University of Pittsburgh
May 20, 2001

REDLEAF GROUP AND UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH PARTNER TO CREATE OAK LEAF NETWORKS Business accelerator will focus on regional information technology and bioinformatics

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, May 21 -- The University of Pittsburgh and Redleaf Group, Inc. today announced plans to create a regional business accelerator called Oak Leaf Networks. Oak Leaf Networks will provide coaching, services, capital, and infrastructure, as well as support from a premier list of industry partners, to emerging companies in southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia. Oak Leaf Networks will target start-up companies focused on information technologies, internet-related technologies, and biotechnology applications including bioinformatics and drug discovery software.

"This partnership further illustrates the University's commitment to, and emphasis on, technology transfer, especially of those discoveries emanating from our campus," said Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "We believe this effort with Redleaf will make a significant contribution to the economic development of this region."

Through its Office of Technology Management, the University of Pittsburgh, with Oak Leaf Networks, will facilitate collaboratively the formation of new ventures based on University technology. Permanent space for Oak Leaf Networks will be located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, near the Pitt campus.

Redleaf will manage the regional business accelerator and provide capital through a new early-stage venture fund. In addition, Redleaf will recruit potential partners for Oak Leaf Networks from the academic, civic, and corporate arenas. Redleaf also will leverage its ties in the venture capital marketplace to form valuable partnerships with corporate sponsors, venture capitalists, and foundations.

"Redleaf is in the business of identifying innovation, supporting entrepreneurs, and building companies. This partnership and the Oak Leaf Networks accelerator represent an excellent opportunity to leverage regional intellectual assets for economic development benefits," stated Mark Coticchia, senior director, Redleaf Group.

Additional opportunities to be provided through Oak Leaf Networks programs include participation in joint educational programs run by Pitt and Oak Leaf Networks and internships through Oak Leaf for students in Pitt's Katz School of Business.

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About Redleaf Group

Redleaf Group, Inc. (www.redleaf.com) is a technology operating company that provides services and capital for pre-seed and seed-stage technology companies. Leveraging a digital GRID – our global network of people and resources – Redleaf provides its partner companies with market access, strategic counsel, and operational support from a team of seasoned professional managers whose specialties include finance, engineering, product development, systems integration, marketing, and human capital management. Redleaf is located in key NetHubs, or technology centers, throughout the United States. Expansion into Europe and Asia is underway.

About the University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is a comprehensive research university. Founded in 1787, it enrolls more than 32,000 students in 414 distinct degree programs and employs approximately 9,000 faculty members and staff. A member of the prestigious American Association of Universities, Pitt receives more than $400 million annually in sponsored research funding. The University ranks among the top 20 universities nationwide in attracting federal research and development funds in science and engineering and is one of the top ten recipients of NIH funding in the US. As one of the region's largest employers, Pitt serves as a vital economic engine, generating one out of every 17 jobs in Allegheny County and pumping nearly $800 million annually into the local economy.

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