The University of Pittsburgh provides a variety of business initiatives and clubs for student entrepreneurs to prepare themselves for post-graduation life.
Pitt’s Innovation Institute was introduced in 2013 to advance the university’s entrepreneurship, commercialization, and economic development. The Innovation Institute brings together the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Office of Technology Management, and Office of Enterprise Development.
The Pitt Blast Furnace is a new Innovation Institute program that aims to commercialize research developed on campus and ease the burden of the negative cash flow experienced in the beginning stages of business growth. The Blast Furnace responds to the spike of high level competition in becoming involved with accelerators at later stages of business growth. The Blast Furnace will give students access to training, mentoring, funding, workspace, and networking opportunities to help jumpstart their entrance into the business world.
Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is a leading program that caters to the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. The Institute has several initiatives that are aimed at fostering the growth of entrepreneurship.
The Small Business Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh offers free consultations to local businesses and entrepreneurs. Workshops on how to get a business off the ground and keep it running smoothly can be particularly helpful in writing a successful business plan. Students are able to take advantage of the SBDC to learn how to grow their ideas into prosperous Pittsburgh businesses.
The Urban Entrepreneurship Center at Pitt helps businesses in inner-city Pittsburgh neighborhoods become established, grow, and succeed. The center uses consulting, mentoring, and workshop services to assist upcoming businesses and students.
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance work together to help hardworking students find internships that fit their abilities and interests. Graduate and Undergraduate students who want to start their own businesses, work for another startup, or want to take on an entrepreneurial initiative for an existing company can hone their skills and build networks through the Institute.
Pitt offers clubs and organizations for student entrepreneurs:
- The Pitt Startup Network, or P-SUN, connects undergraduate students with faculty, alumni, and local professionals to launch their ideas. P-SUN members are privy to a large base of experience, skills and guidance from knowledgeable industry leaders.
- LaunchPITT provides student entrepreneurs opportunities to explore entrepreneurial career paths in Pittsburgh through workshops, social events lectures, mentoring and experiential learning. Students can engage with fellow entrepreneurs and potential investors through LaunchPITT events.
- Students for Startups allows students with an interest in business to learn about startups in Pittsburgh. Students for Startups is for student entrepreneurs who want more real world experience, need assistance with technology development or consulting, or want more business insight, guidance, or exposure before launching their own company.
Through its dedication to innovation and engineering, the University of Pittsburgh has become a forerunner in entrepreneurship development.