Market Overview

Top Seed Investor Innovation Works Announces Results of its 20th Anniversary Survey Showing Momentum for Pittsburgh's Startups, Predictions for Tech's Direction


84% Expect to expand both staff and office space over the next 2 years, 61% Expect more laws and regulations restricting the monetization of data in the next 2-5 years, 69% Are somewhat or very worried about digital overload for themselves or their family

PITTSBURGH (PRWEB) August 14, 2018

Innovation Works (IW), the largest seed stage investor in the Pittsburgh region, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year serving growth-focused tech entrepreneurs. IW polled more than 350 of its portfolio companies, past and present, to get a snapshot of the Southwestern Pennsylvania technology start-up space, and what our founders expect to happen over the next several years.

Rich Lunak, President of Innovation Works comments "The city of Pittsburgh is the epitome of resilience, having remade itself after industrial decline. IW is proud to have been a part of that transformation, growing from a tiny seed to a major catalyst of innovation which includes two world-class accelerators, a seed fund, and an early-stage venture capital arm. We are proud of the companies we have worked with that have experienced acquisitions, mergers and other exits, attracted additional investment, and spurred economic impact within the region. What is truly amazing is that this portfolio represents one of the largest groups of founders in the US working on some of today's thorniest issues including robotics, medical innovation, driverless cars, and AI."    

Over the last two decades, Innovation Works' companies have raised over $2.1B in follow on funding and have had 57 exits. The survey results show that founders expect growth and are optimistic about the future for technology startups in Pittsburgh. Of the companies surveyed:

77% of companies said that over three-quarters of their employees are in Pittsburgh
84% are expecting to expand both staff and office space over the next two years
28% had licensed technology from a local university

Overall, the founders surveyed were extremely bullish about the future for completely new technologies such as driverless vehicles and humanoid robots. They also believed we could soon see more regulations on issues around security and privacy. Some of the highlights of our survey include:

60% believe humanoid robots will become part of our daily lives in the next 20 years
61% would advocate restricting AI for certain activities including defense intelligence and surveillance
51% expect to see mass adoption of driverless vehicles in the next 10 years
61% expect to see more laws and regulations restricting the capture, repurposing and monetizing of data in 2-5 years
Personalized medicine is the health care trend they are most excited about

In addition to its 20th anniversary, IW is also celebrating anniversaries for its renowned accelerator programs: AlphaLab (10 years) and AlphaLab Gear (5 years). As Innovation Works looks to its next 20 years in the region, it plans to continue fortifying great ideas with resources, multiplying the impact of those ideas, and diversifying the Pittsburgh economy by focusing on strategic markets.

About Innovation Works
Innovation Works (IW) invests capital, business expertise and other resources into high-potential tech companies with the greatest likelihood for economic impact in the Pittsburgh region. IW is the single most active seed-stage investor in the region and one of the most active in the country. As the Ben Franklin Technology Partner of Southwestern PA, IW is an initiative of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and is partially funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Press Contacts:

Deborah Eisenberg

Terri Glueck
412-894-9514 direct; 412-818-8191 mobile

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