A growth in funding sources is helping the Pittsburgh region’s nascent companies prove their business models, offers Catherine Mott of BlueTree Capital Group. Mott cites compelling data points from the most recent Ernst and Young/Innovation Works technology investment landscape report, including:
A more than tenfold increase in annual capital investment during the past 10 years;
The investment of more than 300 firms from around the world in the region’s companies;
$11 billion in university research during the past decade; and
$21.3 billion of exit proceeds over the past decade.
This funding activity drives both job and wealth creation and creates a domino effect of new tax dollars, she writes.
Mott credits the support of the Pittsburgh Tech Council, the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association and the Association for Corporate Growth with helping to drive success.
Robots have the potential to play a significant role in the Pittsburgh region’s economic growth, reports TechRepublic, but the robotics industry can continue to evolve in order to realize its full potential. Those include:
Economic viability. The robots have to be useful and pay for themselves by driving economic value for customers.
Test environments. To test in a wide variety of locations and geographies, public-private partnerships need to be aggressive in their support of robotics.
Safety. As robots interact more broadly with humans, they must be able to do so in a safe way.
Workforce impact. Though automation has historically shown a net positive impact on jobs, the economy needs to be prepared for helping to reskill those who are displaced.
The Pittsburgh Robotics Network counts more than 100 companies in the region’s robotics cluster, up from 80 a year ago.
Strategic efforts to grow the industry’s ecosystem mean more entrepreneurs are expected to stay here and grow. The idea now is to connect this community with business channels.
“We have access to amazing universities, the amazing talent that comes from that. It’s a great place for our people to live. It’s kind of the home for this [technology], it feels right that it should be here.”
Aurora CEO & Co-Founder Chris Urmson on the April 20, 2022 official opening of Aurora’s sole U.S. headquarters on Pittsburgh’s “Robotics Row”