Idea Foundry expands its global reach with 3 tiers of programming for foreign entrepreneurs, a new program for innovation transfer between Chile and Pittsburgh, and a new partnership with a Mexican company dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in regions of Mexico.
Idea Foundry has been engaged in global initiatives for the last decade as part of its mission to create jobs regionally. This work began with attracting foreign direct investment from China and has expanded significantly since then. Last August, Idea Foundry, along with the Pittsburgh International Airport and VisitPittsburgh, coordinated the first nonstop charter flight from China to Pittsburgh contributing to the tourism and education markets in the region. Over the last several years, Idea Foundry has been expanding its global reach outside of China as well, with focus areas in Asia and Latin America.
“Entrepreneurship is on the rise across the world and we see a race to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems and models of support similar to what the U.S. has been doing, and what we have been doing in Pittsburgh for over 16 years.” said Michael Matesic, President and CEO of Idea Foundry. “We want to bring systems together, instead of developing the same systems and innovations separately, because we feel that collaboration will bring a larger impact across the world.”
With this view in mind, Idea Foundry has launched three tiers of programming to extend their time-tested, hands-on commercialization and acceleration services to foreign entrepreneurs at different stages of business development. The programs begin with Idea Foundry’s Impact Globalizer program which focuses on market validation and pre-commercialization services for foreign companies considering the US market. The second tier is Virtual Acceleration which includes business case and business model development for US operations. The last step includes a new Soft Landings program to assist U.S.-market-ready foreign companies to set up operations in Pittsburgh, supporting local job creation and a diverse economy in the region.
In addition to the three tiers of programming open to entrepreneurs from all parts of the world, Idea Foundry has also increased focused efforts to expand innovation transfer and development in our focus areas. Last month, Idea Foundry was awarded a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile to develop and implement the Innovation Bridge Program to support innovation transfer and adoption between Chile and Pittsburgh. Through this program, a group of young Chilean innovators and entrepreneurs will come to Pittsburgh for a two week immersive trip in April 2019 to explore opportunities for partnerships and collaboration. Idea Foundry is working with partners in Chile to ensure that this program has the widest impact for both Pittsburgh and Chile.
Idea Foundry has also expanded Latin American connections by signing a partnership on October 18th with addereMX, a Mexican company which specializes in supporting entrepreneurs and small business owners in the Yucatan peninsula and Mexico City. The Founder and CEO of addereMX, Ricardo Valencia, spent a month with Idea Foundry from mid-September through mid-October through the U.S. Department of State’s Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), during which this ongoing partnership developed. The partnership is designed to support the sustainability of entrepreneurship in Mexico, innovation and idea transfer and adoption between the United States and Mexico, and globalization of Mexican companies.
Partnerships like the one with addereMX as well as the partnerships which produced the Innovation Bridge Program in Chile started through connections made with individuals through U.S. State Department programs for international visitors. Idea Foundry meets approximately once a month with groups of entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, and government officials from around the world to understand the entrepreneurial ecosystem and model of Idea Foundry. These meetings are arranged by GlobalPittsburgh, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Pittsburgh’s global development and the official regional partner for these State Department programs. “We are very thankful for our close collaboration with GlobalPittsburgh, as it has helped us to develop ongoing work which benefits the mission both of Idea Foundry and of GlobalPittsburgh.” said Matesic.
“Supporting an ongoing dialogue between organizations in Pittsburgh and their peers across the globe is the objective of these international exchange programs.” said Gail Shrott, Executive Director of GlobalPittsburgh. “We are thrilled to see partnerships and programs develop from those initial conversations with international visitors.”
While implementing these programs and partnerships, Idea Foundry is looking forward to continuing to meet with international visitors and further expand its global reach.