Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
What makes you the best person for your role?
I joined IW after working as a journalist covering Pittsburgh’s startup and investment ecosystem. I got to learn the ropes of the tech scene, and saw just how much organizations like IW are behind building it. I learned how to talk to founders and help them tell their stories. That experience and awareness of the truly groundbreaking innovation going on in Pittsburgh — plus my engineering and entrepreneurship education in my Bachelor’s and Master’s programs at Penn — are what ultimately fueled my interest to help support local founders from the inside of a fundamental organization here.
What is your favorite thing about working with startups?
I really admire the passion of the founders behind each company, and their dedication to making their ideas work. I’m glad that IW is a place that not only offers investment to these aspiring local businesses, but provides connections, mentorship and other resources. Pittsburgh startups in particular seem open to collaboration with each other, and I think that openness and widespread community support is one of the main drivers of recent industry traction here.
What do you love about living and working in Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is my home. I was born and raised here before moving to Philly for my undergraduate and graduate education, and it’s been a joy to come back to old family and friends, and make some new ones along the way! I love the community of the neighborhoods here, and the vast amount of beautiful green space in the city’s parks system. And the art and culture offerings are also extremely impressive given Pittsburgh’s smaller size. I love that it has a mix of big city attractions and small town charm.
Where can we find your outside of work?
Pittsburgh’s food scene is amazing, so I’m usually out with friends at one of my many favorite restaurants on the weekends. (Hot take: Thai Cottage in Regent Square is better than Noodlehead.) If the weather’s good, I’m out walking or geocaching in Frick or Schenley Park, and if it’s bad, I’ll go see a movie at a local theater like Rowhouse Cinema. And on my way to all of this and more, you can find me cruising at a smooth 15 mph on the Spin electric scooters, which are my favorite mode of transportation by far.