Center to boost local entrepreneurs

| Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

When a light bulb goes off in the minds of local technology developers and entrepreneurs, city officials want them to know where they can go for help.

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority on Thursday voted unanimously to reorganize its Business Development Center and create the Pittsburgh Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

"The URA has always tried to provide assistance to technology startups that came to us for help," said Yarone Zober, chairman of the URA's board of directors. "With the Innovation and Entrepreneurship center, we'll be taking a more proactive approach by looking for people with innovative ideas and offering them the help they need."

The URA board voted to put its business development director, Tom Link, in charge of the center and hire a "strategist" to coordinate efforts such as providing technical assistance to technology startups, helping them line up financing and locating space for their businesses.

The ideal for the innovation center grew out of an initiative started in October by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl called PowerUp Pittsburgh, which is designed to improve collaboration across various business sectors and create more technology and innovation-rooted jobs.

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