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Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Promotes Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Pittsburgh

August 14, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Earlier this week, Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews traveled to Pittsburgh to engage with the city’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs and see how the Steel City has become an innovation hub by bringing together its research institutions, incubator and accelerator partners, and technology associations.

To begin the day, Deputy Secretary Andrews joined leaders from Pittsburgh’s innovation sector in launching the next installment of Startup Global, an initiative designed to help more startup firms think global from the earliest stages of a company’s growth. The event was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, Pittsburgh Technology Council, and Thrill Mill and attracted dozens of early-stage companies looking to gain technical assistance on selling their goods and services worldwide.

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary Andrews stressed that 96 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders and that early-stage companies should plan for international success from the start. The Startup Global pilot initiative aims to help more American startups scale their businesses quickly and internationally by collaborating with local partners. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced Startup Global in February, and Pittsburgh is the third in the pilot program’s series of educational events.

Deputy Secretary Andrews then met with leadership from Innovation Works, the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in the region. In addition to being a member of the Pittsburgh Startup Global Steering Committee, Innovation Works was also a recipient of a Commerce Department’s Economic Adjustment Assistance grant and an i6 Challenge winner. During the discussion, he stressed the vast resources the Commerce Department can offer and how Commerce can work alongside new businesses to shape the next great era of American entrepreneurship and innovation.

Later in the day, Andrews joined Congressman Mike Doyle on a tour of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute highlighting the technical leadership role the Robotics Institute has had in fostering innovation and incubating entrepreneurs in the robotics industry.

Andrews and Congressman Doyle then met the CEOs of 4Moms, Blue Belt Technologies, and Astrobotics,  companies who developed their company from technology shared at CMU, and are now promoting business and job growth not only in the Pittsburgh area, but across the nation and around the world. During a roundtable discussion with the three companies, Deputy Secretary Andrews highlighted ways in which the Commerce Department can continue to support the development of an advanced manufacturing sector in Pittsburgh.

As “America’s Innovation Agency,” the Department of Commerce prioritizes its support of startups, entrepreneurship and business incubators through intellectual property protection, collection and dissemination of data that helps build businesses, and investments in local economic development. We are constantly evolving to operate at the speed of business, and providing resources at each step of the business lifecycle to ensure our nation’s entrepreneurs succeed.

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