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The Competition

All innovation is not created equal. Do you have a product or idea that can make the world better?

The sponsors of UpPrize are seeking to fund and support product or service ideas that can meaningfully impact one of two key challenge areas.

Doers, makers, coders, tinkerers, researchers, hackers, designers, -- we want to hear your product ideas. Our team of researchers has worked with over 100 nonprofits to identify the areas in which innovation can make a measurable difference in improving the lives of our neighbors. Everyone is invited to submit a solution to either or both of the two UpPrize challenges. Nonprofits, start-ups, established firms, students, and government agencies are eligible to apply.

The submission process is easy. Let us know some basic information about your idea/product and upload a short video. Applicants have until November 30 to submit their solution. Those selected to advance to the finalist round will be eligible to win cash grants and investments ranging from $10,000 to $300,000.

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Challenges

Designed in partnership with more than 100 nonprofit organizations, the UpPrize challenges invite entrepreneurial thinkers to change the world for the better. View Challenges

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Prizes

Awards will include $10,000 grants for finalists, and winners will be eligible for grants and investments of up to $300,000, as well as additional benefits and support.

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Participants

UpPrize is open to nonprofits, start-ups, established firms, students, and government agencies. Anyone, from a student to a seasoned entrepreneur is eligible to participate.

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Our History

UpPrize was launched in 2015. In our first year we crafted three challenges that attracted 111 applicants. The final eight pitched their solutions before a live audience to determine the winner.
View UpPrize 2015 Results

How it Works

The UpPrize process is designed to engage the creative thinking of regional innovators to solve some of our community’s most pressing problems. An in-depth research process produced the areas in which innovation is most heavily needed and a multi-stage competition enables the existing innovation ecosystem to develop the best possible solutions.

Discover

Through a rigorous research phase involving more than 100 non-profit partners, we have identified a set of high-impact opportunities for purpose-driven innovation.

Challenge

Beginning in October 2016 we are calling for the community to submit their products and ideas as potential solutions to the challenge areas. Nonprofits, start-ups, established firms, students, and government agencies are eligible to apply.

Compete

Through two rounds of selection, an expert panel of judges will recommend finalists and complete due-diligence on the teams and their solutions. Finalists will receive $10,000 and compete for up to $300,000 to develop and implement their idea(s).

Award

Awards will include $10,000 grants for finalists, and an additional $300,000 in grants and $300,000 in investments. Additional targeted support will be provided through a network of partners.

Judging Criteria

The UpPrize team values the potential impact of a solution and it's business model equally. Projects will be assessed in the following categories.

Impact Model

  • Scalability and relevance
  • Community impact and inclusivity
  • Nonprofit value proposition

Business Model and Team

  • Feasibility
  • Value proposition and customer acquisition
  • Financial viability
  • Demonstration of positive cash flow (Healthy Food Challenge Only)
  • Team and leadership

Is my idea a fit for UpPrize?

Doers, makers, coders, tinkerers, researchers, hackers, designers -- we want to hear your product or service ideas. All entrepreneurs, including nonprofits, for-profits, start-ups, established firms, students, and government agencies are invited to submit a solution. Submissions matching at least one of our criteria have the best chance of being accepted as a part of UpPrize’s “Open Submission” call for entries.

  • I have an idea/product that uses technology to improve nonprofit effectiveness.
  • I have an idea/product that uses technology to enhance the quality of life for vulnerable populations.
  • I have an idea/product that connects healthy food to vulnerable populations.

Still have questions? Contact us here.