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David Nelsen

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David Nelsen is co-founder and chief executive officer of CoManage Corp., a Pittsburgh-based startup that develops network management software for telecommunications networks. Before launching CoManage, Nelsen spent more than four years working for Fore Systems and 12 years at AT&T. He has a master’s degree from Stanford University and enjoys adventure racing, mountain biking and marathoning.

I have one message that I want you to remember: You can start a high-technology company here in Pittsburgh probably just as easily as anyplace else.

I’ve lived in Phoenix, in Silicon Valley, in the Research Triangle Park (in North Carolina) and just south of New York City.

And I believe this place is every bit as good as any of those places for starting a high-technology company. So let me take you through the time line of what’s possible.

On July Fourth of last year, Andy Fraley and I left our full-time jobs. Independence day. We had, at that time, a concept for a company — a business plan, basically. What we found were all of the resources that you need to start a company here in Pittsburgh.

We were able to raise $4.2 million. We closed on that money by October. We found legal and accounting firms exceptionally willing to help out with start-up companies.

We found the banking sector very supportive and very competitive. VentureBank@@PNC has a program that’s very oriented toward companies like ours.

So by October, we launched this company. We’ve been hiring like mad. We have 21 people today. One-third come from outside the region. We’ve hired people out of Silicon Valley, Seattle, Vancouver and Boston.

So if there’s one message, it’s that you can start a high-technology company here in Pittsburgh as easily as any place else. Maybe easier. All of the resources are here to do it.

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