RESOURCES

RESOURCES

Here to Help

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, or curious minds can visit these resources, compiled at the recommendation of the Advisory Board on Entrepreneurship and Start-ups. If you want to learn more about any of these resources, please visit the respective and relevant website for each.

Be sure to check back regularly as resource content is updated, improved, and built-upon.


Funding

Bridgeway Capital Loans

  • Description: Offering different loan structures across various industry markets, Bridgeway Capital specializes in loans to small business across the Western Pennsylvania region.
  • Organization: Bridgeway Capital.
  • More Info: Explore Bridgeway Capital’s application page here

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Loans

  • Description: The URA’s CIE offers financing products for commercial real estate development, as well as for small- and medium-sized businesses working toward development. The CIE offers a diverse range of financing products designed to meet the needs of a wide spectrum of firms seeking funding support / opportunities and access to capital.
  • Organization: Urban Redevelopment Authority.
  • More Info: Explore the CIE financing product catalog here.

Honeycomb Loans

  • Description: Honeycomb Credit offers loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses that are funded through investments by those businesses’ customer base.
  • Organization: Honeycomb Credit.
  • More Info:  Fill out an interest form here or research their lending options here

Innovation Works Seed Funding and Commercialization

  • Description: Focused on growing, connecting, and supporting the local start-up ecosystem, Innovation Works can offer capital to entrepreneurial ventures in their earliest stages, as well as provide coaching for a firm approaching commercialization.
  • Organization: Innovation Works.
  • More Info: Read about their seed funding opportunities here and their commercialization development here

Kiva Pittsburgh Loans

  • Description: Entrepreneurs in underserved communities without traditional access to capital can access crowdsourced loans so that they can build their business credit while receiving up to $10,000 in loans at 0% interest.
  • Organization: Kiva Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Learn more about Kiva Pittsburgh’s loan process here.

URA Micro-Enterprise Loan Program

  • Description: Firms can receive a maximum loan amount of $20,000 and / or up to 90% of the total cost of a project or projects. The minimum loan issued through this program is $5,000. Loans are made at a 2% interest rate with no repayment penalties for a duration of at least three but no more than seven years.
  • Organization: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: View the program overview here  and the program guidelines here

Contracts / Procurement

Beacon

  • Description: Using Beacon, firms can browse opportunities to sell products or services to the City of Pittsburgh. This online portal features a registration system where users can see bid opportunities and procurement needs.
  • Organization: City of Pittsburgh.
  • More Information: See current opportunities and registration guidelines here. (https://procurement.pittsburghpa.gov/beacon/)

Public Purchase (Allegheny County)

  • Description: Allegheny County’s Division of Purchasing and Supplies make use of Public Purchase, a web-based procurement tool for automatic notification and transmittal of bid solicitations. The posting of business opportunities is organized through the County’s online portal.
  • Organization: Allegheny County.
  • More Info: View Allegheny County’s solicitation requirements here

Public Purchase (URA)

  • Description: Starting in March 2018, the URA incorporated Public Purchase, a web-based procurement tool for automatic notification and transmittal of bid solicitations, into its process for posting and sharing proposal requests and bid opportunities. This service is offered at no charge to vendors.
  • Organization: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Register with Public Purchase here and learn more about the URA’s use of it here

University of Pittsburgh Diversity Supplier Program

  • Description: As part of its commitment to fostering a robust and inclusive network of suppliers, the University of Pittsburgh maintains its Diversity Supplier Program, which is designed to provide businesses with diverse backgrounds and ownership with the opportunity to become suppliers.
  • Organization: University of Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Visit the Panther Express website on this program here.

Incubators, Accelerators, and Mentoring Programs

AlphaLab

  • Description: A project of Innovation Works, AlphaLab specializes in early-stage software companies that are looking for connections to a large network of mentors, educational sessions, outlooks from industry leaders, and a supportive work environment.
  • Organization: AlphaLab.
  • More Info: Review AlphaLab’s program summary here and access application materials here
     

AlphaLab Gear

  • Description: AlphaLab Gear is AlphaLab’s accelerator focused on physical products as opposed to software companies. It’s program is meant to aid companies identify potential customers, build a prototype, learn the ropes of legal and accounting and accounting responsibilities, and plan for product integration. From there, companies shift their focus to manufacturing at scale.
  • Organization: AlphaLab Gear.
  • More Info: Review AlphaLab Gear’s program summary here and access application materials here

Ascender

  • Description: Offering coworking space focused on networking-building and insight-rich mentorship opportunities, Ascender offers individualized benchmarking plans for early-stage businesses in search of growth and programming.
  • Organization: Ascender.
  • More Info: View offerings here.

IncubateHER

  • Description: This free, competitive incubation program connects early-stage women entrepreneurs with product or service-based businesses with mentorship, programming, and training through Chatham University’s Women’s Business Center. Participants will receive $1,000 upon completing the program to help grow their business.
  • Organization: Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, Chatham University.
  • More Info: Visit IncubateHER’s program overview here.

