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NoWait raises $10 Million to advance business

Pittsburgh startup NoWait raised $10 million in venture funding which it plans to use for hiring and the creation of new tools.
 
The application allows iOS and Android users to track their wait times at restaurants and add their names to wait lists before they have arrived at the restaurant. The app also enables restaurant employees to collect phone numbers and send text messages to alert diners that their tables are ready.
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 1,000 restaurants in the United States and Canada such as Buffalo Wild Wings and Texas Roadhouse are already using NoWait to organize their waiting lists.
 
Ware Sykes, Chief Executive of NoWait, says that the company plans to develop technology that allows restaurants to view analytics like how frequently their customers visit them and how much they spend. 

ID8: Pittsburgh

Entrepreneurship.org started a web magazine called ID8 focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in American cities. They’ve covered Seattle, San Diego, and the research triangle in North Carolina, but their inaugural issue was dedicated to Pittsburgh.

ID8 did their homework and got on the ground in the ‘Burgh, touring the city with William Generett Jr. of Urban Innovation21, making videos featuring the players behind Project Olympus, and creating a map of the city’s entrepreneurial hot spots. It’s definitely worth a look. Check it out here.

Found in Translation: Pittsburgh language tech companies rocking the region

Pop City innovation editor Deb Smit reports on language technology companies in Pittsburgh—13 of them including one snapped up this year by Facebook—that are attracting international attention and changing the way we learn and communicate.

Read the story in Pittsburgh Magazine.

Pittsburgh best place to launch a startup, says Avere CEO

Rob Bianchini Jr., CEO of Avere Systems speaks to the power of Pittsburgh's deep talent pool to help entrepreneurs build themselves from the ground up in a Wall Street Journal editorial. "Because I was born in Brooklyn, I will always have an affinity for New York. But there are many reasons why I chose to build my businesses in the Steel City. Pittsburgh, once a picture of blue-collar America, is now a thriving and forward-thinking city, with some of the most advanced research and entrepreneurial minds in the U.S. That is why I not only started my first company here, but also my second and third. Pittsburgh has many things that make it unique, but there are some key components that make it the best place to launch a startup."

To read more about starting-up in Pittsburgh, click here.

Mod Cloth cites Pittsburgh as reason for growth

Mod Cloth may not be headquartered in Pittsburgh, but they are still very much in town. A large number of their employees continue to work at the Pittsburgh offices and Mod Cloth considers them absolutely essential.

"Citing the "Be the Buyer" program, which allows users to vote on garment samples to be produced; the "Make the Cut" program, which allows votes on winning designs; and the social outfit-sharing feature "Style Gallery" as keys to the company's success, Koger said those programs would likely never have come to being without direct customer engagement that is often routed directly through Pittsburgh."

To read more about Mod Cloth's healthy relationship with its mother city, click here.

Yinzcam makes top 20 list

Yinzcam made the list of the top 20 fastest growing mobile startups.

See the brief write up of the company and other companies here.

Mod Cloth founders on doubling down

The founders of Mod Cloth are looking to expand their business by providing a new line of plus-size clothing. "What started as an idea by high school juniors Susan Gregg Koger, 28, and her (now husband) Eric, 29, now brags more than 400 employees in three cities and is hell-bent on the expansion of both an in-house private label and a re-commitment to serving the plus-sized market."

To read more from Forbes.com, click here.

New site launches citing Pittsburgh as the model turnaround city

ID8Nation, a new site from entrepreneur.org and the Kauffman Foundation, launched last week with Pittsburgh featured as a model city of transformation. It was once believed that Pittsburgh was going to suffer the same fate as its Rust Belt cousins if it didn't diversify its economy and increase its entrepreneurial presence. Today, Pittsburgh is a success story unlike any other and this feature highlights numerous reasons why.


See the full feature here.

Pittsburgh named among Top 15 Cities for tech startup investments

Though Silicon Valley still remains the epicenter of tech startups, Pittsburgh made an unexpected (well, maybe for anyone who doesn't live here) appearance on Mashable's list of the top 15 Cities for Tech Startup Investments. Ranking lucky number 13 on the list, Pittsburgh beat Denver and Boulder to make it.

To read more, click here.

Unicorn Market, a collective of Pittsburgh artists, has third anthology reviewed

Unicorn Mountain is a collective of Pittsburgh artists that publishes anthologies of local art, comics, music and literature. Their third anthology, The Black Forest, takes a different tack from their previous collections by exploring much darker, stranger themes. My friend Tara Helfer did the layout and supplementary illustrations for The Black Forest and sent me a copy to check out.
The collection covers a broad range of styles, and is packed with more than twenty different artists' work. Some parts are creepy and scribbly. Others are intricate and mysterious. I've picked some samples of a few of my favorites here.



