Leaving Spain, I’ve landed in Lisbon, a “most livable” city – just like Pittsburgh – per the Economist Intelligence Unit. This lovely city represents a brand new market for the Pittsburgh region – one that found its way onto our radar screen because of Carnegie Mellon University. In Lisbon, CMU has an agreement with the Portuguese government – through its Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education – for a long-term collaboration to significantly expand research and education in the area of information and communications technology. The latter also happens to be one of the key sectors and economic drivers in the Pittsburgh region. I continue to be amazed to discover Pittsburgh’s mark in so many places worldwide. Our region is more influential than many people may realize. Here in Portugal, where fishing is a major industry, the Pittsburgh region is not so much a “small fish.”
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting representatives from some Portugal-based companies brought to Pittsburgh for a visit by the CMU Portugal Program team. While these company representatives were in town, we talked about a number of ideas for collaborating, including joining forces when I travel to Europe with the PSO on its tour. My “sister in success-building” is Lori Spears from CMU Portugal. We began exploring ideas, and soon it was clear that collaborating to further introduce the Pittsburgh region to Portugal as a North American business partner or destination for foreign direct investment had lots of potential. Mind you, we were aware that this was charting new territory, but that wasn’t going to stop two intrepid ladies who are especially keen on Pittsburgh. Our “Portugal, Meet Pittsburgh” presentation was a success. I was pleased to see familiar faces – including some business types who were part of the delegation I met earlier this year in Pittsburgh. One gentleman, in fact, happily provided an impromptu testimonial about Pittsburgh to the group. As they say, there’s nothing like third-party validation. The program, Lori and I agreed, could not have gone better.
The support of a regional asset, such as Carnegie Mellon University, makes this type of success possible, as do other regional assets, such as Mike Matesic, CEO at Idea Foundry. Mike supported us with briefing notes on entrepreneurship for the presentation, and he has the distinction of being one of the founding partners of the CMU Portugal Program. He’s a mover and a shaker.
As I’ve said earlier, Pittsburgh’s mark truly is everywhere, and I couldn’t be prouder to be promoting the region’s amazing assets and people.
Stay tuned for more missives from across The Pond. Until then, cheers!