Engage in activities that cultivate a healthy environment for the region’s diverse entrepreneurs and small businesses to prosper


Catalyze diverse and small businesses throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania

Organization Description

Riverside Center for Innovation (RCI), established as the North Side Industrial Development Company in
1983 and now doing business as Riverside Center for Innovation, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
located in the City of Pittsburgh’s North Side. RCI is proud to be one of the region’s premier community
economic development agencies. RCI is the leading and most comprehensive, full-service small business
incubator, targeting women, minorities, veterans, LGBTQ, and other disadvantaged ventures in
Southwestern Pennsylvania. RCI provides a single point of contact for our target business owners
seeking information to start, sustain and grow their business.

Our Services

RCI helps pre-venture, startup, and existing businesses acquire the tools needed to overcome barriers that may impede growth for small, diverse businesses. We accomplish this by offering:

  • one-on-one consulting from strategic business partners and industry experts,
  • seminars and programs that focus on issues relevant to disadvantaged businesses,
  • direct referrals for assistance with certifications, 
  • legal services through our partnership with top local attorneys,
  • expert advice with our insurance resource partners,
  • access to interest-free capital via Kiva,
  • DBE bonding educational series,
  • networking events to facilitate growth opportunities,
  • offer meeting and office space,
  • support for environmental assessment through EPA funding sources,
  • and much more

We are excited to launch our customized technology web platform, www.diversifypittsburgh.com, to help qualified disadvantaged businesses learn about and apply for government contracts and business opportunities. 

RCI brings technology solutions to residents, community resource partners, and entrepreneurs via CoLab18, the region’s first community digital learning lab.   As a state-of-the-art conference center, CoLab18 offers the necessary technology and conference room space for trainings, meetings, and development endeavors.  

Our Results

The last Economic Impact Study and Report on the services and programs provided through RCI confirms the incredible impact that our board-approved programming and activities have on the regional economy. The study, which covered 2009 to 2013, found that:

  • RCI generated over $527.8 million in economic impact and supported more than 3,500 jobs,
  • one out of every 184 jobs in Allegheny County is attributable to RCI,  
  • $1 out of every $120 of the county’s GDP can be attributed to RCI operations,  
  • DBRC has assisted more than 4,500 entrepreneurs and microenterprises, and
  • these clients have generated $521.2 million in economic impact and created 1,819 jobs.

As of January 2020, we have helped 250 business owners access interest-free capital through our partnership with Kiva, the world’s largest micro-lender.  Those entrepreneurs have collectively received 278 loans for a total of $1,536,625.  We have also connected over 44 businesses with pro bono legal services for a total of over $1 million in free services to disadvantaged businesses through our partnership with Reed Smith.  

We look forward to continuing to share our growing menu of services as well as the results of our 2014 to 2018 impact study.