Photo by Jennifer Baron.

Our city’s innovative tech companies are opening their doors to the people of Pittsburgh, and you’re invited.

This week, the professional networking group Build412 Tech is launching its new Tech Crawl series that lets residents and tech enthusiasts find out more about the rich innovation communities cropping up in various corners of Pittsburgh.

“We’re going to explore different neighborhoods and unearth the Pittsburgh technology companies,” says Jennifer Apicella, co-founder of Build412 Tech.

The series kicks off Thursday at 5 p.m. with a tour of the many companies and startups located Downtown. Stops on the crawl include the Beauty Shoppe coworking space on Smithfield St., Truefit software in the Union Trust Building on Grant St. and RedShift digital marketing in the Koppers Building on Seventh Ave.

The crawl wraps up at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a Tech Happy Hour at Market Square’s Metropolitan Club.

“We’re thrilled to be welcoming tech employers and employees from around the city to see how Downtown can make a tremendous impact on their business and their teams,” said Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “With unparalleled infrastructure, proximity to Pittsburgh’s creative powerhouses and a central location, we know that Downtown can make a difference for tech firms looking to set themselves apart.”

The event is free, but attendees should register here. Registrants will receive a free 30-minute bike rental during the event, courtesy of Healthy Ride.

Speaking with NEXTpittsburgh, Apicella explains that Thursday’s event is considered a preview, with more regularly scheduled crawls coming in the spring. She and her team are already planning crawls in the East End, the Strip District and Lawrenceville.

In addition to more crawls and happy hours, the organization is also planning a speaker series for early 2020. The lineup will focus on tech professionals sharing tales of their working lives. “It’ll be a more candid speaker series, maybe a little different than the ones that are currently out there,” says Apicella.

Build412 Tech launched in 2016 with a series of informal happy hours and meet-ups before becoming an established company last year. Beyond public events, the group offers members a variety of mentoring and support services tailored to large and small companies. To date, they have 7,000 subscribers and continue to grow rapidly, says Apicella.

“Our mission,” she says, “is really focused on building the best community for the Pittsburgh tech ecosystem.”

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.