Founded in 2002, Idea Foundry is a Pittsburgh-based, non-profit economic development organization dedicated to creating living-wage, high-opportunity jobs. We do this by investing in and working alongside entrepreneurs to transform innovative business ideas into viable commercial activities and leveraging global programs to attract talent, capital and business to our region. With over 200 companies and projects in our portfolio that have generated over $1B in direct economic impact, Idea Foundry is a regional pioneer in hands-on business development, technology transfer, and global efforts.
Idea Foundry is influenced in part by Pittsburgh’s hard-working, steel-town history and its resilience after the heyday of steel ended. This painting of a steel-worker hangs in our office to remind us of Pittsburgh’s past and our role as an agent in Pittsburgh’s transformation to a future as a global innovation hub.
Working in harmony with the strong base of university-led science and technology research in Pittsburgh, Idea Foundry has been able to support companies that have pushed the boundaries of life-sciences, intelligent systems, robotics, and more. Capitalizing on this strong research base, we launched the region’s first accelerator, not just in name, but literally to accelerate the process of commercialization in our region.
Idea Foundry was also the first in the region to develop a program and accelerator specifically targeting social enterprise companies which aim to drive social or environmental impact along with creating a profitable business. Portfolio companies have made breakthroughs in the fight against human trafficking, affordable housing, local agricultural solutions, and fostering economic opportunity in the region and the globe.