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Innovation & Startups

The White House selects Pittsburgh as one of eight Startup America Cities

The White House has selected Pittsburgh as one of eight cities in the country to participate in a major innovation initiative, "Startup America: Reducing Barriers Roundtables," at Chatham University on April 28th.

The unique event will bring senior Obama administration officials to Pittsburgh to meet with local entrepreneurs and hear firsthand their ideas and suggestions for reducing barriers and improving regulations to build a more supportive environment for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Startup America is designed to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the nation. Pittsburgh and seven other cities were selected for the venue: Austin, Texas;  Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Boulder, Colo.; Durham, N.C.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Minneapolis, Minn.

Our city has been on President Obama's radar ever since the G-20, says Carl Knoblock, district director of the Small Business Administration. The administration hopes to spur economic growth by learning more about how Pittsburgh has transformed itself from a one industry town  to a region with jobs in advanced manufacturing, biosciences, software, robotics and engineering.

"All the cities selected have good universities that receive research and development dollars," says Knoblock. "What makes us distinct is Pittsburgh is the only city that has transformed itself from one industrial base to another. This will be a showcase for the region and help create more opportunities here."

In addition to jumpstarting economic growth, Startup America hopes to identify outdated federal barriers and cumbersome restrictions that are inhibiting that growth. Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with resource partner SMC Business Councils, is working with the Western Pa. SBA District Office to coordinate the event.

Administration officials attending the event include Assistant Secretary of Commerce John Fernandez, Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Teresa Rae and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisors Ronnie Chatterji.

The roundtable will be held on Thursday, April 28, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Chatham University. Entrepreneurs and business leaders are invited to attend by application through the Startup America Website.

Writer: Debra Diamond Smit
Source: Carl Knoblock, SBA

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