"Duolingo was founded in Pittsburgh due to talent, technology, and lifestyle. It’s a great place to start a business, and a great place to live once the workday is done."
Pittsburgh’s growing ecosystem saw significant exits and funding rounds in 2021, including Aurora Innovation, a $11 billion autonomous vehicle startup that went public in November. Startups Argo AI, Motional, Waymo, and a dozen other mobility companies have further solidified Pittsburgh’s standing as a global hub for self-driving technology. A funding boom in Life Sciences, Robotics, and Cleantech is also helping to diversify the city’s startup ecosystem, with one example of success being Cognition Therapeutics raising $45 million in its October 2021 IPO. This Life Sciences company is developing a pipeline of cutting-edge Alzheimer’s treatments.
Pittsburgh is home to two world-class research universities - Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the University of Pittsburgh — as well as two other major research institutions and dozens of other post-secondary institutions. The ecosystem continues to be home to one of the greatest concentrations of research and tech talent in the U.S., and a community of purpose-driven builders, makers, and innovators has grown up around this nucleus.
Pittsburgh’s tech startup community also has a focus on ensuring diversity in the sector. Black Tech Nation offers education and funding for Black technologists, and its new $50 million fund will focus on early-stage startups with Black founders. Other VCs are also doing their part — Innovation Works and Magarac Venture Partners are prioritizing investment in diverse founders, and Next Act Fund backs early-stage, women-owned or -led companies.
Local success stories inspiring and anchoring the ecosystem include language-learning app Duolingo, which IPO’d in August 2021 at $6.5 billion, and corporate bases including Facebook Reality Labs, Amazon Alexa, Bosch, Philips, Apple, and Google.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Advanced Manufacturing & Robotics
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Pittsburgh
High-Quality Tech Talent
The Pittsburgh Innovation District
Selected Startup Organizations
Startup Genome Members
InnovatePGH is a next-generation public-private partnership built to accelerate Pittsburgh’s status as a global innovation leader. Powered by a coalition of civic, university, and business leaders, the partnership is Pittsburgh’s platform to rapidly translate the city’s R&D strengths into a high-growth, inclusive, and equitable tech-based economy.
Innovation Works (IW) is one of the top U.S. investors in early-stage technology startups and supports the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem within southwestern Pennsylvania. It provides the investment, programming — including the AlphaLab (software), AlphaLab Gear (hardware), and AlphaLab Health (Life Sciences) accelerators — and critical resources startups need to reach the next stage of growth in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) is the economic development affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. The PRA attracts strategic investment opportunities and diverse talent to the 10-county Pittsburgh region – comprising 10 southwestern Pennsylvania counties – and supports the growth of existing regional businesses.
Key Ecosystem Players
Pittsburgh Robotics Network
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