Monday, December 17, 2007

IntoPittsburgh: Chicago

I'm starting my profile of major Burgh Diaspora cities with Chicago. Where is co-blogging with me about the connections between our two cities. I'll be looking for other partners in crime for this tour, so e-mail me if you are interested in a blog collaboration.

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):
  1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria
  2. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington
  3. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island
  4. Indiana (PA)
  5. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman
  6. New Castle
  7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
  8. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor
  9. Columbus
  10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta
  11. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Miami Beach
  12. Baltimore-Towson
  13. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet
  14. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
  15. Erie
  16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
  17. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord
  18. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy
  19. Harrisburg-Carlisle
  20. Orlando-Kissimmee
Pittsburghers are still making the journey to Chicago, but perhaps not as often as in the past. At a minimum, the two cities share food and football. More importantly, Chicago keeps tabs on Pittsburgh business dealings:

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.

No comments: