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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
Funding Opportunities Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

University Of Pittsburgh


Pittsburgh, PA

Project Name

University of Pittsburgh Manufacturing Accelerator Program



Award Amount


Through the EDA’s 2016 i6 Challenge award, the University of Pittsburgh will establish a Manufacturing Accelerator Program (MAP) for the creative arts and maker movement, leveraging the innovative culture of the university and history of manufacturing in the community. The project strategically focuses on serving entrepreneurial and innovative artisans, craftspeople and designers throughout the 10 county footprint of southwestern Pennsylvania, with the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh as the primary location and focal point. The goal is to jumpstart commercial activity in one of Pittsburgh’s underserved neighborhoods through education, training, and entrepreneurial support.

As the maker movement flourishes in the region, artisans are searching for manufacturers to meet product demand. Many lack the necessary resources to scale manufacturing in a cost-effective manner. The MAP will provide education and consulting on the fundamentals and utilization of lean assembly cell manufacturing techniques and a forum to scale production under the guidance of experienced professionals. A wide variety of prototyping and manufacturing equipment is available for use by the participants of the MAP. Consulting services will also be available on site for the small business owners to gain valuable insight into how to grow the business, market the product, or deal with day-to-day business concerns. The entrepreneurs will also be able to scale their businesses beyond the MAP through the resources offered by our economic development partners, Catalyst Connection and Innovation Works.

The impact of the MAP will be measurable and meaningful to the region. Program participants’ businesses will be able to grow and move beyond the capacity of the MAP and into buildings and store fronts within the local neighborhoods, creating far-reaching impact and resulting in revitalization of the communities through the job creation, the attraction of capital to the area, and the increased revenue in the businesses.