U.S. Commerce Department Launches Startup Global Pilot in Pittsburgh to Help Local Startups Expand Business Overseas

Aug122015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration yesterday partnered with leaders from Pittsburgh’s innovation sector to deliver the next installment of Startup Global, an initiative designed to help more startup firms think global from the earliest stages of a company’s growth. Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, Pittsburgh Technology Council, and Thrill Mill collaborated to host the half-day event, which attracted dozens of early-stage companies looking to gain technical assistance on selling their goods and services worldwide.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews delivered keynote remarks to kick off the event. 

“With 96 percent of the world’s customers living outside our borders, early-stage companies should plan for international success from the start,” said Deputy Secretary Andrews. “As ‘America’s Innovation Agency,’ the Commerce Department has the resources to ensure innovators take advantage of these global opportunities. The Startup Global pilot initiative aims to help more American startups scale their businesses quickly and internationally by collaborating with organizations like Pittsburgh’s research institutions, incubator and accelerator partners, and technology associations.”

During the workshop, speakers and panelists covered topics including  international partnerships and transactions, intellectual property rights, crafting an international business strategy, and export financing. Attendees also learned best practices from peer startup companies that have found success in the global market such as 4Moms, Aethon, and Rinovum Women’s Health.

The Startup Global initiative in Pittsburgh is the result of a collaborative effort of the program’s partners who serve the entire Pittsburgh region by accelerating the commercialization of innovative technology and new ideas and helping entrepreneurs, researchers, and students to tap into the innovation ecosystem. Area startups are encouraged to tap into the numerous resources available by contacting the Commerce Department's U.S. Commercial Service office in Pittsburgh, or any of the partner organizations in the initiative.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced Startup Global in February, and Pittsburgh is the third in the pilot program’s series of educational events. Previous events were held at the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center in Tennessee and 1776 in Washington, D.C. The pilot program is designed to help form partnerships to raise awareness of export assistance resources, and gather recommendations on how the federal government can better meet the needs of early-stage companies.

The Startup Global pilot resulted from the National Export Initiative/NEXT, the Obama Administration’s strategy to advance program and policy improvements that will make it easier for more U.S. companies to engage in international business and expand to new markets. NEI/NEXT prioritized this new initiative because many technology-enabled businesses are in a reactive position when international sales opportunities arise, and many are unaware of where to go for assistance and best practices.

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