When President Obama traveled to Pittsburgh last month to meet with his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, entrepreneurship and the potential it has to drive America’s economic revival were on the minds of many. Less than a week after the death of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the President remarked at the IBEW Training Center in the South Side, “The story of America’s success is written by America’s entrepreneurs; men and women who took a chance on a dream and they turned that dream into a business, and somehow changed the world … that spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation is how we became the world’s leading economic power, and it’s what constantly rejuvenates our economy.”
America’s entrepreneurial success relies on risk-takers who make up their minds to imagine and innovate. The Pittsburgh region has no shortage of such visionaries, and a select group of them call 2325 East Carson Street home – at least for 20 intensive weeks as they fast track the launch of new companies by participating in Innovation Works’ AlphaLab program. AlphaLab provides mentorship, office space and funding to help incubate up to 12 tech start-ups annually. There are two AlphaLab cycles each year. Since its launch in 2008, this tech-accelerator program has incubated 39 companies with 100+ individual entrepreneurs taking part.