Investment, Jobs and Revenues Increase as Pittsburgh's Tech Startups Gained Ground in 2010

May 10, 2011, 13:22 ET from Innovation Works, Inc.

Innovation Works Annual Meeting to Showcase Companies, Highlight Successes

PITTSBURGH, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The startup technology companies in Innovation Work's portfolio grew in jobs, investment, sales revenue and other signs of economic progress in 2010.  Innovation Works, the most active investor in seed-stage technology companies in the Pittsburgh region, compiles annual data on its portfolio companies and other startups assisted by the organization and will release the positive snapshot of 2010 at an event showcasing dozens of promising technology companies to investors and others in the entrepreneurial community. To view the entire 2010 annual report, visit .

In 2010, a record $193 million was raised in additional capital by companies in the Innovation Works (IW) portfolio.  Since 1999, when IW launched its seed fund, the portfolio companies have raised more than $1 billion in follow-on financing.  The majority of this private capital flowing into local companies comes from investors from outside the region.  The 2010 follow-on investment level was the highest for any single year since the seed fund began and outpaced the nation's year-over-year increase of both angel investment and venture capital.

In other critical metrics of success, total annual revenues reached $775 million in 2010, about a five percent increase over the previous year, and total employment at IW-assisted companies was 4,684.  Considering that the annual salary at an IW company is $52,000, these high-paying jobs are well above the state's average.  And at the very earliest stage of job development, 62 interns were placed at IW-assisted companies and 74% of those companies made an offer to or planned to offer full-time employment to their intern.

Despite the economic challenges of the lingering recession, IW-assisted companies showed strong results in just about every area measured by Innovation Works.  "When IW begins working with a company, there are typically three or so employees, a prototype, and the bare bones of a business plan," said Rich Lunak, president & CEO of Innovation Works.  "The mixture of seed investment and intensive business coaching -- in addition the companies' innovative technologies and passionate founders -- is a potent combination which is paying off.  These technology companies are growing and the region's economy is benefiting from their increased hiring, sales, and the additional investment they attract."

One of the best examples of company growth in 2010 was Knopp Biosciences which completed one of the largest pharmaceutical deals in the country last year.  Southside-based Knopp attracted a $345 million licensing deal with global leader Biogen Idec to further develop their groundbreaking therapeutic for Lou Gehrig's Disease and possibly other neurodegenerative disorders.  "The regional trend is gathering force," said Tom Petzinger, Knopp's executive vice president of business development.  "We see increased national and global recognition of Western Pennsylvania as a venue of innovation and entrepreneurialism."

Innovation Works ( is the Ben Franklin Technology Partner (BFTP) of Southwestern PA, part of the BFTP network that provides expertise, investment and other resources to high-potential technology companies to diversify and grow Pennsylvania's economy.  One of Innovation Work's signature programs, AlphaLab, was recently named one of the nation's top accelerators by the Kauffman Fellows Program and is a member of the TechStars Network.

SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.