Any Burgh Diaspora tale starts with migration. I've mused about the Chicago-Pittsburgh connection before and Chicago was a key destination for Pittsburghers fleeing the collapse of the regional economy. The exodus is over (go ahead and exhale, Pittsburgh) and the geography of out-migration has shifted (Warning: .pdf file).
On page 9 you can find where Pittsburghers are heading thanks to IRS data for the period of 2000-2006. I'll list the top 20 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA):
- New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island
- Indiana (PA)
- New Castle
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
No matter how hard Meakem Becker Venture Capital aims to steer clear of the spotlight until "they're ready," as founder and principal Glen Meakem has said, it nevertheless seems to always get attention. Now the group is on the radar screen of Chicago bloggers and tech media.
According to regulatory filings, the young private equity firm, launched last year by the Sewickley-based former FreeMarkets Inc. chairman and its one-time chief operating officer David Becker recently poured $2.3 million into Chicago-based LiquidTalk Inc., which provides "new ways for businesses to create, organize and distribute" information to employees on mobile devices, such as "smartphones" and iPods.
Pittsburgh is always the last to know. Chicago is an important market for Pittsburgh-based corporations. I doubt the feelings are mutual. The migration to Chicago planted the seeds for future deals. Pittsburghers are using their extended network and doing all the heavy lifting concerning the connectivity between the two cities. On the other hand, I suspect that a Chicago located firm looking for opportunity discovers Pittsburgh through Pittsburghers, not via transplants to the City of Bridges.