For the next few weeks, Idea Foundry will be hosting two of ten entrepreneurs visiting Pittsburgh from the U.S. State Department’s YLAI (Young Leaders of the Americas Institute) Fellowship program. YLAI brings entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States to learn about the business landscape and practices in the U.S. and to develop connections with business professionals in the region. Tomas, from Chile, and David, from Venezuela have jumped right in to their role here at Idea Foundry, assisting us on some of our current projects and learning about our mission and services, in addition to working on their own companies and projects. Because Idea Foundry works alongside entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of their companies and has a global reach, we have a wide network of connections which we are excited to share with the YLAI entrepreneurs. David and Tomas were able to join us for the 3 Rivers Venture Fair last week where they met many business professionals from the area and got a small taste of Pittsburgh sports culture with the event held at Heinz Field. They also joined us for The Global Switchboard’s Hub and Spoke event focused on international organizations in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh has great resources for the international community and plenty of things to see and do, but it is a city with below average diversity. Part of Idea Foundry’s mission of economic development in the region involves making it a welcoming and engaging place for the international community, with the hopes that they become return visitors, or even investors or residents. We work with organizations like GlobalPittsburgh to create a more cohesive experience for international visitors and to help them fall in love with a city that we are proud of. Hosting Fellows for U.S. State Department programs like YLAI has been a key piece of this effort. Meeting these impressive and driven individuals from across the globe is always a culturally enriching experience and we often develop connections that continue after the program ends. Connections like these make international collaboration a reality and open up doors both for business and cultural collaborations. We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors to Pittsburgh and seeing where future collaborations may take us.