Read the piece here.

Allegheny Conference reports on regional progress at annual meeting

More than 600 people jammed the ballroom of the Fairmont to hear remarks from Dennis Yablonsky and business leaders at the annual meeting of the Allegheny Conference.

Read the blog with all the details  here.

CEO Michael Ressler of StatEasy featured as Founder in statewide pub Keystone Edge

'Central Catholic star running back Damien Jones-Moore played the game of his life against Woodland Hills High School, gaining 133 yards on 15 carries and scoring three touchdowns. Unfortunately, his parents were working and missed the game.
 
Not to worry. Pittsburgh startup StatEasy not only allowed his parents to relive the highlights the next day, but it gave them a great recruiting video with which to launch their son's career.  
 
StatEasy was founded by CEO Michael Ressler, a Carnegie Mellon computer science grad and former club volleyball coach who recognized the value in a good sports video software that integrates statistics compiled during a game with the video footage."

Read the profile here and then see the other Founders throughout the state.

Brew Gentlemen in action in Braddock: craft beer and dressing on the street

Have you heard about the latest craft beer venture in Pittsburgh? Check out the Brew Gentlemen in this entertaining video and what they're doing for the love of beer.

See the video here.

Branding Brand cites less effective social media usage on mobile phones

Pittsburgh company, Branding Brand, points out some of the surprising trends in social media on mobile phones.

“Increased traffic doesn’t always mean increased conversion, especially if the quality of visitor declines,” explains Branding Brand co-founder and CIO Joey Rahimi, “Many retailers are flooding social media and jumping on the bandwagon, but are they attracting someone who will actually buy?”“

Although these social sites have provided a great way to drive traffic and sales on desktop, they still haven’t cracked the case on mobile. On mobile, they’re providing far less traffic and contribution of sales,” he adds. “We’re still searching for a social solution to help all channels.”

If the charts here speak to truths other retailers are also seeing, it’s clear that mobile changes the game in more ways than one.

Read the full story here.



Venture for America encourages entrepreneurship, coming to Pittsburgh

In this article about Venture For America--check out the Pop City innovation news here--grads are urged to join startups and here's why.

Venture for America, a group that brings in entrepreneurs to a city and funds and mentors them, is coming to Pittsburgh.

Read the full story.

Evive launches campus kiosks with filtered water, washing system

With colleges moving to or actually banning bottled water, a Pennsylvania-based startup, called Evive Station, has developed an innovative, ergonomic solution for providing campuses (and beyond) with a better alternative, reports Tech Crunch. "Evive has decided to go with the kiosk approach to the bottled water problem. With design help from Daedalus, the startup developed its “stations” to provide campuses with the world’s first on-site bottle cleaning and filtered water-dispensing service.
That doesn’t sound that cool, says the 16-year-old cynic in you. And you’re right, plenty of universities and organizations provide what are known as “sinks” and “dishwashers” and “hydration stations” often called “water fountains.” Fair enough. But even if you buy a plastic water bottle and use it once, it can get filthy pretty quickly, and sticking it in the dishwasher isn’t a workable solution.
So, what’s cool about Evive is that they offer users double-walled stainless steel reusable bottles, which means no more plastic, and lower carbon footprints. In turn, their kiosks filter municipal water, offer unlimited re-filling and cleaning of those steel bottles by way of a patent-pending process that only takes a minute. And everything other than the bottles are free.

Read the full story here.

Kevin Sousa has a plan for food trucks in Pittsburgh

The problem with doing food trucks in Pittsburgh, writes chef Kevin Sousa in his blog, is that you can't locate them near competitive businesses due to zoning. What if there was parking lot for them all to converge? Could it work? Read more about his plan.

Conflict Kitchen features cuisine from the conflict du jour

"...Rubin and Weleski are used to head-scratching reactions since they opened the Conflict Kitchen, a Pittsburgh cafe that serves cuisine only from countries in conflict with the United States, with a menu that rotates to reflect the war or diplomatic row of the moment.

"The cafe opened in 2010, with Iranian food the first featured cuisine. That was followed by periods of Afghan and Venezuelan food. This month, in a sign of the lingering tension between Washington and Tehran, the Conflict Kitchen is wrapping up another Iranian iteration. One recent Saturday, it featured a Persian dinner party attended by customers in Pittsburgh and diners in Tehran, who were linked via video chat."

Read the full story here.

