Companies backed by venture capital play an important role in economic growth. Estimates attribute 16.6 percent of national Gross Domestic Product and 9 percent of national private sector employment to them. Many technology-oriented startup firms will need venture capital in order to successfully grow and create significant numbers of new jobs. Venture capital dollars invested in the Pittsburgh region in the 1st through 2nd quarter of 2017 totaled $166 million, a year-over-year increase of $1 million. Pittsburgh ranks below the benchmark average of $555 million.