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Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse wins grant to support health IT startups

| Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 5:03 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced $17 million in federal entrepreneurship grants Wednesday, including nearly $500,000 toward a South Side investment firm's efforts to support health information technology startups in the region.

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a public-private partnership between Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh's regional foundations, received $498,125 through the Commerce Department's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Together with a $500,000 local match, the funding will support information technology companies within the health care and biomedicine fields. President and CEO Jim Jordan said programs will include training for students on how to market health IT products and services, and help connecting users in the healthcare industry with new companies who can meet their needs.

Jordan said the region has great areas of expertise in the information technology field, but they need to learn the specifications and needs of the healthcare industry; other experts are in the healthcare field, but they sometimes require training in information technology.

The program's eventual goal is to create a “cluster” of local companies that would generate 200 new jobs in the region, according to a project summary .

In addition to providing financial investments, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse helps startups get laboratory and office space, bring products and services to the market and start new companies. Four out of every five startups supported by the incubator had survived as of 2014.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an archive photo that identified John Manzetti as CEO of the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse. The current president and CEO is Jim Jordan.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, msantoni@tribweb.com or on Twitter @msantoni.

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