A nationally sought-after tech consultant, Robert Stein is executive director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. As a child growing up in Monongahela, Pa., Bob observed the entrepreneurial life firsthand via his family’s coal processing business. As a pre-teen, he worked with AOL and Microsoft, and by age 16, he had founded Active Network, Inc. At the helm of the IEE, he’s helped dozens of companies achieve multimillion-dollar growth. Named Microsoft’s Most Valuable Professional for the past 13 years, Bob lives with his family in Gibsonia.
What upcoming events are you excited to attend?
I am excited to attend the Steel City Con (Pittsburgh’s pop culture convention!) this coming weekend in Monroeville. It will be a lot of fun with a lot of celebrities there. Also, I am excited to take my four-year-old son, Sebastian, to Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre‘s “The Nutcracker.”
What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) at the University of Pittsburgh is the impact we provide to business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s very fulfilling to know my team and I make a real difference in the community.
What is your big idea for Pittsburgh?
The one thing I would change … can we eliminate the tunnels? Kidding! Well, not really. I think with some infrastructure improvements we could put Pittsburgh over the top!
What is the one thing that would surprise Pittsburghers most about you?
I started my first business at age 14. That early start as an entrepreneur really provided the foundation for me to be able to do what I do, successfully, at the IEE. Another “Bob secret” is that I’ve been to the Taj Mahal in India 12 times!
Your semi-secret Pittsburgh spot?
There are all kinds of cool spots in the Cathedral of Learning, you just have to explore a bit!
I have been going to Deep Creek Lake in Maryland all my life and it is one of my favorite places. There are so many relaxing things to do there no matter the season.
Who should be the unofficial Mayor of Pittsburgh?
I am biased, but why not have University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Pat Gallagher as the unofficial Mayor of the city? I also think someone like Allegheny Conference’s Bill Flanagan would be good; he knows everyone in town!
Write three words to Describe Pittsburgh:
Beautiful, strong, close-knit.
Where will we find you this Saturday night?
My wife, Andi and I, have two small kids — Sebastian, 4 and Genevieve, 1. On a Saturday, I’m taking them to the holiday exhibit at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum. If we are lucky enough to have a babysitter, our ideal date night is at the big Burrito restaurant, Eleven.
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