MAYA's Zeitgeist phone booth for Pepsi wows them at SXSW

"This is basically what PepsiCo is showing off at its Zeitgeist phone booth here during the South by Southwest festival,"reports underwire. "Marketing gimmicks aside, it’s an inspiring look at the way a new display technology could transform our future interactions in a few short years." Credit Pittsburgh's own MAYA.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh youth, owner of Amber's Amazing Animal Balloons, featured on PBS BizKids.

Amber Liggett started her now successful animal balloon business at the age of 9. As her business grew, she had to overcome her fear of math to make a go of it. "Don't let your business deflate because you're afraid of bookkeeping!"  she advises. Now the Bridgewater, PA, youth is winning Youth Entrepreneur competitions and lighting up the tube in this appearance on PBS BizKids. We're ready to hire her for our next party.

Read about Amber and don't miss her video (scroll down to see).

To learn more about the Youth Entrepreneur Regional Business Plan Competition, which Amber won, click here.


Awesome Books, new in downtown, profiled in Shelf Awareness

The newly-opened Awesome Books, downtown Pittsburgh's only bookstore, is profiled in a recent issue of Shelf Awareness. The 1000-foot space holds 3000 titles with plans to expand up to 10,000.

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh's creative tech scene video by ANIMAL

The Pittsburgh Technology's Council's Creative Clash event last week brought some of the region's hottest tech companies together and featured this YOUTUBE overview of many of the companies and entrepreneurs that are working in the region.

Watch it on YouTube.

Dogs use "bark" robotic technology on search and rescue missions at CMU

Man's best friend is teaming up with robotics technology on search and rescue missions. Check out this video, released by CMU, featuring a German Shepherd named Freitag with a snake robot strapped to his belly on a practice mission to rescue a man from a 60-foot tunnel. Howie Choset of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute believes this this the beginning of a great canine-technology partnership. 

Watch it on MSNBC.com

"A hipster batcave where inventors work on secret gadgets"? It must be DeepLocal

Communications Arts, a site known for its creative hotlist of careers in the creative arts, flagged Pittsburgh's DeepLocal for mention in its fresh section this month. 

See what Communication Arts had to say about the outside-in creative digital design company.

Nothing lost or gained but a few precious pounds--a weight tool review

That New Year's weight losing resolution losing traction? Check out this comprehensive review of all the latest in wearable devices and trackers to help shed the pounds, including Pittsburgh-based BodyMediaFit.

Read it in the New York Times.

Songwhale's Ty Morse's first flight to Asia and back on no sleep

Frequent flier and Pittsburgh entrepreneur Ty Morse of SongWhale relates the story of his first overnight trip to Asia on business and the best and worst of airport travel. 

Read it in The New York Times.

CMU robotics spinoff Astrobotic is racing to the moon

Who says the race to the moon is over?

Fueled by the Lunar X $20 million prize, several companies are in the race, with CMU spinout Astrobotic a promising frontrunner. What sets Astrobotic apart from the competition is the support NASA has shown the company in terms of multiple contracts for an excavator as well as information on its low-cost moon strategy.

Read it on FoxNews.com.

For Pittsburgh, being a Wallflower to the economic party has its perks

President Obama arrives in Pittsburgh this week, for the fifth time in recent memory, and movies like "Perks of Being a Wallflower" film and go. Why is Pittsburgh always in the middle of filming a movie while everyone else in the country is worrying about jobs?

Read it in Neon Tommy, Annenberg Digital News.

Evil Genius voted best Tech 50 video by popular vote. Watch it!

The 2011 Tech 50 rolled out a new award this year's at the Consol Energy Center, Best Company Video. Finalists were invited to create a unique piece describing what their company is all about. The videos were presented on the big screen and Evil Genius Designs took home the prize by popular vote. 

Watch it on YouTube.

It's cheap, lives a long life and is toxin-free. Will the new battery by Acquion power the world?

With $30 million in venture capital and plans to move into full production, Pittsburgh-based Acquion hopes to change the way we use batteries with a product that is a water-based electrolyte mixed with materials such as sodium and manganese. Landfills are already breathing a sigh of relief.

Read it in MIT Technology Review.

Luke Skurman's Business Bout down to six finalists and the Baller BBQ XIV

The Business Bout is down to the wire, the final boxing match between six finalists at the BBQ Baller XIV this Saturday, Oct. 1st from  3 to 10 p.m. Live performances by Paul Luc, Guaracha Latin Band, and D.J. Zan.

Who will it be? Tickets are nearly sold out! Check out the final six. on  YouTube.

