About Thrival

By Pittsburgh, For Pittsburgh, For the World

Our Story

Thrival Festival started in 2013, with one goal: to shine a light on the important ideas, products and entrepreneurs that are fueling Pittsburgh’s 21st century economic resurgence.

In the years since Thrival’s start, the festival continues to grow, welcoming a diverse range of speakers and musical acts to the city of Pittsburgh. Thousands of business leaders, founders, funders, creatives, thinkers and educators have come together to learn, collaborate and share. We open up the city to explore both new and old spaces for art encounters, performances, breakout sessions and workshops.

Thrival is produced by Ascender, a Pittsburgh-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving early stage startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, and creatives of all forms — people who we refer to as “starters” and “builders.” We have an 11,000 square foot space in East Liberty that serves as co-working, a business incubator, and program space for free entrepreneurial education. Proceeds from Thrival go to support Ascender and its “Start/Build” community.

Meet the Thrival 2019 Team

Barrie Athol

Barrie Athol


Beth Klebacha

Beth Klebacha

Marketing Director

Jenny Sharpe

Jenny Sharpe

Program Director

Nadyli Nunez

Nadyli Nuñez

Operations Director

photo of Ellen DeSimone

Ellen DeSimone

Marketing & Business Development Associate

Get Involved with Thrival

We are looking for artists, musicians, makers and volunteers to help make Thrival happen.