Thursday, January 17, 2008

High-tech Incubator Marks a Milestone

An organization that helps high-tech startups get up and running has reached a milestone. Innovation Works is part of a statewide network of publicly-funded seed programs. It announced today that it's made its 100th investment. And for the first time, firms that received Innovation Works' support have been able to leverage over $100 million in private investments. Many of the entrepreneurs Innovation Works has helped began their work at local universities. President and CEO Rich Lunak says the support they've received here has prevented some of the region's top innovators, and many well-paying jobs, from leaving the area.

One new company that's received Innovation Works' support is Aethon, which makes a robot used to automate hospital supply chains. Aethon received Innovation Works' help in 2000. Since then, the company's revenues have doubled every year.

Jay Katarincic with Draper Triangle Ventures says his firm has invested in four companies supported by Innovation Works. And he says other cities are scrambling to catch up with the supportive networks Pittsburgh already has for high-tech startups.

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