White House names ModCloth's Susan Koger a Champion of Change

Ordinary Americans accomplishing extraordinary things is what "Champions of Change" is all about. ModCloth founder Susan Koger shook President Obama's hand this month at the White House, accepting an honor that recognizes Americans each week who are out innovating in their fields.

Read it on Above Average Jane and the White House Blog.

Sean Ammirati on how Pittsburgh will be the next Silicon Valley

Pittsburgh entrepreneur (and former founder of mSpoke) Sean Ammirati makes a strong case for Pittsburgh as a potential rival to Silicon Valley, especially if the local business community supports local entreprenuers. Ammirati is working with a team of entreprenuers, business leaders and Innovation Works to bring it about through "Innovation Happens."

Read about it on ReadWriteWeb.


ShowClix mobile platform draws national attention during Billboard blowout

ShowClix's mobile ticketing platform drew national attention during the Billboard Summer Blowout Party in which every ticketed distributed was sent via mobile phones through the new platform developed by the Pittsburgh tech savvy ticket company.

Read it at ABC News.

Apollo Group (aka University of Phoenix) buys Carnegie Learning for $75 million

The Apollo Group, which runs the University of Phoenix, has announced the $75 million purchase of downtown-based Carnegie Learning, makers of the highly successful online math instruction curriculum that combines classroom work with computer instruction. The program is used by 600,000 students in grades 6-12 in 3,000 schools nationwide.

Read it in the New York Times.

DeepLocal wins Ad Age 2012 Small Ad Agency of the Year Award

It's not size that matters, but talent and intelligence, says Ad Age in describing the winners of the 2012 Ad Age Small Agency Awards. DeepLocal does it again, taking claim to the best small ad agency in the Northeast. 

"...this band of hackers, artists and musicians turn out projects for marketers and other agencies that are nothing short of mind-blowing," says Ad Age. We agree!

Read it in AdAge.


Google acquires Carnegie Mellon spinout PittPat

Yet another homegrown company has been snapped up by Google. Following on the heels of ReCaptcha, Pittsburgh Pattern Recognition, or PittPat, which is already used for Image Search, YouTube and Picasa, was purchased by Google for an undisclosed amount. This is something you may need to know.

Read it in The Wall Street Journal.

What's the potential of online face recognition? Could it change everything on the web. Check out "How Google's New Face Recognition Could Change the Future of the Web" on Fast Company.




PNC creates a cool mobile app for check deposits

PNC in Pittsburgh is among the first to offer a mobile app that allows you to deposit money in your bank account on-the-go.

Read it in The Washington Post.

AlphaLab places in Top 15 U.S. Startup Accelerators

Tech Cocktail ranked its top 15 U.S. Startup Accelerators and Incubators this week, and Pittsburgh company AlphaLab ranked at number 15. The site looked at programs around the nation that provide entrepreneurs with mentoring, guidance and a small amount of funding in return for a stake in the company. Others who made the list include The Brandery in Cincinnati, Kicklabs in San Francisco and (coming in at number one) TechStars Boulder in Colorado.

Click here to read the entire article.

CMU technology conquers time travel

Watch a garden grow before your eyes, explore space and time simultaneously. The latest Gigapan photographic robotic technology allows viewers to travel through time and at an incredibly high resolution. See it in action!

Read it on Carnegie Mellon University's website.

Watson beats the minds from CMU and Pitt

Chalk up another one for computer intelligence. This time the IBM-inspired Jeopardy computer contender Watson takes on teams from CMU and Pitt in this symposium that begs the question, "who is this Watson anyway?"

Read it here.

CMU professor Manuela Veloso gets by with a little help from her CoBot

Carnegie Mellon University professor of computer science and Robotics Institute member Manuela Veloso is the developer of the CoBot--a sleek robot that you may soon be able to hire for all your personal assistance needs.  The self-navigating CoBots might not be able to fill your iced coffee, what with their lack of opposable thumbs, but they can adapt to human availability and new environments.  Plus, they will never give you attitude like your human secretary...at least not until they develop sentience and go Kurzweild!

Click here to read the entire article.

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Pittsburgh has what Cleveland wants

Pop City's sister publication Fresh Water says the cycle scene here in Pittsburgh is turning them green with envy. That, along with Pittsburgh being named Most Livable City.  Cleveland is wishing they had a little more black and yellow in their blood. It's okay, we're always willing to share.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Sharing innovation in Pittsburgh

Pittsblogger Mike Madison writes in this thought-provoking piece on the subject of increasing collaboration between Pittsburgh's research and development innovators.  He notes with despite all the talent and great innovations coming out of our universities and companies, too often great work is underutilized simply because related institutions aren't well acquainted, or have financial incentives to "hog" their work.  He then suggests a number of ways to bring together the city's great minds.

