Low population density may account for Pittsburgh’s poor startup activity ranking by the Kauffman Foundation. Thrill Mill CEO and Essential Pittsburgh tech startup contributor Bobby Zappala heard a speech from Kauffman representatives in which they clarified the statistics the organization uses when choosing the placements. He says startup density, which is the number of startup firms per every 100,000 residents, is pushing Pittsburgh lower since it’s already smaller than other cities. But Zappala says he believes the size issue is only temporary.
“As our population starts to tick forward and we have more immigration and influx into the city, we will see ourselves rise through these rankings as new businesses of all different sorts are registered and incorporated,” Zappala explained.
While Pittsburgh will never see the kinds of monetary support of Silicon Valley and other major tech hubs, Zappala says the region is healthy in investing in new companies. He says big contributions do not make up nearly as large an amount of total investments as many may think, with a paltry 6.5% coming from major angel and venture capital investments.
Zappala also previewed the upcoming Thrival Festival, which is put on by his company, Thrill Mill. Most of the festival, which takes place from September 21st to September 27th, will be held at the new Almono site in Hazelwood. Zappala says to expect at least 25 national acts as well as local talent, live art and tech demonstrations.
More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.