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Innovation & Startups

Happy Birthday Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, 10 years strong

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse celebrates 10 years of building the region into a growing hub for biotechnology tools, diagnostics, medical devices, therapeutics and healthcare IT.

The 10-year-mark is a time for marking the milestones, notes CEO John Manzetti who has been pushing the sector forward since 2006. 

Since opening its doors in 2002, PLSG has worked with 384 companies and invested $18.1 million in its 73 portfolio companies. Eight of those portfolio companies have exited for $278 million. The lifesciences incubator has also helped to create 5,000 jobs in the region, directly or indirectly, including university faculty and facilities.

“Overall we’ve achieved more visability and notoriety in the venture world,” says Manzetti. “In the beginning, nobody knew us. Now we can pick up the phone with venture capitalists and many of them will come to Pittsburgh.”

Among other developments of note was the creation of the PLSG Accelerator Fund, an $8.1 million fund that provides life science companies with VC financing beyond that provided by economic development organizations and friends and family.

“With the VC world not willing to make early investments, the Accelerator Fund is a full profit fund that only supports companies in our region, making sure they succeed," says Manzetti.

Another key to growth is the strength of the angel sector, which continues to outpace venture capital investments two to one in the region.

“Angel funding used to be there for bridging, but today it is a significant market opportunity,” he says.

Health Care IT, therapeutics and drug discovery and female health care companies, such as Rinovum, which is gaining traction in the infertility market, is another growing sector. 

Women in Bio, a national organization that helps to connect and provide career and professional assistance to women entrepreneurs in the biosciences industry, is opening a Pittsburgh chapter. The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Bridgeside Point on Technology Drive.

The PLSG will celebrate its birthday at an invitation-only reception this week.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: John Manzetti, PLSG
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