Founder Institute Image

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 v3 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. NEXTPittsburgh
    4. Pitchwerks
    5. StartNow Pittsburgh
    6. Launch Collective Mastermind
  • 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. Global Entrepreneurship Week (CMU and Pitt)
    12. Going Deep Summit
    13. Hustle HER Way Summit
    14. Inclusive Innovation Week
    15. Invest In Her
    16. Lesbians Who Tech Pittsburgh
    17. Nerd Nite Pittsburgh
    18. PGH Tech Meetup
    19. Pittsburgh VR Meetup
    20. Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum
    21. Product Development Management Association - Pittsburgh Chapter
    22. Startup Weekend Pittsburgh
    23. Thrival Festival
    24. VR/AR Association - Pittsburgh Chapter
    25. Young Entrepreneur's Society of Pittsburgh (YESpgh)
    26. The Launch Collective Expo

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. EdTech PGH
    4. Google Developer Group (GDG) Pittsburgh
    5. ngPittsburgh
    6. Pittsburgh ProductCamp
    7. Pittsburgh Startup Founder 101
    8. Pittsburgh Technology Innovation Group
    9. Start Smart Legal Seminars and Workshop (IPI/Pitt Law School and Project Olympus)
    10. 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. Founder Institute
    9. Lean Startup Machine Pittsburgh
    10. Next Gen Native Hadoop Big Data Apex Users Group
    11. ONLC Training Centers
    12. PGH Lab
    13. Pittsburgh Agile
    14. Pittsburgh Code & Supply
    15. Pittsburgh Startup: Idea to IPO
    16. Praxis
    17. ProductTank Pittsburgh
    18. Startable Pittsburgh
    19. Startup Ideation Bootcamp
    20. 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. CodeDay
    2. Code for Good
    3. Conservation Hackathon 2018
    4. FCHacks
    5. HackPGH
    6. Pittsburgh Hardware Startup Meetup
    7. Pittsburgh TechFest
    8. Prototype Pittsburgh
    9. She Innovates Hackathon
    10. SteelHacks 2018
    11. TartanHacks
    12. The Pitt Challenge
    13. 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. 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. CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen)
    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. ROKET
    30. Siegel and Company
    31. Sisterson
    32. Sparkbox
    33. Treetop Interactive
    34. Truefit
    35. W. Cotton Mather CPA
    36. Wilke
    37. 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. PantherlabWorks
    8. Project Olympus Incubator Program
    9. Riverside Center for Innovation
    10. VentureBridge
    11. Washington Area Business Incubator
    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. Blast Furnace
    4. Idea Foundry
    5. Numo
    6. Startup Boost Pittsburgh
    7. 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. Pitt Innovation Challenge 
    9. Project Olympus Show & Tell
    10. Randall Family Big Idea Competition
    11. Startup Blitz
    12. UpPrize Challenge
    13. Launch Pad Pitch competition


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
    10. Forty x 80
  • 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. Frank Demmler
    12. Guillaume Binet
    13. Innovation Works
    14. Jim Ruiz
    15. Joey Rahimi
    16. John Hammer
    17. John Petote
    18. LifeX Seed Fund
    19. Matt Newton
    20. Mountain State Capital
    21. Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
    22. Raffi Krikorian
    23. Ryan Walsh
    24. Ryusuke Kubo
    25. Severin Hacker
    26. Taylor Davidson
    27. Tim Marman
    28. Troy Polamalu
    29. Victoria Kulli
    30. William Guttman
    31. Zachary Marburger
    32. 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. CEO Boot Camp
    6. CGI
    7. Conduent
    8. Deloitte
    9. Ernst & Young
    10. FTI Consulting
    11. Full Circle
    12. JLL
    13. KORYAK Consulting
    14. KPMG
    15. KRNLS
    16. LifeX Labs
    17. McKinsey & Company
    18. Manufacturing 360 Consulting
    19. MMasters Corp
    20. Plus Consulting
    21. Protiviti
    22. PwC
    23. SCORE 
    24. SDLC Partners
    25. Synergen
    26. 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. Avere Systems
  5. Bellefield Systems 
  6. Black Locus
  7. DiamondKinetics
  8. Duolingo
  9. Dynamics Inc.
  10. ebillinghub
  11. EquityNet
  12. Expii
  13. Forest Devices
  14. FOREVER
  15. Gridwise
  16. Helomics
  17. Hibersense
  18. Highmark Health
  19. Hyliion
  20. Interphase Materials 
  21. JazzHR
  22. Jetpack Workflow
  23. LearnBop
  24. LegalSifter
  25. LendingHome
  26. Lightside Labs
  27. Malcovery Security
  28. Matrix Solutions
  29. Module Housing
  30. Nowait
  31. Panopto
  32. ReCaptcha
  33. Rijuven
  34. Safaba
  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. Bobby Zappala
  9. Brad Frost
  10. Brian Finamore
  11. Catherine Mott
  12. Craig Markovitz
  13. Dave Nelsen
  14. David Cristello
  15. Don Charlton
  16. Don Morrison
  17. Greg Coticchia
  18. Henry Thorne
  19. Ilana Diamond
  20. Jennifer Wilhelm
  21. Jim Jen
  22. John Dick
  23. John Quayle 
  24. Josh Lucas 
  25. Justin Reese  
  26. Kannu Sahni
  27. Kelauni Cook
  28. Kenny Chen
  29. Kevin Dowling
  30. Ketaki Desai
  31. Kit Mueller
  32. Kit Needham
  33. Linda Handley
  34. Lynn Banaszak
  35. Mark DeSantis
  36. Marta Dalton
  37. Mary Del Brady
  38. Melanie Querry
  39. Mike Capsambelis
  40. Olga Pogoda
  41. Prashant Ambe 
  42. Randy Eager
  43. Dr. Rasu Shrestha
  44. Rich Lunak
  45. Robb Myer
  46. Ryan Gayman
  47. Sean Ammirati
  48. Suzy Teele
  49. 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 Pittsburgh
  10. The Pittsburgh EcoInnovation District: Uptown and Oakland
  11. 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
    44. 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 build a startup in Pittsburgh? Then apply to the Pittsburgh Founder Institute today!

Related Insights

More insights
Founder Institute Image
Startup Ecosystem Canvas

Adelaide Startup Resource List: 250+ Accelerators, Incubators, Investors, and more

By Jonathan Greechan on 2019-11-10
Founder Institute Image
Startup Ecosystem Canvas

Luxembourg Startup Resource List: 350+ Accelerators, Incubators, Investors, and more

By Dustin Betz on 2019-10-22
Founder Institute Image
Startup Ecosystem Canvas

Pittsburgh Startup Resource List: 400+ Accelerators, Incubators, Investors, and more

By Dustin Betz on 2019-10-14

Are you ready to join the world's premier startup launch program?

Join the Program