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Impactful Technology

Products and solutions that will improve nonprofit service delivery and/or the lives of vulnerable populations in Southwestern PA.

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Explore this challenge

In an age of virtual reality and hyper-personalized advertising, new advances in technology appear to be everywhere. But are these new technologies being used in ways that benefit the ones who need solutions the most?


For individuals, technology can connect us to those we love, provide us with life-changing information, and change the way we experience the world. For nonprofit organizations, technology can strengthen and further their missions, leading to a bigger impact on the people and communities they serve. But too often technology becomes a barrier – too expensive and too complicated – for the people and organizations who need it the most.


BNY Mellon joined The Forbes Funds to create this challenge because we believe that technology has the ability to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. It could be on a personal level, such as an app that helps stabilize income volatility, or on an organizational level where better client data analysis could help a nonprofit streamline services and saves costs. It could even affect an entire community by bundling wifi access in marginalized communities, for example.


Share with us how you propose to use technology to improve lives. Selected finalists will receive $10,000 in grants and winners will receive grants between $50,000 and $200,000. Nonprofits, start-ups, established firms, and government agencies are eligible to apply.

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Community Examples

A local nonprofit has designed a way to increase revenue by leveraging existing assets. While it maintains a fleet of vehicles, they often go unused. So the agency created a way to put these trucks to use, renting them out to small businesses and nonprofits at a price below commercial costs. This generates money for the organization, and enables its clients to deliver goods and services when they otherwise would not have been able to afford to.


A local firm designed a case that would turn smartphones into devices to prevent on-campus assault. When activated, the case sets off a powerful noise alarm and a bright strobing light. Simultaneously, a distress signal complete with GPS coordinates is sent to police and pre-selected contacts. In a single instance, this could be life-saving, and taken in aggregate, the data is powerful, allowing campuses to better understand issues of their students’ safety.


One in three U.S. households faces income volatility, with paychecks varying greatly across months. A tech start-up has created an app that helps stabilize cash flow. By saving money – in a separate account – from higher than average paychecks, the app sets aside money to automatically compensate for the lower pay periods. This provides stability for budgeting and planning, as well as eliminates the need to turn to expensive short-term credit.

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Do you have an idea that increases access to healthy food or uses technology for social purpose?
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Healthy Food

Products and services that will increase access to healthy and nutritional choices for vulnerable and underserved populations.

View all 69 Ideas

Explore this challenge

Pittsburgh continues to enjoy a food and restaurant boom. Innovative food start-ups, farm-to-table menus, and luxury dining experiences define our local food scene and garner attention from local and national media. Yet, thousands of our neighbors remain without reliable, affordable access to healthy options. For decades, fresh, affordable food has been disappearing from our communities. Residents are forced to take their grocery dollars elsewhere. As a result, health problems have increased and economic activity has decreased.


Research shows that customers want greater access to more nutritious food choices, like fresh fruits and vegetables. Increasing availability of these options makes an important difference in our communities and the lives of our neighbors. The solutions range from the simple to the innovative. These ideas and products don’t need to be technical.


Bridgeway Capital joined The Forbes Funds to create this challenge because we believe opportunities exist to systematically reduce the region’s food access problems. New business models that expand the reach of grocers and farmers’ markets, reduce food waste, and democratize our food economy are currently experiencing success in the market. We are supporting solutions that increase the availability of affordable, healthy food options for Pittsburgh’s underserved and economically-distressed areas.


This challenge is about bridging the gaps and connecting healthy food to those who need it most.

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Community Examples

52nd Street Market
The 52nd Street Market is focused on providing access to nutritiously prepared and preserved foods; staples, such as dairy, eggs and bread; fresh produce; and recycled paper products.


Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
"We use food as the foundation to change lives and strengthen communities. We offer culinary training, food access, food service, and food education programing."

What can I do?

Like, Share & Support

See an idea you like? Heart it, share it with your social network or even message the team with your thoughts and support.
View Ideas

Get Involved

Collaborate, fund, and support ideas or the UpPrize competition as a whole. Your involvement is crucial to the success of our mission.
Get Involved

Submit your Own

Do you have an idea that increases access to healthy food or uses technology for social purpose?
Submit an Idea