"The city built on steel and coal might prove to be a diamond in the rough for entrepreneurs. Pittsburgh is looking to become the "new center of innovation in American energy" and putting up the cash to get there. On top of nearly $143 million the area raised in start-up capital during the first nine months of 2012, the area's research and development funding through Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh and other institutions amounts to $3 billion annually.
State-sponsored economic development group Innovation Works provides funding, business guidance and other resources to promising projects. With the Allegheny Conference of Community Development, it formed the Energy Alliance of Greater Pittsburgh to connect local energy entrepreneurs, researchers and investors. It also created tech start-up accelerator AlphaLab, which runs a 20-week program twice a year that provides select companies with funding, office space, mentorships and other assistance to get up and running.
Other entrepreneurial resources in the area: Carnegie Mellon University is home to 118 research institutes and centers, which help launch 15 to 20 new start-ups a year, on average.
Nonprofit Idea Foundry assists technology start-ups by providing business advice, investment capital and networking opportunities. The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse focuses its entrepreneurial assistance on companies developing medical devices, therapeutics, biotech services and health information technology."
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