Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh Form Public Benefit Partnership

  • Partnership to leverage region's resources and bolster Pittsburgh's re-emerging biotech hub, bringing together students as well as stakeholders across industry, capital, academia, and government.
  • Solt DB to donate 5% of subscription revenue to Nucleate Pittsburgh, up to $10,000 per year. This marks the first recurring sponsorship in Nucleate Bio's history.
  • Funding will support programming and outreach across Pittsburgh's universities and colleges in the chapter's first full school year of operations and beyond. Nucleate Pittsburgh on pace to host most monthly events of any global chapter.

PITTSBURGH, PA -- Yinzers look out for one another n@.

Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh today announce a public benefit partnership to support Pittsburgh's re-emerging biotech hub. The collaboration will develop and support regional biotech networks for stakeholders across industry, capital, academia, and government. The finch will donate 5% of subscription revenue to Nucleate Pittsburgh, which will host the most monthly events of any global chapter in the 2023-24 school year. This marks the first recurring sponsorship in Nucleate Bio's history.

Nucleate Pittsburgh is one of the newest chapters in Nucleate Bio, which is a student-led organization representing the largest community of bio-innovators. The organization's goals include identifying future entrepreneurs, educating scientists on business and business students on science, and building local communities to increase access to the bioeconomy.

Jake Kastroll (University of Pittsburgh PhD Candidate), managing director of Nucleate Pittsburgh, is excited to lead the next phase of growth for the network. "Because of our sponsorship with Solt DB, Nucleate Pittsburgh’s mission to empower the next generation of biotech leaders is growing. We are connecting Pittsburgh with our global Nucleate network, which has raised over $310 million for our 78 companies. All of this is done by innovative students leading change."

"The opportunity to collaborate with Solt DB will allow the team to scale its community-building initiatives at an unprecedented rate," says Michael Gee (Carnegie Mellon 2023), advisor and founding managing director of Nucleate Pittsburgh. "There are few role models -- particularly students -- in Pittsburgh that have built world-class companies. Through this sponsorship, the team's aim is to accelerate the student community by connecting them with world-class leaders beyond Pittsburgh's borders at its events."

"It was clear that Nucleate Pittsburgh and Solt DB shared the same values from the first time we met," says Maxx Chatsko (Carnegie Mellon 2016), founder of Solt DB. "I understand our decision to donate 5% of subscription revenue to public benefit partnerships is unusual, but the bioeconomy won't get very far with the zero-sum mindset that dominates current funding mechanisms. As a Pittsburgh native and bio-nerd, I'm confident this partnership can help catalyze the next wave of biotech innovation emerging from the Steel City and create opportunities that weren't available to me earlier in my career."

Pittsburgh's Biotech Roots

Pittsburgh has a rich history of entrepreneurship and innovation with joules, bits, and atoms. Andrew Carnegie's steel empire was forged in the region's hills and was instrumental in building America's transcontinental railroads, first major bridge spanning the Mississippi River, first skyscrapers, and winning World War II. By 1945, the Pittsburgh region produced more steel than the Axis powers combined.

Specifically in biotech, the city supported the early work of University of Pittsburgh Professor Jonas Salk in developing the first polio vaccine. Local institutions also minted world-changing scientists including the inventor of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Paul Lauterbur (University of Pittsburgh PhD 1962, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2003) and Genentech co-founder Herbert Boyer (University of Pittsburgh PhD 1963). Dr. Lauterbur says he developed the idea for the MRI on a napkin at an Eat'n Park restaurant. Meanwhile, many scientists and entrepreneurs have called Pittsburgh home, from the inventor of directed evolution Frances Arnold (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018) to Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham.

"I believe that Pittsburgh is perfectly positioned to become a great biotechnology hub, and it is great to see the synergy from Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh help nurture this vision."

