The lesson in this is if we want the Pittsburgh Region to grow, we need to encourage entrepreneurship - not just among people who might start a company, but among those who might work for one, too - and we need to insure our financial and economic institutions welcome and encourage entrepreneurial companies, rather than resist them.
What, exactly, is "entrepreneurial culture"? I think that understanding and accepting risk is key. That means embracing risk thoughtfully in a variety of senses: What do you think when you contemplate founding a business? What do investors and partners think? What do employees think? What will your friends and family think? Will failure be held against you down the road? At each of those levels, entrepreneurial culture means risk is OK -- even good. So, consider this quotation from Cori Shropshire's feature on local networking tech startups:
Pittsburgh's selling point, these entrepreneurs say, is the ability for newcomers to the city's business scene to find open doors to money, advice, workers and customers -- not to mention the exposure that being connected to the universities provides.
But Mr. Martin cautioned that Pittsburgh's close-knit coziness can also bite. "You don't want to burn bridges ever in Pittsburgh. It lasts a lot longer than it might in other cities."
Is that last bit -- that you get one chance to screw up here -- an obstacle to creating a true entrepreneurial culture?