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Pittsburgh's Positive Investment Growth Bucks National Trends According to Ernst & Young and Innovation Works Report

PITTSBURGH, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the rest of the nation generally saw declines in the number of venture capital dollars and deals last year, Pittsburgh's investment scene roared to life with a 54% increase in the number of financing deals while investment totals also outpaced the previous year.  In a joint report entitled "Optimizing Opportunities," Ernst & Young and seed-stage investor Innovation Works report that over a five-year period deals and investment levels increased, mergers and acquisitions increased and the stage has been set for future growth.

Highlights of the report:

  1. Nationally, the number of venture deals declined 6% (from 3,937 to 3,698) and dollars invested declined 10% (from $29.5B to $26.5B), while Pittsburgh investment performance during 2012 was more positive with a significant 54% increase in the number of financings (123 to 190) while invested dollars reflected a slight increase ($326.9M to $329.1M). 
  2. Over the 5-year period of the report (2008-2012), the Pittsburgh region saw $1.3B being invested in the region's early stage technology companies during the nation's worst economic recession --an indicator of the region's resilience with a broad-based economy of enterprise software, consumer software, medical devices, healthcare, and biotech.
  3. Pittsburgh experienced a dramatic increase in the number of very early stage companies attracting funding with pre-revenue companies nearly doubling--an indicator that the research universities and broader entrepreneurial community are starting the next generation of promising technology companies that will ultimately drive the region's future growth.
  4. Despite low levels of indigenous venture capital, many high profile national venture firms invested in companies starting, growing, and staying in Pittsburgh.
  5. Merger & Acquisition activity is accelerating as evidenced by having 28 companies exit in 2011-2012 generating $2B in disclosed value.

"Pittsburgh's economy has proved to be a model for many regions of the country since being singled out to host the G-20 Summit in 2009," said Lynette Horrell , Managing Partner, Pittsburgh Office, Ernst & Young LLP.  "Pittsburgh has weathered the national recession better than many comparable regions and this report is greater proof that our long-term strategy to diversify our economy is paying dividends.  We have a growing entrepreneurial community, a talented and dedicated workforce and unparalleled research institutions which have been a winning combination to start and grow great technology companies here," continued Ms. Horrell.

"We were very encouraged by the five-year results," stated Rich Lunak , President & CEO of Innovation Works, the most active seed-stage investor in the Pittsburgh region.  "The investment community is recognizing that there are great companies here and that Pittsburgh has globally competitive strengths in software, life sciences, robotics and other sectors.   If we can maintain the momentum in our pipeline and increase the pool of local investment capital to support the growing number of high-quality startups, Pittsburgh can ascend to being one of the nation's top-tier startup communities," said Mr. Lunak.

About Ernst & Young:

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit

About Innovation Works:

Innovation Works invests in and provides business assistance for high-potential seed- and early-stage technology companies in the Pittsburgh region.  Part of the Ben Franklin Technology Partner network which pioneered technology-based economic development, Innovation Works is the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in the Pittsburgh region and is in the top ten most active seed- and early-stage investors in the country (according to national rankings).  Innovation Works is an initiative of the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

SOURCE Innovation Works, Inc.
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