UpPrize, a BNY Mellon-Funded Competition that Supports Innovation in Southwestern Pennsylvania, to Return in 2023
PITTSBURGH – April 11, 2023 – The UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge, an annual competition in Southwestern Pennsylvania, is now open to applicants for a sixth year. Funded by the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the competition provides financial assistance and educational resources to help nonprofits, local entrepreneurs and other competitors bring their ideas from concept to reality.
Since its founding in 2015, the UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge has allocated more than $2.8 million in investments, grants and educational assistance to local nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and other participants. In the 2023 cycle, applicants will focus on developing technologies supporting racial equity, economic justice and sustainability. The top three finalists will receive cash rewards.
A launch event will be hosted on May 4, 2023 at the BNY Mellon Innovation Center in Pittsburgh at 500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA. Interested applicants are invited to attend to learn more about the resources available through the program and ask questions before applying. RSVPs are required at https://upprize.org.
“BNY Mellon is committed to furthering innovation and giving back to the community. The UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge continues as a platform for investing in breakthrough ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs to address critical social needs in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Eric Boughner, Chairman of BNY Mellon Pennsylvania.
Ven Raju, President and CEO of Innovation Works, added, “Technology and innovation can change the world by providing benefits to local communities and beyond. UpPrize is enabling more individuals and startups to be change agents and we are proud to continue the program for another year.”
Applications are open from May 4 through June 29, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. and will be accepted at https://upprize.org. UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge is administered by Innovation Works and fully funded by the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
About Innovation Works
Innovation Works provides investment and assistance to the Pittsburgh region’s most promising technology startups and is the only regional investment fund focused solely on this region, investing more than $113 million in over 600 companies since formation in 1999. This activity makes Innovation Works the most active seed-stage investor in the region and one of the country’s most active overall. Part of the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Innovation Works is one of four centers in the network to help build PA’s innovative companies, diversify the state’s economic drivers and capitalize on the world-class research conducted at the renowned universities throughout the state. Innovation Works is partially funded by the Commonwealth’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. Providing investment, expert guidance, and access to networks, Innovation Works helps software, hardware and life sciences companies get to their next stage of economic growth. In an anonymous survey self-reported by founders and leaders of portfolio companies to receive IW investment in the past ten years, nearly 60% of those leaders were women and/or people of color. To learn more about Innovation Works, the organization’s commitment to inclusive innovation, and more please visit www.innovationworks.org.
CONTACT: TERRI GLUECK