FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Revv Oakland And StartUptown Merge To Form Avenu
Driving equitable economic development in Pittsburgh’s Fifth/Forbes corridor
PITTSBURGH, August 24, 2017 – StartUptown and Revv Oakland, two well known and pioneering Pittsburgh coworking accelerators, have merged to create Avenu, a not-for-profit entity with a renewed commitment to equitable economic development in the Fifth/Forbes corridor spanning Uptown and Oakland.
“The new identity, Avenu, captures both our mission — to drive equitable economic development in the corridor — and our geographic footprint. We currently operate seven locations in the Fifth Avenue/Forbes Avenue corridor,” explains acting Executive Director Tad Hale, “and plan to activate additional sites in the corridor to provide increased opportunities for retail, live-work spaces, flexible work spaces and other development.”
StartUptown and Revv Oakland housed some of the region’s most recognizable technology startups that achieved exits — NoWait, Shoefitr, Rhiza, Allpoint Systems, and Powered Analytics — and continue to serve numerous early stage counterparts that are on similar trajectories — StitchFix, Containership and Forest Devices among them. Despite finding success in coworking, founders of both organizations cite a larger vision, beyond just flexible workspace, as motivation. Revv founder Mark Musolino, who partnered with the Oakland Real Estate Company, comments, “Pittsburgh’s transformation into a destination for aspiring entrepreneurs is important and necessary, and providing turnkey services and collaborative events to help startups grow faster in an amazing university neighborhood like Oakland was an obvious way to contribute”. And for Dale McNutt, “StartUptown has always been about improving my community by attracting more people to work, make, and live in Uptown — a campus of activity to spur development in a corridor that had great potential to build a broader entrepreneurial culture.”
Furthering this collective vision, Avenu will connect people and programs through place-making, to help create an equitable community of residents, builders and entrepreneurs. “We are collaborative by nature and are eager to participate in transformative projects where we can add lasting value,” says Hale, “We are committed to building a vibrant, equitable corridor by attracting more community-based startups, while continuing to support tech, social, and maker businesses.”
Avenu is increasing its community engagement by making its spaces more available and by partnering to bring increased programming into the corridor. “We’re excited about the recently launched Eco Innovation District in Uptown/West Oakland and the emerging innovation district in Oakland” noted Hale, adding “Avenu’s spaces will play important roles in both development initiatives.”
The Avenu launch theme, “Find What Drives You,” celebrates those who help drive development along the Fifth/Forbes corridor by unlocking the potential of their communities. “Human focused and community driven, Avenu takes us to a new level of urban participation,” says McNutt, who is also an Uptown resident.
Avenu unveils its new website (www.avenu-org.com) on September 15, 2017.