Click here to read the entire article.

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CMU grad gains insight into the entrepreneurial brain

While still a graduate student at CMU, Saras Sarasvathy began a huge project--interviewing 45 highly succesfull entrepreneurs about hypothetical business problems in order to discover the ways these types of minds think.  Sarasvathy's research finds that entrepreneurs tend to display high-functioning effectual reasoning.  Her findings provide several other strategies that make for adept business innovation.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Burgh Living looks at the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative

Burgh Living launched its new "Burgh Watching" video series this week, starting with an exploration of the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative in Garfield.  The video features interviews with local artists and Councilman Patrick Dowd, and offers unique insight into the project that has helped transform many abandoned buildings into galleries and studios.

Click here to watch the video.

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Pamela's P & G Diner wins National Best Chain on Main award

Everyone's favorite pancakery, Pamela's P & G Diner, was awarded second place in the annual "Best Chain on Main" competition.  The contest, created by the Commercial District Advisor and Local Initiative Support Corporation, selects winning regional and National chain stores from all over the country based on their ability to pave the way for commercialization and to sell delicious food and cool clothing. 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Salt of the Earth is "daring and comforting"

The Week Magazine recently gave glowing praise, pulling here and there from The Post-Gazette, to Kevin Sousa's new Salt of the Earth restaurant in Garfield.  Unfortunately, The Week requires a subscription to view its contents, but fortunately for you Pop City is running what they wrote below:

"This bold new spot has "permanently altered the expectations for what a restaurant, and a singular chef, can accomplish in Pittsburgh," said China Millman in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Kevin Sousa, who made his name creating "experimental" fare for a very small dining room at a downtown hotel, has fully lived up to the grand expectations that grew as he readied his modern and airy new space. There are several styles of seating available, but you'll want to sit at the high stools along the counter overlooking the kitchen: They give you the "best possible view" of the inventive ways that Sousa and his staff combine "cutting-edge and classical techniques." Octopus tendrils are slow-cooked and then browned, resulting in textures that are "fluffy and creamy, with crisp, almost caramelized edges." Sweetbreads with crisp edges are perfect for "mopping up" a fenugreek gravy, which calls to mind a finely spiced Indian curry. Combine all this with the top-notch service, and Sousa and his team have created a dining experience that was well worth waiting for. Salt of the Earth is "both daring and comforting," both "challenging and welcoming." 5523 Penn Ave., (412) 441-7258"

Click here to read the article, for subscribers only.

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Google puts $6 billion on the table for Groupon

It's not news that Mt. Lebanon native and Groupon founder Andrew Mason has recently been in talks with Google regarding the sale of his company, but this morning the tech and business world went wild over the news that Google has apparently offered up to a whopping $6 billion for the young company.  Mason had previously rejected offers from Yahoo for $2 million, which many analysts saw as a bold move.  Boldness pays off, as the 29-year-old Mason is about to be a very wealthy man.

Click here to read the entire article.

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An extensive, generalization-free exploration of all this Pittsburgh reinvention business

Not that we don't love all the great press about Pittsburgh, but sometimes the big national stories about our city's transformation from steel hub to everything that it's become tend to recycle the same rhetoric about revitalization and cite the same shining examples of urban progress, when we know there's  so much more that goes so much deeper.  Hey, we still have a steel industry! That's why we congratulate the folks over at Changing Gears for producing this five-part series that uses written, audio, and visual media to cover neighborhoods, industries, big and small players, and a more penetrating than usual gaze into the crystal ball on the "can Detroit be the next Pittsburgh?" question.  The result is a fairly comprehensive, enjoyable, but serious look at what Pittsburgh has done, is doing, and can do. 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Espresso your personal business vision

If you've ever dreamed of opening your own cafe, opportunity is knocking. Twice!  The Union Project, the awesome community center in a former East Liberty church, is seeking proposals from anyone interested in inhabiting their cafe space, which closed last year, with their own fresh business ideas.  Proposals are due Dec. 3, so if you're still testing the entrepreneurial waters, The Waffle Shop is hiring a manager. 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Kauffman Foundation recognizes CMU as a leader in commercialization

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation recently awarded Carnegie Mellon University with $100,000 for the school's commitment to helping commercialize student created innovations and nurturing young entrepreneurs.  CMU was one of only three schools to receive the award.  The money will be used to support CMU's Project Olympus Commercialization Fellows Program, a new business incubator designed to help connect young entrepreneurs to the resources they need.

