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This year's challenge centers around technologies and solutions that aim to tackle social equity and justice issues among the entrepreneurs and businesses in the tech community of Southwestern Pennsylvania.


The UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge was developed to bridge the gap between the nonprofit and entrepreneurial communities as well as to increase the number of impactful technology-based solutions targeted to address critical social challenges. Since its launch in 2015, UpPrize has engaged over 600 applicants and allocated more than $2.8 million in investments, grants, and technical assistance to winners and finalists.


Winners of the most recent UpPrize cycle were Farm to Flame, Korion Health, Sustainible, and Testa-Seat.

Farm to Flame Energy was founded in 2018 by Will McKnight and Kwaku Jyamfi to commercialize a unique combustion process that was patented by Will's grandfather and uncle. This process allows several agricultural wastes to burn in a smokeless and odorless fashion.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death globally, but up to 80% of deaths can be prevented through early screenings and interventions. Korion Health offers an electronic stethoscope and guided user interface so that patients can record their heart sounds from the privacy, comfort, and convenience of home.

Sustainible is a woman, minority, and immigrant-owned organization, with a mission to contribute to economic, community, and entrepreneurial growth by fostering the likelihood of business success.

Testa-Seat's body-contouring Therapeutic Positioning Equipment provides perfect support for people with mild to moderate control of the body and reduces damage caused by improper seating during child development.


BNY is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY  delivers informed investment and wealth management and investment services in 35 countries.

As of December 31, 2022, BNY had $44.3 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.8 trillion in assets under management. BNY can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available at Follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon or visit our newsroom at for the latest company news


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 its 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’seconomic 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