Google Umbono Workspace, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Haldane Martin’s photostream

Latest collaborative meeting on city support of innovative business models

PITTSBURGH, PA (Aug. 6, 2014) – Mayor William Peduto will host a roundtable discussion today on efforts to make Pittsburgh a hub for accelerator groups and co-working spaces.

It will be the third roundtable hosted by the Mayor on innovative new business models, following meetings on the Maker movement and Clean Technology. Next week his final roundtable will be on Startup companies.

“For government to grow and change it has to listen more, and that’s what these roundtables are all about,” Mayor Peduto said. “I am pushing every part of my administration to flip the old, top-down government paradigm and learn from those on the ground doing the hard work making Pittsburgh a technological leader.”

Speakers today will include: Dave Mawhinney, Associate Director, Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University; Bill Generett, Director, Urban Innovation21; Rebecca Harris, Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship, Chatham University; Mark Musolino, Director, RevvOakland; and Brandon Blache-Cohen, Executive Director, The Global Switchboard.

“Entrepreneurship goes hand-in-hand with innovation whether you have cutting-edge entrepreneurs who own companies or whether you have entrepreneurially-minded people within your large organizations. Efforts to support these innovative, like-minded people are critical: Pittsburgh has numerous organizations, co-working spaces, and accelerators in place specifically for these efforts,” said Harris. “The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University plays an important role in this ecosystem, as the role of women is critical to a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Women are currently starting businesses at one and a half times the national average, making them both significant players and making them uniquely positioned to bring significant contributions to the cities in which they innovate.”

“I’m excited that the Mayor and his administration are working to make sure that Pittsburgh becomes of the most inclusive cities in terms of technology acceleration and innovation — and that the results will reach all communities,” said Generett. ““Pittsburgh has the potential to lead the country in terms of inclusion and to do what other cities have not managed to do yet. This is a great opportunity to kick things off.”

The 2 p.m. roundtable today in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers is open to the media and it will be live-tweeted at @PGHIP.