From the “Portal to the Pacific” to the “Paris of Appalachia,” we’re packing our bags for Pittsburgh.
That’s right, we’re bringing our unique brand of tech, science and innovation news to Steel City, where we’ll be covering the innovation economy with daily news stories, video features, and in-depth profiles. GeekWire reporters and editors will cycle through our temporary HQ2 in Pittsburgh for the entire month of February, immersing ourselves in a city that has reinvented itself from industrial powerhouse to technology hub.
GeekWire has spent the past six years growing alongside Seattle’s booming tech industry, covering national news from the Pacific Northwest perspective. A few months ago, we decided to branch out and explore another emerging city. Inspired by Amazon, we put out our own request for proposals and received submissions from cities all over the country, from California to the Rockies to our nation’s capital.
We narrowed our search to four finalists: Cincinnati, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Raleigh. Each city has its own compelling stories to tell, which made our final decision tough. That’s when we turned to our readers for help. We asked you to vote on the finalists, and Pittsburgh won handily. Reader feedback and our staff’s enthusiasm for the journalistic opportunity in Pittsburgh helped us make our final decision.
“I’ve got to be frank: I couldn’t imagine you going anywhere else,” said Andrew Moore, dean of the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, which submitted the successful bid for GeekWire HQ2. “Things are so exciting here at the moment, with five dueling self-driving car companies, our largest and most highly sought-after cohort of students coming through CMU, University of Pittsburgh massively expanding its technology focus, and then all these new startups.”
Want to learn more about how we chose Pittsburgh and what GeekWire HQ2 will look like? Tune into a Facebook Live stream with our team at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET this morning, Tuesday, Dec. 12. We’ll be taking questions about the project, so be sure to comment if you’d like to learn more.
“The GeekWire audience has spoken and we are thrilled to hear that Pittsburgh has been chosen as your temporary home for the month of February,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto in a statement. “Pittsburgh has long been an epicenter for innovation. Our story is one of invention and reinvention: from steel to software, plate glass to robotics, and aluminum to autonomous technology.”
We can’t wait to cover Pittsburgh’s amazing transformation into a world leader in the innovation economy. Interesting stories abound in Pittsburgh — from the cutting-edge research labs of Carnegie Mellon to the startup spaces of East Liberty to leading smart city initiatives. As we know from our years in Seattle, the growth of the technology industry can also bring massive challenges, and we’ll be exploring those, as well. We look forward to telling a wide range of stories and connecting with civic, tech and business leaders in this changing city, while also indulging in the city’s food renaissance and cheering on the Penguins.
Don’t worry, we will be prepared for the weather, trading in our rain gear for heavy winter clothing.
“Pittsburgh has become one of the leading development centers for autonomous vehicles and industrial automation, technologies which will have far-reaching impacts on our country, hopefully good, but potentially bad, so a natural place for GeekWire to bring its thoughtful and insightful reporting,” said Geoff Entress, the Seattle-based angel investor and Pioneer Square Labs co-founder, a Pittsburgh native and 20-year Seattle transplant.
It wasn’t lost on Entress or Team GeekWire that both cities are in the running for the Super Bowl. (Yes, we are still holding out hope for our Seahawks, even though some of us have been quietly buying Steelers gear in preparation for February.) “A Seattle/Pittsburgh rematch in February would be awesome,” Entress said, without revealing his loyalties.
In Pittsburgh, our reporters will produce written stories, photos, videos, social media content, and more that will expose readers to the innovative companies, entrepreneurs, organizations, and other leaders contributing to the region’s growth.
We will also assess the city’s potential to host Amazon, the other Seattle company searching for a second headquarters. As we’ve reported, Pittsburgh has a few key advantages in the competition for Amazon HQ2, although the city is keeping details of its proposal under wraps.
Among those advantages is Carnegie Mellon University, a world-class institution that raises the city’s technology and engineering profile and graduates a steady stream of tech talent. CMU also has increasingly strong connections to the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science at the University of Washington in Seattle. Alaska Airlines even plans to offer a direct flight from Seattle to Pittsburgh (although not until next fall, unfortunately for us).
“The bond between Pittsburgh and its people is stronger than steel but we always have room for one more neighbor,” said Mayor Peduto. “Welcome to the neighborhood, GeekWire.”