Click here to read the entire article.

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ANSYS makes two top tech performer lists

The Pittsburgh area software innovators over at ANSYS have been well ranked on two prestigious tech company lists.  Recently,
ANSYS jumped up 70 spots from its 2009 placement on Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 list.  Additionally, the company was ranked 96 on the competitive Software 100 list.  Both lists were compiled based upon growth and innovation.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Crafty Pittsburghers revolutionize the means of scarf production

American Craft Magazine interviewed Burgh-based Society for Contemporary Craft exhibition coordinator Kati Fishbein about the organization's current "DIY: A Revolution in Handcrafts" exhibit.  Fishbein discusses ways in which the activist ideologies rooted in the DIY craft movement are quickly seeping into the mainstream craft world, and points to Pittsburgh crafters like Handmade Arcade and I Made It Market as innovators in the socially conscious indie craft scene.

Click here to read the entire article.

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The equilibrium of paradox: A view of Pittsburgh from a Chicago blogger

"The equilibrium of paradox" was how master photographer W. Eugene Smith defined Pittsburgh in his three years documenting the city in the 1950s, due to his notion that Pittsburgh was a town of multitudinous identities.  Chicago culture blog Gapers Block suggests that Pittsburgh, perhaps more than ever, continues to function as a place that is capable of infinite, simultaneous meanings, and accepting to those who would try to start something new here.  The article lists a wide range of recent organizations, green buildings, and young businesses that are transforming the character of Pittsburgh once again, but points out how there isn't now, nor was there ever, a penetrating cohesion to all of these new developments. 

P.S. Thanks for the shout out to "alternative leaning" Pop City in the fourth paragraph.

Click here
to read the entire article.

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Continuing the conversation about fueling startups

Pittsburgh gets it.  Startups, especially tech startups, are the city's and the nation's future.  But with job growth having gone stagnant throughout the summer, Harold Miller calls young entrepreneurs, investors, and smart people the region over to arms.  Miller's got a solid game plan to ensure Pittsburgh's future as an international hub for new technologies.  Citing recent data that suggests new businesses are the biggest contributor to job growth, Miller says we need to nurture innovative research and development, get our universities to focus research on what could potentially be profitable, provide more seed money, and convince the wealthy to share large sums of money with tech-savvy visionaries.  If you were at Pop City's recent "Fueling Startups" event, or if you missed it, this is a must read.

Click here to read the entire article.

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LinkedIn Acquires Pittsburgh tech startup mSpoke

Founded in 2006, Pittsburgh based tech company mSpoke has generated a great deal of buzz with its advanced recommendation technology, which helps deliver more relevant information from the web to consumers.  The company, which has deep ties to CMU, has generated so much buzz, that they have been acquired by social networking giant LinkedIn.

Click here to read the entire article.

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New CMU accelerator program provides a "bootcamp" for student startups

A pilot summer program at CMU designed to help Tepper School of Business grad students create startup companies has received high recommendations from its first batch of participants.  The program, which spans three months, offers an intensive crash course in the art of creating a business, as well as  stipends, for five student lead companies. 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Pittsburgh makes list of best cities for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur compiled a list of 50 of the best cities for aspiring entrepreneurs, which were organized into ten lifestyle categories.  Pittsburgh was at the top of the list in the "Recovery and Rebirth" category, which cited Pittsburgh as a prime example of a place where small businesses can make a big difference.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Technology Collaborative awards $1 million to help start tech programs

Technology Collaborative, a Pittsburgh startup developer, awarded a collective $1 million to ten companies looking to start innovative new technology programs in the region.  Some of the cooler projects making use of the funding include the production of animated tail decoys to simulate mobile animals for hunters, an Ethernet connection that can support large audio and video feeds, and an indoor human GPS tracking system.  The latter technology is intended to be used in assisted living communities, but the implications of its existence will hopefully usher in a Pittsburgh science fiction renaissance.

Click here to read the entire article.

