Pittsburgh is known for its sports teams, three rivers, steel-manufacturing heritage -- and increasingly for its technology innovation. The Penguins' championship bid just ended and the Pirates are in last place, but there are other reasons for "the Burgh" to cheer. A startup incubator has just opened on the city's South Side, and the Gates Center for Computer Science is under construction to the east.If I've learned anything about Pittsburgh on two recent trips, it's sports and software. A statue of Franco Harris' "immaculate reception" in the 1972 NFL playoffs greets visitors to the Pittsburgh International Airport. A few weeks ago, I couldn't get a hotel room anywhere downtown. Why? The Cubs were in town to play the Pirates. And last week, when I went to ship a package at Carnegie Mellon University's mailroom, the guy behind the counter was dressed in full Penguins regalia -- pads and all.
Pittsburgh's close-knit tech community is thriving. Since the collapse of its steel industry 20 years ago, the city has re-established itself as a tech center with expertise in areas such as gaming, health care, and robotics. My colleague Bob Evans and I recently met with more than a dozen local technologists, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs. You can view many of our interviews below.
I've told you about the sports scene. What are some of the distinguishing characteristics of Pittsburgh's tech scene?
In other words, Pittsburgh's tech community is unique, eclectic, and an important part of the global tech industry. The city's shift from steel to software is a remarkable, and ongoing, story.