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PRA Post is the Pittsburgh Region’s Economic Development Newsletter

April 2018

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Pittsburgh Tech Firms Rake in Nearly $700 Million in 2017, Billions over Past Decade

The Pittsburgh region’s tech sector is booming. In 2017, more than $687 million was invested in nearly 160 companies. Both figures are decade-high marks for the region according to the report “A decade of growth: investment in Pittsburgh’s technology sector” jointly released by Pittsburgh startup incubator Innovation Works and Ernst & Young.

Overall, in the past decade, Pittsburgh’s tech sector has generated more than $22 billion in investment and research and development spending, with annual investment amounts growing nearly 200 percent. In that same span, the number of deals increased by 129 percent, with company exits generating more than $8.7 billion in disclosed proceedings.

The report defines a boon between 2008 and 2017 for the technology and innovation sector in the region. Companies such as Uber, Facebook, Apple, Bosch, GE and Tata have opened technical R&D facilities here. Faculty and students from world-class universities are creating globally recognized companies and attracting investment for technical research. Investors are continually taking notice of the region as not just a launch pad to a larger stage, but as the stage for technology and innovation.

“The trends emerging from the past 10 years paint a compelling portrait of regional growth and point towards a bright future,” Rich Lunak, CEO of Innovation Works, and Leon Hoffman, managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Pittsburgh office, wrote in the introduction to the report.

Read more

Read the full report

More Economic Development News

Interstacks Raises $2.5 Million, Plans to Double Staff
“Interstacks, a startup that evolved from a project at digital design and innovation lab Maya Design, has raised $2.5 million from investors and plans to at least double employment.” Read more

ATI Joint Venture with Tsingshan Group to Create 100 Manufacturing Jobs in Western Pennsylvania
“Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. has formed a 50-50 joint venture with an affiliate company of Tsingshan Group that will create about 100 manufacturing jobs in western Pennsylvania.” Read more

New 90,000-Square-Foot Cancer Institute Center at AGH to Add Jobs
“Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network leaders showed off plans for a 90,000-square-foot, $80 million cancer institute and academic center that will front Allegheny General Hospital’s campus on the North Side.” Read more

Pitt-UPMC Launch $200 Million Accelerator for Cancer, Transplant, Immunotherapy Innovations
“5000 Baum in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood is expected to open in 2020. It will include the new Immune Transplant and Therapy Center (ITTC), which will be supported by a $200 million research investment to help UPMC and Pitt researchers translate findings into new solutions for patients.” Read more

Elliott Company Plans to Build Facility at Jeannette Glass Site
“The proposed redevelopment project at the former Jeannette Glass site would create at least 130 jobs and could have a ripple effect throughout Jeanette’s downtown district.” Read more

Allegheny Health Network Launching $21 Million Renovation of One of Area’s Busiest ER Departments
“Allegheny Health Network is launching a $21 million renovation of Jefferson Hospital’s emergency department. Located in Jefferson Hills, the hospital serves neighborhoods in Allegheny’s southern suburbs and the Mon Valley.” Read more

Allegheny Valley Hospital Invests $30 Million in Improvements
“One of the hospital’s strengths is its relationship with insurer Highmark Inc., which is investing close to $30 million into the Natrona Heights-based facility this year.” Read more

Pitt Launches Innovation Lab, Makerspace in Homewood
“The University of Pittsburgh will open an innovation lab and makerspace in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood at 7800 Susquehanna St. The Manufacturing Assistance Center Makerspace will feature small business development courses and will be equipped with a laser, 3-D printers, woodworking and a soft textiles area.” Read more

Pittsburgh’s Oldest Makerspace, HackPGH, More Than Doubling in Size
“HackPGH is more than doubling in size, expanding from its 1,500 cramped, chaotic square feet to 3,600 square feet. It is taking over the entire ground floor of the building it shares with other companies in Uptown.” Read more

University of Pittsburgh Launching Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator
“There’s a growing trend across universities: millennials interested in social entrepreneurship. That’s why the University of Pittsburgh is launching Arc Furnace, an accelerator for students across area universities interested in social entrepreneurship.” Read more

Elite Transit Moves Downtown, Plans to Double Staff
“Elite provides third-party logistics services (aka 3PL) for clients who move inventory by truck throughout the country, concentrating on the food industry. It moved downtown recently and plans to expand.” Read more

