PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is marking a milestone.

It’s celebrating 20 years of helping businesses across the region.

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Now, the institute is taking that help a step further with a new hotline.

Turner Dairy Farms has been in business since 1930.

“We make the best milk in the country. We have 50 local farms that supply milk to us and we pasteurize, process it,” Turner Dairy Farms President Chuck Turner said.

All of that work happens at a facility in Penn Hills.

The family-owned operation has been passed down from generation to generation, but those transitions haven’t always been easy.

“When we first joined, my uncles and my father were kind of wrestling with how to make a transition to my generation,” Turner said.

That’s where the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence jumped in with guidance on economic development, and that support hasn’t stopped.

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“They have a monthly speakers series just on all different topics including family business. They have a leadership development program that we’ve had three of us go through that’s a year long, intensive, kind of like a mini MBA program,” Turner said.

Ann Dugan, founder of the institute, says over two decades they have supported the creation of over 800 start-up companies. That includes nearly 50 new businesses last year alone.

“In a start-up sense, we help them think through their business idea, develop their first business plan and get their first round of financing. In the growth areas, they’ve hit, often times a plateau where they need additional capital or they’ll need additional talents,” Dugan said.

The institute can help with everything from consulting to educational programs.

In March, entrepreneurs will be able to call a new hotline for advice on how to start, grow, and transition a business.

“Sometimes people think you could just go to a website and get all that information, but it’s not the same as having a knowledgeable voice on the other end of the phone that can really talk about it,” Dugan said.


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