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23 year old Pittsburgher Joshua Dziabiak makes list of America's coolest young entrepreneurs

Joshua Dziabiak made Inc.com's 30 under 30 list of America's coolest young entrepreneurs.  By 18, Dziabiak had already sold his first start-up company for a cool $1 million.  Now at 23, his Burgh based company Showclix is revolutionizing the way online event ticket sales are conducted, with big benefits to consumers, and a big threat to industry giants like Ticketmaster.  Showclix sets itself apart from the competition by selling tickets to customers through email and text messages, dropping the bottom line, and allowing the company to charge a comparatively low fee to venues. 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Innovative social media company Bueda receives financing from Innovation Works to create smart tags

Pittsburgh based company Bueda, a spin-out of Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute, recently received $100,000 in funding from the local tech incubator Innovation Works to increase the scale of their business.  Bueda utilizes research from CMU to generate smart tags, which drastically improve search engine optimization efforts for their clients.  Previously, Bueda was only able to focus on enhancing search optimization for large businesses, but the funding will allow them to produce a service better geared for consumers.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Pittsburgh podcasting company Wizzard media focuses on individual retail investors

Based in Pittsburgh, Wizzard Media is the world's largest podcasting network, and they announced recently that they are creating a transparent shareholders communications program, which will put more focus on individual investors, as opposed to institutional investors.  Retail investors are often under-appreciated, but Wizzard hopes that putting its focus on individuals will generate a stronger dialogue between the company and Main Street businesses.

Click here to read the entire article.

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Brunch, farm-to-table dinners, raising chicks: Cupcakes are just the beginning at Dozen

Local blog Boring Pittsburgh features a new post all about every Pittsburgher's favorite cupcakes 'n' more shop --Dozen.

Chris Rosella sat down with Dozen's Andrew Twigg to discuss the rapidly expanding Dozen empire, from apple pie a la mode to Sunday brunch, from prix-fixe farm-to-table dinners to raising their own chickens and growing their own herbs.

Read the complete Boring Pittsburgh blog post.

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Luke & Eloy Gallery: Vibrant, interesting artwork an in unintimidating environment

Lawrenceville art gallery Luke & Eloy is featured in this month's American Craft magazine. The magazine interviews Luke & Eloy owner Brigitte Martin about moving to Pittsburgh from West Germany, why the Pittsburgh arts scenes blows away visitors, and how a pink cake-mixer brooch makes for great dinner conversation.

"My goal is to make craft accessible," Martin says. "By showing interesting work in an unintimidating environment, I'm able to foster appreciation of jewelry as an art form that is meant to be experienced."

Luke & Eloy Gallery is located at 5169 Butler St.

Read the complete American Craft article.

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Give and Take tees, by CoCo's Cupcake-ista, as philanthropic as they are fashionable

Pop City's PA-wide sister publication Keystone Edge profiles Give and Take, a Pittsburgh HQ-ed line of funky, charitable tees. The line is sold nationally at Bloomingdale's, Urban Outfitters and other chic boutiques, and benefits nearly two dozen charities. A growing number of its designs are associated with celebrity charities, such as Comic Relief, and the firm is working with actress Charlize Theron's Africa Outreach Project and Live Aid.

Give and Take has launched a new T-shirt collection dubbed Glad Rags, which feature images of Great Depression-era hobo markings and codings. Proceeds from these shirts will benefit the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Give and Take's proprietress, Shea Mullen, also runs CoCo's Cupcake Cafe in Shadyside.

Click here to read the complete Keystone Edge article.

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EcoClean to produce energy, jobs from waste plastic in former Fort Pitt Brewery

With an abundance of waste plastic for raw materials, EcoClean Burners has refined the technology to create industrial fuel pellets at the former Fort Pitt Brewery building in Sharpsburg. Company CEO Gerald Driggs says the six-person startup will add staff to reach 15 employees by the end of 2010, and double in size the following year.

"We've been operating virtually for over a year now," says Driggs. "We were committed to staying in Allegheny County, and the new location"--within the Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone--"works well for us. Our vendors are local, and our material comes from the two biggest sources of waste plastic in the region--Green Star and Pittsburgh Recycling."


EcoClean will lease 10,000 square feet in the old brewery building, behind an Art Deco facade that still proudly proclaims, "Fort Pitt--that's it."

Click here to read the complete article in Keystone Edge, Pop City's Pennsylvania-wide sister publication.

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Rollier's Hardware stays in family, moves into future with website

The Wall Street Journal recently featured Rollier's Hardware in its Fast Fixes feature, which profiles "an entrepreneur who thinks outside the box."

Rollier's was founded in 1922, and now maintains a brick-and-mortar location in Mt. Lebanon (its longtime Shadyside shop closed in 2002), as well as a successful supplementary website, HardToFindItems.com. Brothers Brett and Derek Satterfield, whose great-grandfather started Rollier's, realized the neighborhood hardware shop needed a fresh way to compete with big-box stores, so in 2008 they launched the site, which houses tons of niche-type items, from white wires instead of green, to grill thermometers.

HardToFindItems added $1.3 million in revenue to Rollier's takings in 2009, and will likely add about $3 million in 2010.

