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By Matt Pross, Staff Writer

Image via CrunchBase

Rich Miner, Co-Founder of the Android platform, spoke to a crowded room of Pittsburgh Technology Council members today downtown at the Pittsburgh Fairmont as part of the PTC’s Venture In Event Series. Miner, who is a partner at Google Ventures, the venture capital arm of search giant Google, provided an overview of the fund and its portfolio companies and then entertained several questions from the audience. Afterwards, Miner listened to pitches from four local companies including Schell Games, Zulama, Cardeeo and Innovation Works, who spoke to Miner about its portfolio companies.

During his presentation, Miner outlined Google’s investment strategy as 100 percent financially driven and not focused on the strategic fit of a company into Google’s operations. In other words, if a startup has good potential to provide a healthy ROI than Google Ventures is interested. Started just in 2009, the VC has grown its portfolio impressively over the last 3 years to include more than 50 companies, the majority of which are small startups at the seed stage. Miner and his partners have a nice pot of investment dollars at their disposal – about $200 million annually – although Miner said that they don’t invest the entire fund. As you can imagine, most of Google Venture’s portfolio is comprised of technology companies spread across a broad range including consumer Internet, digital media, software, hardware and biotech. The fund’s investment range spans anywhere from $100K seed investments to $10 million+ late stage investments, with the majority of the investments coming at the seed stage.

Miner spoke very positively of Pittsburgh, mentioning that the region is a great place to find tech talent and good place to build a company. “At its core, Google likes to invest in bright people,” Miner said. “That’s why we are here in Pittsburgh. We want to help build really good, successful companies that could be creating the next big thing.”

Listen to an exclusive interview Rich gave to techVibeRadio before it hits the airwaves via 104.7 FM News TAlk.

Miner was the last keynote speaker of the inaugural Venture In series. He followed an equally impressive list of leading VCs including Kleiner Perkins, BlueRun Ventures, Bosch Ventures and OnSet Ventures. Venture In 2012 is currently being developed by the Pittsburgh Technology Council and will include VCs of a similar caliber. For more information on the Venture In series, contact Julien Scranton at [email protected].

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