Devin Dressman, Associate Director of Research Operations and Strategy at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Today, the city's biotech hub is vibrant as ever. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center helps researchers perform long time-scale molecular dynamics simulations in femtosecond slices and makes significant contributions to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) BRAIN Initiative. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) network cares for more patients than any other health network in the United States. The city received over $675 million in funding from the NIH in 2022. Earlier this year, Krystal Biotech earned approval for the first topical gene therapy and the first with at-home dosing. Accelerators and incubators from AlphaLab Health to LifeX support biotech startups commercializing technology from local universities.

The public benefit partnership between Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh aims to rekindle and support the region's entrepreneurial roots in biotech while attracting and retaining talent in the local region.

D.J. Kleinbaum (Carnegie Mellon 2005), co-founder of Emerald Cloud Lab, gave his support for Nucleate Pittsburgh, saying, "This partnership between Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh is a testament to the burgeoning scientific ecosystem in Pittsburgh. As both a CMU alum and someone who founded their first company straight out of graduate school, I'm proud to see an organization dedicated to nurturing scientific founders flourishing here in Pittsburgh." Emerald Cloud Lab recently opened its second automated lab in the United States as part of a collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University.

Kelly Collier (Carnegie Mellon 2011), Director of Ecosystem Development at LifeX, is enthusiastic about the role Nucleate Pittsburgh will play in the ecosystem and Solt DB's support of its momentum. "Pittsburgh has a strong infrastructure of programmatic support for existing life science entrepreneurs, including the accelerators at LifeX, AlphaLab Health, and many university sponsored programs. A key missing ingredient for the region to grow into its full potential is a robust pipeline of entrepreneurial talent. I believe Nucleate Pittsburgh, with support from Solt DB, will make a big impact on engaging and directing students and recent graduates towards career paths in life science startups, who will fill critical roles as leaders and supporters of the region’s next life changing startups." LifeX, an organization based in Pittsburgh, serves early-stage life science startups through an accelerator program, expert mentorship, and funding opportunities. LifeX was recently named the Accelerator/Incubator of the Year in the Inaugural Pittsburgh Startup Community Awards by RustBuilt, while Collier was recognized as the Community Builder of the Year.

Devin Dressman (University of Pittsburgh 2002), Associate Director of Research Operations and Strategy at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, expressed his support, "It is wonderful to see a company like Solt DB generously pledging 5% of their subscription revenues to the Nucleate Pittsburgh group, which will not only help continue to establish Nucleate’s foothold here, but will also help Nucleate continue to work with and sponsor great entrepreneurial activities. I believe that Pittsburgh is perfectly positioned to become a great biotechnology hub, and it is great to see the synergy from Solt DB and Nucleate Pittsburgh help nurture this vision." Prior to his current role, Dressman was the Senior Director of UPMC Enterprises and held multiple roles at Thermo Fisher Scientific including Associate Director of Immuno-Oncology and Program Director of Strategic Collaborations.

About Nucleate Pittsburgh

Nucleate Pittsburgh is a student-led chapter of Nucleate Bio comprising volunteers across the city's colleges and universities. It supports the entrepreneurial community by hosting monthly events with networking and expert panels. Follow them on LinkedIn and subscribe to the newsletter to stay informed of upcoming events.

About Solt DB

Solt DB is a public benefit company exploring the business of biotech. The finch helps investors learn about science and scientists learn about business.

Subscriptions to investment research ensure our platform has long-term sustainability. That strong foundation allows us to create value for the public benefit.

The finch publishes free, objective analyses of the bioeconomy. We combine clear writing and data visualizations to make nerdy technical concepts accessible, so you can go beyond the headlines on a noisy internet. Subscriptions also allow us to self-fund the development of high quality, open source data assets such as the Solt DB Biotech Company Database. Our unique business model means our incentives are never tied to advertising, clickbait, or corporate sponsors.

As an additional show of our commitment to create public benefit, Solt DB donates 5% of subscription revenue to Nucleate Pittsburgh and 1% to Stripe Climate. Read more about our mission.