Click here to read the complete article on Rollier's Hardware.

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Modcloth surpasses $15 million in annual revenue in 2009

Modcloth's co-founders Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger answer questions for the New York Times feature You're the Boss, The Art of Running a Running a Small Business. The couple founded the online fashion retailer in 2005 as undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon University. Today, Modcloth, which is still based in the Burgh, has 100 fulltime employees, and last spring, it scored a $2 million round of venture funding--bringing total equity raised to more than $3 million. Modcloth attained profitability in 2009 when it surpassed $15 million in annual revenue, the Times reports.

Read the complete interview for insight into Modcloth's early stumbles, and what the future holds (spoilers: even more customer-driven direction, and maybe even some plus-size fashions--finally!).

Click here for the complete Modcloth article.

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Dozen, CoCo's battle it out for best cupcake in the Burgh

The battle for "best cupcake in the Burgh" emerges once again, this time as a poll on blog Boring Pittsburgh.

The contenders: CoCo's in Shadyside and Dozen, which last week opened its fifth location, this one on the South Side.

Currently, Dozen is in the lead with 56 percent of the votes, CoCo's got 20 percent, and 24 percent of the votes go to write-ins.

Looks like Dozen's got this match in the (pastry) bag, but we say: Don't count out Vanilla Pastry Studio to rear its pretty little head.

Click here to read the complete Boring Pittsburgh blog post.

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Dear Mr. President: Support small businesses impacted by the G-20

We love Franktuary for many reasons. The Downtown lunch spot is unbeatable when it comes to veggie dogs done up Chicago-style; organic, grass-finished, local beef dogs; and ice cream floats that turn any ordinary afternoon into a celebration. Now, Franktuary's owners are doing the impossible and making the eatery even cooler by reaching out to President Obama (again). They invited Obama to visit Franktuary during September's G-20 summit, and were understanding when he didn't make it... but for Franktuary's owners, the dialogue with the President is far from over.

A month may have passed since the G-20 rolled into and out of town, but independent Downtown businesses are still feeling the effects, and not necessarily in a positive way, Franktuary's owners say.

In his "Dear Mr. President" letter posted on Franktuary's blog, Franktuary co-owner Tim Tobitsch writes, "The hype and limited access to downtown generated by the presence of your international peers kept approximately 90% of my regular clientele away.. The law enforcement officials stationed downtown, although pleasant and professional, were not permitted to take a lunch break and eat at the establishment of their choosing. The presence of protesters, tourists, and adventurous locals in the Golden Triangle failed to replace even a tiny fraction of downtown Pittsburgh's regular daytime population. Ironically, while trying to fix the global economy with pomp, circumstance, and a Friday morning meeting, those who attended the G-20 Summit managed to kill many facets of a local economy for approximately 72 hours.

"At a minimum, my business lost $500 in sales as a direct result of the entirety of downtown Pittsburgh being turned into a high-security international society club. Admittedly, from a global perspective the amount of money to which I am referring is not very much. However, to a business such as my own it is a staggering loss."

And because Franktuary is more about finding a solution than whining about the problem, they've got an idea: If 20 world leaders were to buy one $25 Franktuary hooded sweatshirt each, that would equal $500--the loss in sales over the two-day summit.

No response from the world leaders yet. But if you want a hoodie, stop by the shop at 325 Oliver Ave., or email tim@franktuary.com.

Click here to read the complete Franktuary blog post.


Burgh-based Bossa Nova Robotics is serious child's play

Time magazine profiles Carnegie Mellon University start-up Bossa Nova Robotics as "a company that can grow with its customers."

The 12-person company specializes in robotic toys "designed in Pittsburgh, made in China and distributed everywhere," says co-founder David Palmer. Its toys, including an adorable robotic penguin ($79.99) and a game-playing gorilla ($99.99), emerged from research on high-performance legged robots coming out of CMU. Bossa Nova recently brought a new CEO, Martin Hitch, into the mix, and is hoping to crack the U.S. market and its big retailers this year. Bossa Nova's revenues are approaching $4 million.

To read the complete Time article, click here.


Register now for PodCamp Pittsburgh

Registration is now open for PodCamp Pittsburgh, a free community conference run by people who create, enjoy or are interested in learning more about social media.

The event will occur Oct. 10 and 11 at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Local blogger "illyrias" of PGH is a City gives the conference her approval: It provides insider info on blogging visibility and feedback, as well as the opportunity to form relationships with tech-savvy Pittsburghers off-the-screen, as well as on.

The register for the event click here.

The read the complete blog post click here.
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