WVU Medicine Plans Medical Clinic in Greene County
“The health system presented plans Monday to Franklin Township Planning Commission for a 24,300-square-foot building that will offer primary care services and house clinics in family medicine, diagnostic imaging, cardiovascular care, orthopedics, obstetrics, gynecology and urgent care.” Read more

OneJet Begins Kansas City Flights to Pittsburgh
“OneJet will offer twice-daily round-trip flights between Kansas City International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport on OnJet Plus aircraft.” Read more

Pittsburgh Bike Share Expanding, Aims for Additional Minority and Low-Income Riders
“Officials at Pittsburgh Bike Share, also known as Healthy Ride, recognize disparity in bike share usage, and are tackling it head-on with a recently announced expansion. By the end of 2018, Healthy Ride should have 125 additional stations, for a total of 175 stations throughout the city of Pittsburgh.” Read more

12,000 Black Engineers in Pittsburgh to Create Diversity in Technical Careers
“Thousands of black engineering students will be milling around the downtown area over the next few days as a part of NSBE’s annual conference, which returns to Pittsburgh for the first time since 2012. It’s expected to be the largest event yet, with 12,000 attendees at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.” Read more

Construction Complete on 100-Mile Gas Pipeline through Beaver County
“A 100-mile gas pipeline that runs through Beaver County is ‘mechanically complete,’ according to the company building it.” Read more

Developer Wins Grant to Build Grandview Avenue Hotel in Mount Washington
“Grandview Realty LLC has been awarded a $1 million state redevelopment assistance capital grant to support the construction of a $95 million hotel and conference center with a spa, fitness center, ballroom, parking garage, and public grand plaza with an outdoor dining area.” Read more

Uber, Duquesne Light to Add Electric Vehicles, Charging Stations in Pittsburgh
“Uber and Duquesne Light Co. want to put more electric vehicles on the road and more charging stations around Pittsburgh. The companies announced Wednesday that they want to add 50 electric vehicles to Uber’s network and install at least five charging stations over the next two years.” Read more

Self-Driving Car Startup Aurora Speeds Forward with $90 Million; LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman Joins Board
“Aurora, a newcomer in the race to develop self-driving vehicles, put a little fuel in the tank today as the company raised $90 million in series A financing from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures. As a result of the investment, Greylock’s Reid Hoffman — the co-founder of LinkedIn and Microsoft board member — has joined the board, as did Index’s Mike Volpi.” Read more

$15 Million Donation Establishes CMU’s Block Center for Technology and Society
“A Carnegie Mellon University alum and his wife donated $15 million to the school to start a research center focused on examining the impact technology has on society.” Read more

Astrobotic Wins NASA Contract to Develop Small Rover for Moon Exploration
“NASA has selected Astrobotic in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University for a contract to develop a small rover for exploration of the moon.” Read more

OneJet Raises $10 Million
“OneJet has raised more than $10 million from high-net-worth individuals and organizations in communities that the Pittsburgh-based regional airline serves, chairman and CEO Matthew Maguire said.” Read more

CMU Spinoff Raises $8 Million
“Voci Technologies Inc., a provider of voice analytics, raised $8 million and plans to use the capital to accelerate sales and marketing.” Read more

Cancer Diagnostics Company Raises $2.5 Million
“Cernostics, a privately held company based in Harmar Township, announced it has raised $2.5 million. With funding led by Illumina Ventures, the company hopes to increase clinical and market development studies for its test to predict the risk of development of esophageal cancer.” Read more

Couple Gives IUP $1.4 Million
“Indiana University of Pennsylvania is renaming its Literary Center in honor of Bill and Judy Scheeren, of Greensburg, following an announcement that they have committed $1.4 million to the College of Education and Communications.” Read more

New Kensington Receives $1.2 Million for Development, Training
“New Kensington is set to receive $1.2 million over the next six years through a program that enables local companies to earmark a portion of their state taxes for use in community projects.” Read more

Pittsburgh Company, Skycision, Raises $1.1 Million
“Skycision announced Monday it has raised a $1.1 million seed funding round. Skycision, founded in 2015, offers a data platform that uses drones to gather data for agriculture, aiming to help farmers make better decisions regarding their crops.” Read more

Local Entrepreneur Donates $1 Million to Seton Hill University
“A nephew of one of the founding sisters of Seton Hill University has donated more than $1 million to the school to continue his family’s legacy in the university.” Read more

