Luke Skurman of Niche. Photo by Brian Cohen

“Kevin Dowling says he can’t believe how cool this city has become,” writes USA Today in a report on Pittsburgh’s growing allure for tech companies.

“After graduating years ago from college, Dowling recently returned to Pittsburgh to be the vice president of engineering at 4moms (, creators of high-tech strollers and other baby accessories embedded with robotics and other patented innovations.

After years working in traditional tech hubs like San Francisco and Boston, he was lured back to Pittsburgh by a fledgling innovation industry nurtured by area universities, innovation incubators and venture capitalists.

“Coming back to Pittsburgh, I saw a healthy balance of finance, marketing and engineering (at 4moms)” said Dowling, who turned down a job offer with Google to lead the next generation of designs at the small company. “It’s actually a cool place to be now.”

In recent years, numerous small companies started by faculty and graduates of Carnegie Mellon University, a world leader in robotics and computer science, have headquartered themselves in Pittsburgh. In the past, CMU alumni often left the area to pursue their start up dreams – and the necessary capital – elsewhere.”

Now that’s no longer the case, says USA Today, citing companies such as Duolingo and incubators such as Innovation Works and Thrill Mill.

Pittsburgh is a far cry from Boston or San Francisco, says Mayor Bill Peduto. But there’s something magical about it.

Read the full article here.

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.