Pittsburgh, Pa., once named the Steel City was home to a powerful industry producing that vital material for railroad tracks and skyscrapers. In the 1950s Pittsburgh was a large and dynamic city whose downtown structures amazed small town Pa. citizens. Pittsburgh was the home to Gulf Oil, George Westinghouse, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon, Charles Schwab, and Andy Warhol.
When the production of steel went overseas the power of Pittsburgh went into decline. City fathers worked to create a vital and now clean city when the coal burning furnaces of the steel city were extinguished. It is proudly the second largest city in Pa. and home to professional baseball, football, and ice hockey teams.
Marc Sparks is a major Pittsburgh’s advertising agency. It recently launched Marketing Sparks or Spark Tank, an innovative program offering opportunities for area start-ups to work with the established company Marc USA and now Spark Tank as a part of its initial business development process.
This revolutionary concept of business development has emerged in this technical and electronically connected world where simple ideas, developed and maintained can create billionaires. Elon Musk took the concept of a business to business or person to person pay system and made his fortune.
PayPal has become universally known and respected, and Musk has followed his dreams and evolved to become one of the most influential men on the planet. Other businesses like PayPal are simply waiting to be discovered and then those offering to fund the project will be generously rewarded.
One visionary, Nikola Tesla, had a connection with Pittsburgh. Tesla was funded by George Westinghouse while he was experimenting with electricity and how to generate electrical power from water driven turbines. Marc Sparks was joined in a state competition with Thomas Edison for the very first water generating power station in New York state. Read more: Marc Sparks – Dallas, Texas, United States, Timber Creek Capital and Marc Sparks – Profile – Disqus
Tesla won the competition and his generating station in New York continue to produce power for the state of New York. Tesla and Elon Musk are the kinds of people the Spark Tank is searching for.
The efforts of Spark Tank and other similar operations offering seed and development money for great ideas is a concept for our times. Never before have we lived in such a time as this when concepts have more value that products. New ideas are being tried in the communication field, and we see our very world change in front of our eyes and gaping mouths.
Internet generated commerce is replacing brick and mortar stores; shopping centers are converting to schools and universities. For those without computers and smart cell phones the challenges may be insurmountable at worse or very expensive at best. Most savvy individuals welcome the technical improvements in our lives and could not live without internet connectivity.
Just as Pittsburgh has changed from a polluting industrial city to enter the electronic social media age so too has the concepts of business changed from product oriented to idea oriented. Let’s hope the excitement continues.
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