Community-Based Tech Investment Network
Using a community-based technology network, addressed the parallel challenges of low community engagement by tech professionals and the need of tech startups to attract local investors.
Pittsburgh’s influx of technology professionals included many Jews with little connection to the local community, working for startups struggling to capitalize their future growth. Blue Knot Pittsburgh (BKP) was launched in 2005 by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, led by technology attorneys and technology entrepreneurs, and YGS Co-Founder Michael Steiner. Growing out of an earlier initiative, ChaiTech, BKP sought to establish a networking circle for professionals in the tech sector together with Jewish community organizations.
BKP meetings, events and get-togethers took place mostly at industry venues, such as Google, Eaton, Ansys, Carnegie Mellon, CECity, Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, and Innovation Works – Alpha Lab. Starting modestly, BKP snowballed into a nationally recognized success story with sold-out SRO (standing-room only) events straining the capacity of host facilities.
The Blue Knot initiative provided opportunities for its members to gather together for networking, educational programs, speeches, and community activities. Members also used the events to conduct business with each other and to find better jobs.
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