Pandemic or not, fall is typically a time of revitalization — and a good time to focus on achieving long-term goals before the end of the year. Have a business idea you want to find feedback on? Want to become more social in the local tech scene? Looking for venture capitalists to pitch to?
Well, let us introduce you (if you don’t already know him) to one of Pittsburgh’s best-connected authorities on tech: Kit Mueller.
Mueller is the “refounder” and head of platform at Rust Belt entrepreneurship booster RustBuilt, as well as the community lead for the organization’s Pittsburgh chapter. A self-described serial tummler (that is, a person who encourages community interactions and makes things happen), Mueller is also the regional director of the Midwest for One America Works, an organization that connects growing tech companies with growing tech scenes across the county.
But beyond these titles, Mueller is known as the go-to guy on the startup and entrepreneurship community in Pittsburgh. (“Healthy ecosystems, right or wrong, are measured by these type of liquidity moments,” he told us about Duolingo’s IPO earlier this summer. “And so this is just another endorsement of the momentum that’s going on here.”) If an up-and-coming tech innovator’s name isn’t already in Mueller’s metaphorical Rolodex, it will be soon. As an organizer, support and connector, Mueller is the person to know in Pittsburgh tech, with contacts across venture capital, accelerators, founders and more that give him unique and wide-ranging insight on the next big frontiers.
The best part? Mueller is open to sharing what he knows. Earlier this summer, he launched a video series through RustBuilt Pittsburgh called “RustBuilt Rundown,” a short briefing on the previous week’s most relevant news in tech, from funding announcements to new product releases to community events. The most recent one even gave a shoutout to Technical.ly‘s ongoing income data reporting series.
Mueller’s major community building work, paired with a series of big success for Pittsburgh tech this summer, will culminate in the inaugural RustBuilt Pittsburgh Conference in East Liberty at the end of this week. The daylong event will feature morning and afternoon sessions with discussions and advice from venture capitalists, startup founders and others discussing important skills and lessons from business and community building. With a catered lunch, free childcare and a swag bag available for all attendees, this should be the event of the fall, if not the year, for Pittsburgh tech.
Those interested in a more social setting beyond the conference can check out the after party at the Maverick Hotel in East Liberty, and a RustBuilt-hosted Startups Day at Kennywood the next day on Saturday, Sept. 18. Psst: Conference attendance is limited, so be sure to sign up soon if you want to go.
Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.