDLC Partners
    19. Synergen
    20. Towers Watson

4. Success Stories

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

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



Supporters


To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

1. Evangelists

Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.

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

2. Government

Public organizations that facilitate local economic development (ex. Start with the chamber of commerce, “Invest in XXX”, “Economic Ministry of XXX” , “Innovation”, R&D, etc)

  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. Innovation Works
  7. P4 Pittsburgh
  8. PGH Lab
  9. Southwestern PA Veteran's Chamber of Commerce
  10. Sustainable Pittsburgh
  11. The Pittsburgh EcoInnovation District: Uptown and Oakland
  12. 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, “major technology companies in Pittsburgh”)
    1. Aethon
    2. Alcoa
    3. Allegheny Technologies
    4. Amazon
    5. ANSYS
    6. Apple
    7. Aptiv
    8. Argo AI
    9. Ariba
    10. Aurora Innovation
    11. BlackBox
    12. Bossa Nova Robotics
    13. Carnegie Robotics
    14. Cisco
    15. Comcast
    16. Deeplocal
    17. Facebook
    18. Ford
    19. GE
    20. Google
    21. IBM
    22. Identified Technologies
    23. Industrial Scientific
    24. Intel
    25. Lumos Networks
    26. Microsoft
    27. Modcloth
    28. Near Earth Autonomy
    29. Nokia
    30. Oculus
    31. Oracle
    32. PPG Industries
    33. Re2
    34. Redzone Robotics
    35. SAP
    36. Seegrid
    37. Siemens
    38. TeleTracking
    39. Thermo Fisher Scientific
    40. Uber
    41. Westinghouse Nuclear
    42. Wombat Security

 

*  *  *

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 start a company in Pittsburgh? Then apply to the Pittsburgh Founder Institute today!

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