Our Mission

FortyX80 exists to accelerate the growth of southwestern Pennsylvania's innovation economy and encouraging the development of a highly skilled regional workforce by supporting education and training at secondary, vocational and higher education institutions, and by providing education potential and early stage entrepreneurs.

This is accomplished by strengthening the region's entrepreneurial framework through: increased access to capital, educational programming, and promoting South Western PA globally as a premier location for start-ups, talent, and technology.



FortyX80 is supported by grants made by foundations, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and seed funding from the Pittsburgh Technology Council.


We meet with Pittsburgh's growth-stage start-ups to assist in establishing connections with global funders and commercial partners.  Our Watch List is a group of innovative, investment-ready companies. Reach out to our Director of Entrepreneurship & Investor Relations, Maria Fattore, to join the Watch List.

Watch List


Meet Our Team


Audrey Russo 



As CEO and President of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, FortyX80 was born from a need Audrey saw after years working with local tech companies – Pittsburgh entrepreneurs need someone supporting the ecosystem as a whole, especially when it comes to much-needed venture capital investment and early-stage business development. From meeting with investors to forging new partnerships, Audrey steers the FortyX80 ship in the direction of strengthening Southwest PA’s entrepreneurial community.

When she’s not busy representing the interests of regional tech entrepreneurs (a rarity), you can find her hosting entrepreneurs at her home, dining at Pittsburgh’s best restaurants, working out at the JCC, and palling around town with her infamous cockapoo, Gracie.


Maria is no stranger to the start-up community in Pittsburgh with almost 20 years of experience working with medical device start-up companies and 2 SaaS companies in the environmental health and safety field.  She has held various roles such as Director of Customer Service and Tech Support, Vice President, Product Management, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Project Manager.  Maria has extensive experience in taking a product from concept to commercialization working through all the design details, quality and regulatory requirements and design for manufacturing. 

Her experience is critical when engaging with entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region and investors throughout the world to successfully grow our start-up ecosystem.

Some specific areas where Maria and FortyX80 can help are: identifying the right investors, introductions to the right investors, finding talent, introductions to new clients, preparation for investor pitches and much more.

At FortyX80, we look forward to seeing our region’s entrepreneurs and start-up companies flourish!



Director, Entrepreneurship & Investor Relations