Could the smokestack- belching image that has defined Pittsburgh for decades eventually give way to a high-tech city that more closely resembles Seattle?
Pittsburgh venture capitalist Chuck Dietrick knows it won't be easy, but he thinks the Steel City is slowly making the transformation to a place where innovative software, semiconductor and life science startups can thrive.
Dietrick (from local VC Birchmere) and Jay Katarincic (from local VC Draper Triangle) argue that the Pittsburgh region is moving in the right direction but would benefit from . . . more venture funding. No surprise there; raising local money and attracting outside VC interest continues to be a struggle. But money alone won't solve Pittsburgh's problems. Cook continues, quoting someone we know:
"Steel was so big here, and steel was so important for so long, that the region never had the need to develop the culture of personal entrepreneurship that comes so naturally to many communities on the West Coast," said Madison. "Business in Pittsburgh meant 'Big Business,' and 'Big Business' was the job of men who went downtown in the morning and ran the world. ... There's a CEO mentality to Pittsburgh, not an entrepreneurial culture. And I think that the mentality holds the region back economically."