Pittsburgh Social and Business Entrepreneurs - Near and Far

Two links of interest from Austin, Texas - a place that just doesn't look or act like Pittsburgh, but that is full of interesting people and a lot of great music.

"Learning from the Town of Steel," a blog post from back in May about some great not-for-profit resources and organizations that Pittsburgh has - and that Austin envies. Not all of the observations hit equally close to the mark, but it is always interesting to reflect on our assets from the perspective of a true outsider.

"Capital Factory," an Austin-based start-up accelerator (thanks for the link, Jia) that's interesting because of the free stuff that gets offered to portfolio companies:

Free basic IT infrastructure for email, website set up and hosted on Google Apps
Free office space at Tech Ranch Austin or co-working space at Conjunctured
$1,500 in free hosting from Rackspace, Mosso, Slicehost, and JungleDisk
Free company formation and legal documents by Wilson Sonsini
Free brand development and logo (if needed) by Clutch Creative
Free help with your financial plan from vcfo and The Accounting Group
Free banking from Square One Bank
Free recruiting support by American Workforce
Free press support from Porter Novelli
Free presentation training
Free software from Microsoft BizSpark
Quibble with the details ("there's no such thing as a free lunch"), but on the whole this represents an impressive amount of partnering with local professional services firms, and an impressive amount of investment on their part in local entrepreneurs.

Is there any comparable program for entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh -- one that offers free stuff, especially free, top-drawer legal advice, as part of the deal? None comes to mind, but maybe I've missed something.


1 Response to "Pittsburgh Social and Business Entrepreneurs - Near and Far"

Mike said... 7/11/2009 1:51 AM

There's The Technology Collaborative (TTC). My understanding is that it was assembled from the Digital Greenhouse and similar organizations right after the tech boom.


The focus is largely robotics--probably a result of the volume of startups coming out of CMU's Robotics Institute. Member companies receive legal support and access to business admin help (think accounting). The also offer some sizable "technology commercialization" grants and provide free office space to help a handful of early startups find their footing.

They started off by focusing on Western PA but have since expanded across the state. Based on their roots, I would say at least half of the member companies are local to the Burgh. Financing comes from both the state and larger member companies (who pay for membership to gain access to and familiarity with the startups).

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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