Kiva Pittsburgh’s Distributed Loans Reach Total of $1 Million
“Kiva Pittsburgh has distributed local micro-loans totaling $1 million. The loans are crowdfunded by the area’s business community and around the world. Kiva, a group that started locally about four years ago, distributed the $1 million via 199 individual loans, averaging about $5,200 each.” Read more

URA to Invest $100,000 in Next Act Fund for Early Stage, Women-Led Companies
“The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh on Tuesday said it is poised to provide $100,000 toward the Next Act Fund LLC, which is focused on investing in early stage, women-led companies. Next Act was launched in 2016 by Pittsburgh-based entrepreneur Yvonne Campos. She serves as president of the angel network for women who jointly invest in early stage companies owned or run by women.” Read more

KeyBank Grants $300,000 for Upper Hill District Development
“Neighborhood Allies will receive a two-year, $300,000 grant from the KeyBank Foundation for revitalization efforts in the Upper Hill District.” Read more

Landforce Wins $50,000 Google Impact Challenge Grant
“Landforce, one of the four winners of the Google Impact Challenge, was chosen via public voting to receive an additional $50,000 grant.” Read more

CMU First in A.I. and Computer Science
“In the recent U.S. News rankings, Carnegie Mellon University’s programs rank first in artificial intelligence and computer science and fourth in computer engineering.” Read more

PIT Awarded for Environmental Achievement
“Airport Council International-North America has awarded Pittsburgh International Airport with an award for environmental achievement.” Read more

Chatham’s Women’s Business Center Ranked Top in Nation
“A women’s business center based at Chatham University has been named the top women’s outreach center in the nation by the U.S. Small Business Administration.” Read more

St. Clair Hospital Named in Top 100 in U.S. by IBM Watson Health
“For the third time in seven years, St. Clair Hospital has been named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the United States by IBM Watson Health.” Read more

Chatham, Cal U Online Health Care Degrees Rank in Top 50
“Chatham University and California University of Pennsylvania ranked in the top 50 on a recent list for online health care management master’s degrees.” Read more

Local Companies Win Northeast Oil & Gas Awards
“Several Pittsburgh-region companies, including HydroEdge Solutions and Trumbull Energy Services, were among the winners at the Northeast Oil and Gas Awards.” Read more

Petrochemical Projects in Pittsburgh Region More Profitable Compared to Gulf Coast
“Any new petrochemical investments made in the region could be up to four times as profitable as similar projects along the Gulf Coast, according to IHS Markit. It concluded that an abundance of low-cost ethane is available in the Marcellus Shale region, which automatically makes it more profitable.” Read more

Girls of Steel: Meet the Robotics Team at CMU Prepping Young Women for STEM Careers
“It’s not just the graduate students and PhD researchers inside Carnegie Mellon University’s top-ranked computer science school that are helping shape the future of technology. For six winter weeks inside the basement of Newell Simon Hall, just past the underwater drones and moon rovers, you’ll find a group of young women building a giant robot and learning lifelong skills in engineering, business, leadership, teamwork, and more — all while having a lot of fun doing it.” Read more

Washington, Greene among Natural Gas Leaders in State
“Drilling and natural gas production have been going full bore in Washington and Greene counties, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office.” Read more


Companies are investing and growing in the Pittsburgh region and creating opportunity for top talent, including positions below:

Go to to check out more jobs, learn about the region’s employers and industries and explore the region’s great live, play, and learn options.



April 16-20Pittsburgh Life Sciences Week
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Week brings together a diverse mix of life sciences groups – researchers, entrepreneurs, large corporations, and investors. Together, these group will engage across the spectrum – from development in the lab to delivery in the marketplace – and foster the integration of science and business that will accelerate innovation and translate research into commercial opportunities. This week-long series of innovation forums covers a wide range of current and emerging topics in the life sciences. Join us during Pittsburgh Life Sciences Week and learn why Pittsburgh is poised to become a national leader in life sciences. Visit the website for details of events occurring throughout the week.


April 18CIO of the Year Awards
Join the Pittsburgh Technology Council for its annual CIO of the Year Awards. It takes great leaders to keep southwestern Pennsylvania’s technology sector on the cutting-edge. Each year, the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Greater Pittsburgh CIO Group gather to honor the region’s top information technology and information security executives at Pittsburgh CIO of the Year. CIO of the Year honors top CIOs and CISOs at all sizes and types of companies. For more information, visit the event webpage.


