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State Secretary of Community, Economic Development


PITTSBURGH—Dennis Yablonsky, secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will deliver the keynote address at the McGinnis Venture Competition awards dinner, Saturday, March 17 at the Carnegie Science Center. The fourth annual McGinnis Venture Competition, March 15–17, is hosted by the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. The McGinnis Venture Competition is designed to provide a forum for MBA students from leading universities to bring new technologies to market through entrepreneurship.

“Secretary Yablonsky is an accomplished entrepreneur and a leader in government, technology development and business. His work is an inspiration to the many graduate business school students competing in the McGinnis Venture Competition,” said Jones Center Director Arthur A. Boni, the John R. Thorne Chair of Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School. “Secretary Yablonsky offers a great example of how government, academia, business and good ideas work together to develop new enterprises.”

Before joining Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell’s cabinet, Yablonsky was founding CEO of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, a model for focused technology-based economic development. He subsequently led the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a similar organization devoted to developing the life sciences industry. As secretary, Yablonsky has played a lead role in the formation and implementation of the governor’s Economic Stimulus Package, which has invested $2.18 billion into Pennsylvania’s infrastructure, core communities and job-producing businesses.

Yablonsky is also a successful business leader and entrepreneur. As president and chief operating officer of the software company Cincom Systems, he helped grow the business into a $125 million global information technology organization. He later took over as CEO of Carnegie Group Inc., a software spinoff from Carnegie Mellon, turning it into a $32 million publicly traded software solutions company and managing its sale and integration into Logica North America.

The international McGinnis Venture Competition awards up to $140,000 in cash and business services in three areas: technology, life sciences and sustainable technology, a new category this year. Winners will be automatically entered in the Moot Corp® Competition and given special access to Pittsburgh-area early stage investors for up to an additional $100,000 in investment opportunities.

The annual McGinnis Venture Competition is made possible by an endowment from Gerald E. McGinnis, a successful entrepreneur and founder of Respironics Inc.


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