PGH Lab

  • Description: Local start-ups can apply their innovative technology and products to help make the day-to-day work of the City of Pittsburgh more efficient, inclusive, and successful. Participating firms will have access to coworking space, the City’s network, mentoring opportunities, and incubator membership.
  • Organization: Department of Innovation and Performance, City of Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Explore PGH Lab’s mission and opportunities here

Project Olympus

  • Description: This incubator program strives to bridge the gap between cutting-edge research from Carnegie Mellon University and community-benefitting commercialization of new assets to the economy.
  • Organization: Carnegie Mellon University.
  • More Info: Get started with Project Olympus by visiting their application page

SteelBridge Labs

  • Description: Meant for financial technology companies in their beginning phases, SteelBridge Labs, an incubator, allows members to vet their ideas and plans, work with management consultants to advise them on corporate structuring, learn from a wide network of mentors, and win seed capital.
  • Organization: SteelBridge Labs.
  • More Info: Read about the services offered here

Work Hard Pittsburgh

  • Description: This is a cooperatively-owned and operated business incubator meant for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. By tying media and technology services, mentorship, and consultation to additional training, sales support, and access to capital, members are able to scale their commercial ventures.
  • Organization: Work Hard Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Read about the incubator here

Education

Academy Pittsburgh

  • Description: This is a 12-week bootcamp program that accepts applicants on a rolling basis where participants can learn how to code. Those who successfully complete the Academy Pittsburgh program will gain experience in Ruby, C#, JavaScript, and HTML/CSS.
  • Organization: Academy Pittsburgh.
  • More Info:  Review the course curriculum here

Ascender

  • Description: Ascender organizes regular and recurring programming opportunities that cover a variety of topics relevant to start-ups and early-stage companies. The goal if this programming is to expose participants to innovative ideas from thought leaders across various industries.
  • Organization: Ascender.
  • More Info: Learn more about scheduled programming here

Innovation Works

  • Description: Focused on growing, connecting, and supporting the local start-up ecosystem, Innovation Works offers tools, drop-in office hours, public events, webinars, templates, and more for inquisitive and curious entrepreneurs.
  • Organization: Innovation Works.
  • More Info: Check out Innnovation Work’s resources here

Launch PGH

  • Description: This hub for all things entrepreneur-related gives users access to information and resources categorized by local funding opportunities, news, and industry updates.
  • Organization: Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
  • More Info: Explore Launch PGH’s deep well off content here

Pennsylvania Unified Certification Program (PA UPC)

  • Description: Allegheny County is a certifying participant in the PA UCP, which provides certification for firms seeking certification as a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE), minority-, women-owned, and disadvantaged business enterprise (MWDBE), and more. Firms who wish to learn more about the process for obtaining these certifications and connect with resources on instructions on how to successfully submit their application.
  • Organization: Allegheny County, via the Pennsylvania Department of of General Services.
  • More Info: Find specific certification guidelines here.

Startup with Google

  • Description: Startup with Google is a portal where entrepreneurs and small business owners can connect to various resources, learn more about best practices, and join a community of individuals working in similar fields.
  • Organization: Google.
  • More Info: You can explore Startup with Google’s resource hub here.

Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship

  • Description: Hosting the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, the CONNECTS series, courses, and more, the Swartz Center, housed at Carnegie Mellon University, offers regular programming and educational resources for those looking for experiential learning.
  • Organization: Carnegie Mellon University.
  • More Info: Explore the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp calendar here, the CONNECTS series schedule here.

Coworking Spaces

Alloy 26

  • Description: Located in Pittsburgh’s North Side, Alloy 26 maintains membership levels with varying amenities offered. Members can also take advantage of programming, in addition to coworking space.
  • Organization: Alloy 26.
  • More Info: Review offerings here

Avenu

  • Description: Revv Oakland and StartUptown, two of Pittsburgh’s earliest coworking spaces, merged to form Avenu, which offers seven sites for coworking space in the City’s Oakland and Uptown neighborhoods. Proximity to the region’s major universities, the Fifth-Forbes Corridor, and two of the largest economies in Pennsylvania in Oakland and Downtown are major features of Avenu’s offerings.
  • Organization: Avenu.
  • More Info: See Avenu’s various coworking space locations here

Beauty Shoppe

  • Description: With three-tiers of membership at multiple locations, Beauty Shoppe is a series of coworking spaces that offer 24-hour access. Site amenities include work areas, office environments, laundry and dry cleaning services, event space, gym memberships, childcare, storage space, conference rooms, meeting locations, printing, and high-speech internet connection.
  • Organization: Beauty Shoppe.
  • More Info: Read about the different offerings at each location here

Catapult

  • Description: This Lawrenceville-based non-incubating coworking space gives members 24-hour access to meeting areas and office space, including desks, a conference room area, and projector capabilities.
  • Organization: Catapult.
  • More Info: Catapult’s website can be found here