April 192018 AlphaLab Gear Hardware Cup Finals
AlphaLab Gear’s annual Hardware Cup wraps up on April 18th. Companies from around the globe are competing for a $50,000 grand prize from Startbot, and this is the finals for the competition. Stay for the after party and to meet each company, network, and eat and drink with Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial community. Registration is required.


April 25-26Annual Pittsburgh Business Show
The Pittsburgh Business Show is a B2B trade show that’s helping build partnerships, bring professionals together for networking and create opportunities for new and existing businesses. Register to attend and connect with people and industry within the region, learn how to better your business, understand how to set goals and discover new techniques and processes. Click here for a list of speakers. Held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, cost to attend is $79 for both days, $49 for April 25 only and $39 for April 26 only. Opportunities to exhibit and/or sponsor are available.


April 27Winning the Talent War Presents Holly Tyson, Chief Human Resources Officer at DICK’s Sporting Goods, Inc.
The Pittsburgh Technology Council presents its next event in a series of what Pittsburgh-area companies need to do to win the talent war. Holly Tyson, chief human resources officer, will discuss the importance of crafting a talent philosophy for your organization; what investing in talent means at DICK’s Sporting Goods; and how to transform your HR team to meet the needs of a rapidly changing business environment. For more information, visit the event webpage.


May 4Carnegie Science Awards
The Carnegie Science Awards program recognizes and promotes outstanding science and technology achievements in Western Pennsylvania. Established in 1997, Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 550 individuals and organizations whose contributions in the fields of science, technology, and education have impacted our region’s industrial, academic, and environmental vitality. The 22nd Annual Carnegie Science Awards celebration, will be held on May 4, 2018. Hosted at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, the event features a cocktail reception, strolling dinner, silent auction, and an awards ceremony full of inspiring stories. Each year, guests leave this event moved by the creativity and commitment of awardees to address real-world challenges. In addition, the event provides a rich networking platform that helps to build discourse between Pittsburgh’s diverse ecosystem of science professionals and organizations, while raising funds to support Carnegie Science Center’s education programs that identify, nurture, and inspire the next generation of leaders in science and technology. Click here for more information.


May 9-10NCDMM 2018 Summit
NCDMM’s premier annual event focuses on encouraging collaboration and partnerships among manufacturers, government, industry, and academia to advance manufacturing technologies. The event is tailored to manufacturers; engineers; innovators; defense and aerospace program managers; academics and researchers; government partners; and technology developers. May 9th will be an interactive day of presentations, networking, and technology displays. Following the day’s presentations, there will be an evening reception for attendees to continue networking, gain an understanding of the technologies displays, and build mutually beneficial partnerships. On May 10th, a Golf Outing will conclude NCDMM’s SUMMIT 2018 event. Golfers will enjoy a great day on the links while continuing to network with fellow SUMMIT attendees. For more information and registration details, visit the summit website.


May 102018 STEM Summit
NCDMM’s premier annual event focuses on encouraging collaboration and partnerships among manufacturers, government, industry, and academia to advance manufacturing technologies. The event is tailored to manufacturers; engineers; innovators; defense and aerospace program managers; academics and researchers; government partners; and technology developers. May 9th will be an interactive day of presentations, networking, and technology displays. Following the day’s presentations, there will be an evening reception for attendees to continue networking, gain an understanding of the technologies displays, and build mutually beneficial partnerships. On May 10th, a Golf Outing will conclude NCDMM’s SUMMIT 2018 event. Golfers will enjoy a great day on the links while continuing to network with fellow SUMMIT attendees. For more information and registration details, visit the summit website.


May 17Huntington Breakfast Briefing: Covestro North America/Jerry MacCleary
The Pittsburgh Technology Council is pleased to present Jerry MacCleary, chief executive officer of Covestro North America. Since inventing polyurethanes and polycarbonates decades ago, Covestro has continued to be driven by innovation, delivering new technologies and solutions that help make a positive impact on people’s lives every day. MacCleary will discuss Covestro’s vision to make the world a brighter place with products that benefit society and reduce the impact on the environment. Attendees will learn about how he leads the business on innovation strategies, sustainability and community engagement initiatives in Pittsburgh and beyond. Visit the event website for more information.