Why We Exist

We enable you to succeed.

We launched the region’s first accelerator, not just in name, but literally to accelerate the process of commercialization. We accomplish this by matching appropriate funding and resources to the stage of an innovation, because few entrepreneurs have every skill needed to ensure a business venture’s launch. We cater to your needs whether you are developing the next scientific breakthrough, creating a business that drives social good, or seeking international collaboration.

Our Team

Michael M. Matesic

President & CEO of Idea Foundry, Inc.,

Mr. Matesic is a seasoned business executive experienced in working with businesses at a variety of stages. Over the last 15 years at Idea Foundry he has invested in and participated in the development of over 200  start-ups, creating jobs in the region. Previously, Mr. Matesic was Chief Executive Officer for two start-up companies and Chief Financial Officer for MetalSite, Inc., participating in the rapid growth of the company and public registration process. While at MetalSite, Mr. Matesic led the startup of the company’s subsidiary, ScrapSite.

Before that he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Anker Coal Group and its subsidiaries where he was responsible for Human Resources, Information Technology, Tax and Finance functions. During his ten years with Anker Coal, Mr. Matesic led a successful registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, managed the company’s substantial growth, established and invested in various start-up companies and completed many acquisitions.

A 1987 graduate of Duquesne University with a B.S. in Business Administration, he spent two years on the audit staff of Ernst & Young, LLP in Pittsburgh.


Nicole Muise-Kielkucki

Director, Social Enterprise Initiatives

Nicole joined Idea Foundry in August 2012, excited to contribute to the organization’s brand new Social Enterprise sector activities. She stepped into a full time role leading those efforts, including InterSector, Idea Foundry’s Social Enterprise Accelerator, in early 2013, bringing to the team extensive management experience, a philosophy of hard work and pragmatism, and a unique perspective rooted in sustainability and community development.

Nicole holds a Masters of Food Studies from the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University, where she was awarded a scholarship from the Institute of Food Technologists, as well as the Katherine M. Grosscup Scholarship from the Garden Club of America. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Political Science and Philosophy.

Since coming to call Pittsburgh home in 2005, she has worked and volunteered for several local environmental non-profits in the city, including Tree Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory. She is passionate about contributing to the development of resilient and sustainable communities, which includes at the forefront building robust local economies and healthy regional food systems. She currently serves on the board of the Lawrenceville Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee.



Josh Hanson

Business Manager

Initially a student of cello performance at Carnegie Mellon University, Josh decided to shift gears and began intensive study of Mandarin Chinese on his own, eventually majoring in Chinese with a minor in International Relations at the University of Pittsburgh. Not long after spending a semester in Shanghai, China, he graduated with honors from Pitt in December 2014, and then joined Idea Foundry’s Greater China Initiatives in January 2015 as Program Assistant.

Josh became Manager of the Pittsburgh Office for the Greater China Initiatives in the fall of 2015 and is now working to grow the Greater China Initiatives with his team of international colleagues.


Yiqun Sun

Program Manager, Idea Foundry Global Initiatives: China

Yiqun graduated from the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s Degree concentrating on social administration and community development. She also holds a Social Services Management Certificate from the School of Social Work.

Yiqun is currently working as a Student Support Specialist at Holy Family International College Preparatory Program. She develops and maintains professional and supportive relationships with all students, and supports them in academic, social skills, and future planning issues. Prior to joining Idea Foundry, Yiqun was a Mentoring Project Assistant at United Way of Allegheny County and an International Leaders Program Intern with GlobalPittsburgh. Through her previous nonprofit work and internship experience, Yiqun has rich experience working with students and dealing with cross-cultural related issues. With these experiences, along with her love for the city and her strong identification with the values of FriendlyPittsburgh, FriendlyPA, and Idea Foundry Inc., Yiqun enthusiastically joined the program in February 2015.

On the side, Yiqun enjoys reading, playing the violin and mandolin, and traveling.