In 2002, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) began showcasing and supporting the city's biotechnology tool, medical tool, therapeutics, diagnostics, and healthcare IT businesses. After a decade of solid growth the Greenhouse is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this week.
In ten years, the PLSG has worked with 384 companies. It has invested approximately $18.1 million in 73 portfolio companies, eight of which have exited for roughly $278 million. Additionally, about 500 jobs throughout the region, both directly and indirectly, have been created.
John Manzetti, CEO of the Greenhouse, said experienced leadership within the PLSG has played a major role in its success. “We have experienced former CEOs in life sciences who worked for the Greenhouse and came to Greenhouse, like I did, for the purpose of finding another job as a CEO,” Manzetti said.
A key development for the PLSG was the $8.1 million Accelerator Fund, a full profit fund that supported companies in the region. Closed in December 2011, it provided life science companies with venture capital financing from economic development organizations, friends, and family.
Manzetti said the so-called "angel sector" also grew tremendously, outpacing venture capital investments at a rate of two to one. “Almost a quarter of a billion dollars in angel capital has come into our companies since our first investment,” Manzetti said. Angel investors are typically very early stage investors who use personal funds to support ideas they find interesting.
Manzetti added despite a full, successful decade, the Greenhouse still has a long way to go, but does have a bright future. “Clearly, we are still in economic development, we are clearly non-profit with the purpose of bringing life sciences to market,” Manzetti said.
The Greenhouse will celebrate its milestone anniversary this week with an invite-only reception.