Can business be a force for good?

We know it can.

Social Enterprise on the Foundry Floor

As the first and only of its kind in the Pittsburgh region, InterSector is an accelerator that gives hands-on, individual attention and investment to develop triple bottom line ideas that restore environments, better human lives, create jobs, and strengthen the global economy. We test your idea’s ability to meet the challenges of starting and running a business that balances the well-being of people, planet and profit equally. Our portfolio companies work to stop human trafficking, develop biofuels, turn trash into fabric, improve business communications, and create access to healthy foods, to name a few.
Our cycle runs each spring and fall. Stay up to date by signing up for our newsletter and following us on Twitter and Facebook. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email InterSector! We are happy to set up an appointment to discuss your needs year-round.

Good Concept to Good Company

As foundries melt, mold, and shape metals into strong, resilient, and useful tools, InterSector runs a Proof of Concept Lab that tests the viability and resilience of an idea and builds a business model from the ground up. We work down to your idea’s core elements, examining relevant market research to discover opportunities for impact and revenue generation, and create unique tools that help move your idea from concept to company.


Why Apply?

InterSector lowers risk and increases confidence for social entrepreneurs. Throughout our 12-week process of one-on-one attention, you receive an honest assessment of your ideas before you’ve invested more than the market may actually return. This approach helps you avoid unnecessary and expensive mistakes, because our programs are partially funded through the returns we make on initial investments in promising companies. You benefit from Idea Foundry’s 14 years of experience, up to $10,000 in financial assistance, research-based best practices and time-tested tools crafted to your needs, and potential graduation into Idea Foundry’s main Transformation Fellowship Program for further investment and development.

Measuring Up

Assessing social enterprise impact is key to doing well by doing good.  Profit is very important for financial sustainability, but equally so is the impact it makes on the environment and communities. We encourage impact measurement by using emerging business models that incorporate international standards from the B Analytics Impact Assessment, and the Global Reporting Index to name a few. Challenging our companies to measure what matters and share their good work is critical for growing the social enterprise movement.


InterSector's Foundation

InterSector, a program of Idea Foundry, funds and guides the creation of early stage social enterprise companies who develop innovativeefficient, market-based solutions to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems. We help entrepreneurs take the first steps toward building the foundations of scalable businesses that create social good and profit, by helping them prove their concept and validate their business model. InterSector operates out of Pittsburgh, PA, and is expanding its services globally through projects in China and Mexico. 

InterSector is helping to generate the next wave of social enterprise companies creating sustainable economic opportunity in Western Pennsylvania and measurable social change locally and globally. We aim to increase the number of high-impact,socially-responsible businesses operating in Western Pennsylvania, and extend the reach of this business model throughout Pittsburgh and beyond, because we believe business for good is the future.

InterSector was created to address the city’s growing entrepreneurial interest in creating businesses with a social and environmental mission. We’ve seen the number of social enterprise applications more than double since founding the InterSector Accelerator in 2012, and each year we select 10 entrepreneurs to work with. InterSector adds value to the local economy by supporting social entrepreneurs who are reinventing the principles of for-profit business to solve and prevent environmental and social problems while creating profit and economic opportunity for all involved stakeholders.

The Road Less Traveled

See how our companies are nurturing capitalism for the common good.

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