Pittsburgh’s tech world is becoming more and more popular with Seattle.
Cascadia CapitalThe Seattle-based investment banking company was founded more than 20 years ago, and it is looking at Pittsburgh as its new special purpose acquisition company. Pittsburgh Business Journal.
The company traditionally helped facilitate the deal, but last month applied to raise $150 million for its SPAC called Cascadia Acquisition Corp. Its goal is to acquire a technology company as part of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” involving artificial intelligence, computer vision, blockchain and more.
Michael Butler, Cascadia’s chairman and CEO, has spent more time in Pittsburgh over the past few years, and he believes that the city is ready for a technological boom.
“Pittsburgh was Seattle about 10 to 15 years ago,” he told GeekWire on Tuesday.
Butler pointed to “world-class” technological developments in the fields of robotics, automation, artificial intelligence, and medical technology, as well as research by institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.
“Great engineering talent, great city and quality of life,” he said.
As part of the GeekWire HQ2 project, GeekWire reported on some of the same trends when we spent a month in Steel City four years ago.
Here are my views on comparing the Pittsburgh and Seattle tech communities in 2017:
In both places there are crazy smart people dedicated to innovative technology, and they are willing to cooperate. Both cities have awesome positive energy.
Seattle’s technology ecosystem is stronger. Both Microsoft and Amazon have major tenants, as well as large second-tier companies such as Tableau, Zillow, Redfin, Zulily, Expedia, and T-Mobile. Pittsburgh needs more of these things. This will help attract more investors and technical talents, and ultimately develop the ecosystem.
In general, Seattle also has more technology. For example, Pittsburgh still has a large number of cash-only restaurants, while in Seattle, it seems that every local store now has Square. It feels like Seattle is only a few steps away from the future. But the countless self-driving cars roaring past Pittsburgh indicate that the situation in Steel City may be changing.
Since then, Pittsburgh’s influence as a technology center has continued to increase.
Duolingo, the city’s most famous startup company, went public in July. This should provide more motivation for the local entrepreneurial sceneGoogle, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft also have large corporate offices and are hiring. Some of Uber’s autonomous driving division is located in this city; at the end of last year, it announced plans to sell the division to another growing Pittsburgh technology company, Aurora.
Local universities also continue to focus on innovation. CMU is Build the world’s first academic cloud laboratory, And the University of Pittsburgh A false information laboratory was launched in June.
Other investors Also watching Pittsburgh As the next great technology center possible.
In addition to SPAC, Cascadia is also looking for other potential deals in the city. Butler said that Pittsburgh lacks management, sales and marketing leaders-but like Seattle, “it can attract talent because of the livability of the city.”
“This is the same movie,” he said.