Pittsburgh's Next Comeback

Pittsburgh is beginning to restore its long-dormant reputation for innovation and entrepreneurial excellence.

It was here that high-profile entrepreneurs the likes of Andrew Carnegie and George Westinghouse built companies that came to define entire industries and generate vast wealth. But the region’s emergence as an industrial center came at a price: a large-company mentality took hold and lingered for decades, even as the foundations of its manufacturing economy began to crumble.

As recently as the 1980s, the notion of working for a large, stable company was more socially acceptable than risking failure by starting a company. That attitude has begun to change, and Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial spirit is stirring anew. Hundreds of startups have emerged in recent years, producing everything from medical devices to data storage equipment to online shoe-fitting software.

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