Culture Created By Content

Charlotte's Business Ecosytem

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

Riverside Center for Innovation


We’re a nonprofit company that has generated over half a billion dollars in economic impact and supported more than 3,500 jobs. With office space, networking events, and programs that support diversity, veterans, health technology, brownfield redevelopment, and minority construction firms, the Riverside Center for Innovation is a hub for the entrepreneurial spirit of Pittsburgh.


Urban Redevelopment Authority

For businesses and entrepreneurs, the URA Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) offers a variety of gap financing products and expert services to help you expand your business and attract new customers. CIE is also home to several innovation initiatives.

Whether your business is considering a move to Pittsburgh, building a new facility to accommodate expansion, seeking working capital to underwrite growth, purchasing or leasing new equipment, or all of the above, we're here to help.

At the URA, we are committed to supporting Pittsburgh's next generation of creators, thinkers, innovators, and inventors by fostering new entrepreneurship and business expansion.

For more information, please contact Tom Link, Director, Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at 412.255.6669 or



Syla PGH

SYLA Pgh is a consulting and curating organization whose goal is to tackle socioeconomic issues by enhancing the arts and culture scene to create a platform where local artists can thrive. Art is not only a form of expression but a major contributor to our varying ways of life and our economy. At SYLA Pgh, we are committed to the promotion and positive representation of local artists, with the long term goal of enhancing communities and building pathways to economic freedom.


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh 

Starting and growing a business requires knowledge and access to reliable information. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh supports businesses with tools for finding up to date market and industry data. We help you navigate the process of writing business plans and models, identifying potential clients and competitors. Connect with local community resources for funding, business loans and support through programming and recommendations.


Pitt Campus Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) works with businesses of all sizes and at all stages, whether just starting out or expanding a successful enterprise. Its resources include workshops and no cost consulting services which help establish and grow small businesses.

No matter what the business, SBDC’s highly-skilled consulting team has experience in every industry and every stage of business. They can provide expert advice in a number of areas, including business plan development, financial analysis, pre-venture planning, marketing, business regulations and licenses, franchising, human resource management, loan assistance and operational planning.

SBDC consulting arrangements are strictly confidential and are provided at no charge.



Idea Foundry

Founded in 2002, Idea Foundry is a Pittsburgh-based, non-profit economic development organization dedicated to job creation. With over 200 companies and projects in our portfolio that have generated over $1B in direct economic impact, Idea Foundry is a regional pioneer in hands-on business development, technology transfer, and global efforts.


Circles PGH

Catapult: Startup to Storefront is a nine-month business incubation strategy for minority and women entrepreneurs who want to start a business and existing businesses that want to grow. Gallery on Penn is a storefront space each participant has access to for selling and developing their product and reach in the community. This space benefits not only the business owners but is beneficial to the entire East Liberty community.


One-on-one mentoring consultations, educational seminars, and local strategic partnerships are designed to help companies achieve sustainable success. Each business graduates the program with a working business plan. Catapult: Startup to Storefront is a partnership of ELDI, Circles East Liberty, The Urban Redevelopment Authority, Paramount Co-Op, and Larimer Consensus Group.


Innovation Works

Our mission is to introduce, connect, support and expand the startup & entrepreneurial ecosystem within Southwestern Pennsylvania, making our region a center for innovative startups and tech investors from around the country.

Our portfolio spans key sectors of strength in the Pittsburgh region including robotics, artificial intelligence, medical devices, retail technologies, enterprise software and others. Some high profile and fast growing portfolio companies include 4Moms, Wombat Security, Bossa Nova Robotics, JazzHR, ALung Technologies, Civic Science, Vivisimo (acquired by IBM), Modcloth (acquired by WalMart) and NoWait (acquired by Yelp).

