The Lead

Robotics Factory funded by Build Back Better grant finds a new Pittsburgh home

By: - July 17, 2023 4:05 pm
One of Pittsburghs famed yellow bridges (Brookings Institution image).

One of Pittsburghs famed yellow bridges (Brookings Institution image).

PITTSBURGH — Startup accelerator Innovation Works will take space in the Lawrenceville Tech Forge building for its Robotics Factory, a startup incubator funded by a $62.6 million federal Build Back Better challenge grant. 

The funds were awarded last September to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative, a nonprofit coalition of university, philanthropic, and private sector partners, to “supercharge SWPA’s globally recognized robotics and autonomy cluster.” 

The location between the city’s Strip District and Lawrenceville neighborhoods has become known as Robotics Row for the concentration of startups focused on robotics. 

The lease for 18,000 square feet in the Tech Forge building owned by the nonprofit Regional Industrial Development Corp. will be effective August 1, Innovation Works said in a statement

“Pittsburgh’s transformation from an industrial powerhouse to a 21st-century technology hub is a testament to the region’s incredible talent, world renowned research institutions and a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Innovation Works President and CEO Ven Raju said in the statement.

“Over the course of the last four decades, the region’s robotics cluster has been at the forefront of this transformation,” he continued. “The Robotics Factory in its new home will serve as a centrally located community resource to support robotics companies from inception to scale, catalyzing job growth and energizing the regional economy.”

The six startups in the first cohort for the Robotics Factory receive $100,000 from Innovation Works for the seven month program that began in June. They will move into the Lawrenceville space shortly after August 1.

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications.