Our Mission

Work Hard Pittsburgh is a cooperatively owned and operated business incubator that combines media and technology services with training, sales support, and access to capital. We provide entrepreneurs with a path to start, scale, and sustain their business ventures.

We adhere to the standard cooperative values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, and solidarity. We are mindful of our position within the community and our responsibility to promote sustainable development, and we work with others to create a just and equitable society.

Member Control
Safety Nets
Time and Space
Access to Capital
We’re Living It

The Cooperative Solution

Our cooperatively organized business incubator solves many of the problems associated with traditional business incubation and acceleration. Through collective ownership, we ensure that risk taken by our entrepreneurs is balanced by the maximum amount of potential reward.

We’re Pushing Against the Grain

Challenging What’s Normative in Entrepreneurship

Creating More Equity and Access for Different Kinds of People

Business Incubation is Big Business

All over the world investors big and small leverage the talent they find in business incubators and accelerators to add value to their portfolios. To varying degrees of success, they provide much-needed capital in exchange for an interest in the companies that they serve. On occasion, but far too infrequently, the current models create an exceptional amount of wealth for a few people. Usually, however, the outcome is bleak. 90% of the time, investor-backed businesses fail.

Most investors recognize and plan for the high failure rates associated with new businesses by targeting companies that can return 10 times their invested amount. This common strategy encourages business incubators and accelerators to deliver programming that pushes entrepreneurs into high-growth, high-risk business models.

High-Risk, High-Reward Investing Has Changed Entreprenureship

The pressure on business founders to meet the preferred investment strategies commonly available to new companies has distorted entrepreneurship. It has encouraged people with great ideas to pursue growth models that are unattainable at least 9 out of 10 times. It has diverted public money in the form of tax credits and direct investments by federal, state, and local governments into institutional investing models that have demonstrated limited success in high tech markets like those found on the West Coast.