Pittsburgh, PA has landed its place as one of the most Millennial-friendly, hipster cities in the U.S. While burgeoning food and art scenes have been partially credited to its rise as a top destination for young professionals, much can be attributed to a recent flood of venture capital investment into the region’s technology startups.
In 2016, funding for Pittsburgh-area companies by VC firms jumped 8% to reach $235.1 million, according to a report by Innovation Works and Ernst & Young. Over the same period, venture financing fell a whopping 32% to $52.3 billion in the US at large.
A driving force behind the tech scene in Pittsburgh is Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science, as its stellar talent has increasingly decided to stay in the city post graduation and fuel the local economy. As the industry landscape continues to transform with the emergence of artificial intelligence, automation, and self-driving cars, Carnegie Mellon has stayed ahead of the trends, making attending university there a “Hogwarts-esque” experience.
Tech titans such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Uber have all opened up offices in the city, lured by top students and research professors at the university. In turn, waves of new highly skilled, high-paid workers have transformed Pittsburgh into a younger, safer, international city, attracting even more startups to the region. From 2010 to 2015, the city experience the largest increase in Millennial population by percentage change, with growth at 17.7% surpassing both Seattle and San Francisco, according to research from CBRE Group.
Pittsburgh is home to a growing number of tech startups including language learning app Duolingo, information security company Wombat Security Technology and cloud-based data storage company Avere Systems, who have all been highlighted as potential IPO candidates in 2017. Enterprise SaaS companies such as Cognistx, ForAllSecure, JetPack Workflow, OnlyBoth and PacketViper, have also taken off in the tech hub.