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

PSL Accelerator

Operated by: Philly Startup Leaders
Eligibility: Early-stage startups
Cost: $400
Years in operation: 5
Notable startups: Roundtrip, Saturn Care, Wearwell

Run by the city’s leader startup community, the PSL Accelerator is geared toward helping early stage startups get the tools they need to grow their businesses. In this twelve-week program, startup founders attend weekly sessions with industry experts and entrepreneurs, are assigned to a dedicated mentor, and work on preparing their pitches. The pitches include a plan for company growth, which is presented at PSL Pitches day.


Backstage Capital Accelerator

Operated by: Backstage Capital
Eligibility: Underrepresented founders
Cost: 5 percent equity
Years in operation: Launching in 2019

Backstage Capital’s accelerator program provides support to startups run by underrepresented founders. The program spans three months, and in that time, startups can expect to meet mentors, raise funding, and access Backstage Capital’s network of resources to give them the push they need to reach their company’s next big milestone.

“Backstage Accelerator is a 3-month program designed to give founders the support they need to reach their next critical milestone. Founders will work with a team of experienced, passionate facilitators and will grow through mentorship, investment capital, and access to resources + networks.”


The Enterprise Center


Operated by: The Enterprise Center
Eligibility: Early-stage businesses that have been running for at least six months

This 12-month program focuses on growing early-stage companies into profitable and sustainable businesses. Elevate! entrepreneurs get access to credit repair help, peer support, financing and workshops on sales, marketing, finance, and leadership, among other things. The program also provides workspace at The Enterprise Center’s West Philly co-working space Venture Acceleration Center.

Programs and Services

Certification (MBE/DSBE)

Rebuild Ready Business Support Program

Rebuild Ready Business Support provides participating businesses with knowledge, skills, & resources to prepare for Rebuild projects. Participants will work with experts to grow and strengthen their businesses.

Rebuild Ready Business Support will begin with recruitment starting in May 2019 and the first cohort will start in July 2019.

Participants will benefit from support in many areas, including:

Learning the MBE and WBE certification process through the Emerging Vendors Program

Bonding and insurance 

Capital and financing

Understanding bids and bid processes 

Cash flow management



The Grit Studios

The Grit Studios is Philadelphia's premier podcasting network focusing on all things entrepreneurship. Visit our spreaker portal to listen to all of our episodes, or read on to learn more about our featured shows: Zig Zag & Feed the Beast.

The Expertise Center

The Expertise Center gives clients access to area experts in finance, accounting, legal matters, etc. that will help them to manage and accelerate their businesses.



Philadelphia Fashion Incubator


Operated by: Macy’s Center City
Eligibility: Emerging Philadelphia fashion designers who have been in business for no more than 5 years
Cost: $3,600, plus $75 application fee
Years in operation: 9
Notable startups: MinkeeBlue

Hosted at the Center City Macy’s, this incubator’s goal is to support emerging fashion entrepreneurs coming out of local design schools and the local fashion community at large. Though the program connects participants to a global fashion network, the designers in residence are encouraged to keep their businesses in Philadelphia. The 12-month incubator supplies designers with business strategy workshops, industry visits, consultations, and other resources.




Operated by: 1776
Eligibility: Entrepreneurs and makers
Cost: Varies
Years in operation: 6

In 2017, Philadelphia co-working company Benjamin’s Desk, merged with 1776 to create one of the Northeast corridor’s largest networks of incubators. Across Philadelphia, startup members have access to workspace, a network of mentors, investors, workshops and events at locations in University City, Center City, Ambler Yards, and even the Cherry Hill Mall. Worldwide, 1776 says it has more than 800 startups under incubation and more than 1,000 mentors involved on its internal platform UNION.




Operated by: University City Science Center and Drexel University

Eligibility: Early-stage tech startups

Notable startups: Red Queen Gaming, ShuttleBee, Lithero, SocialLadder


This longtime Philadelphia incubator, located in the city’s University City Innovation District, places an emphasis on collaboration to help local startups compete globally. Some of Philadelphia’s most well known startups got their start at ic@3401, which claims to be the largest group of funded, early-stage tech companies in Philadelphia. Since 2016, 52 member companies have raised more than $53 million in funding.


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