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Rebuilding Pittsburgh's Entrepreneurial Economy

June 20, 2012

The economy was falling apart when Mark Kurtzrock launched Metis Secure Solutions into the headwinds of one of the worst recessions in the nation’s history. “It was pretty tough to find resources,” said Kurtzrock, president and CEO of the Oakmont-based maker of emergency notification systems, which opened its doors in November 2008.

The company was fortunate to have an advantage: $300,000 in funding from a local business development agency, which bought it time to focus on product development and finding customers during a liquidity crisis that severely restricted financing for businesses throughout the United States and much of the world. Metis Secure Solutions survived to raise another $2 million, mostly from a private investor group.

And in February of this year, the company closed on a $1.6 million venture capital deal, succeeding in the world of institutional funding that some Pittsburgh entrepreneurs find difficult to navigate, given that venture capital firms are relatively scarce in the region. “Really good ideas, I think, find a way of getting funded,” Kurtzrock said. “You just have to be deadly persistent about it.”

Read more at Pop City Media.