Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Road Trip; Ohio Linux Fest, Oct. 1.

Ohio LinuxFest continues to grow and its 3rd event is slated for Oct. 1, 2005. Drawing from Ohio, the surrounding states, and Canada, the event has moved to the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Pittsburgh should have a YOUTH TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT -- and that event could be one of the biggest in the city every year. However, we've got candidates for mayor who might not be able to spell email.

And in the tech front, we have a push to make one organizer try to organize the tech organizations. One voice advocates are pin heads, in my book.
Bits & Bytes: Umbrella for tech groups gets less-than-warm reception Umbrella for tech groups gets less-than-warm reception

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Anonymous said...

Bits & Bytes: Umbrella for tech groups gets less-than-warm reception
Saturday, August 27, 2005

By Corilyn Shropshire, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It turns out that not everyone in town is giving glowing reviews to the proposal, reported here last week, for gathering local tech-based economic development groups under one umbrella.

For one, Steve Zylstra, president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, isn't impressed.

"We're a trade association, comprised of 1,400 member companies and cannot place ourselves in a position where we have to gain clearance or permission from anybody to talk to legislators or funders on behalf of our members," Zylstra said in an interview yesterday.

The unnamed umbrella group would serve as "one voice" for tech organizations to seek funding from the federal and state government as well as the deep-pockets foundation community. Funds for such groups as Pittsburgh Gateways, Idea Foundry, the Technology Collaborative and the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse would be distributed by the umbrella, which is expected to be chaired by one person --most likely, people say, Don Smith Jr., university director of economic development at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Details on the proposal are still being ironed out as Smith and Dennis Davin, the economic development director for Allegheny County, field questions and ideas from local tech-based economic development groups.

Sources also said there's also talk of commissioning yet another tech-based economic development study from the Milken Institute, an economic think tank, or Battelle, a business and tech consultancy. This is not the first time lots of money has been poured into a study to get tech-based groups on the same page, sources said.

Opponents to the plan, including some who didn't want to talk on the record, recall efforts by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance in the late 1990s to join local economic development groups under one entity. It didn't work, they say. But proponents, such as the county's Davin, said the idea's a good one; it just takes time to build consensus. "The proposal as it is right now is a very good proposal," he said. "But we understand we need to gain consensus. We need to get everybody on the same page."