This year’s challenge focuses on technologies and solutions addressing racial and economic injustice, and includes programming to foster stronger diversity, equity, and inclusion among the entrepreneurs and businesses within southwestern Pennsylvania’s tech ecosystem.
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 Precision Neuroscopics, Meerkat Village, and Make it Home Safe.
Precision Neuroscopics' Sevo EEG electrodes are a patent-pending EEG accessory to leverage the strength of natural coarse curly hair to hold traditional electrodes in contact with the scalp of Black patients. Sevo electrodes improve the electrical resistance between the EEG electrodes and the scalp and improve the reliability of recordings.
Meerkat Village is a HIPAA and FERPA-compliant app built to empower a digital village of parents or guardians, professionals, and natural supports to move with the child throughout every transition, including provider changes, moving to a different school, or relocating.
Make It Home Safe provides real-time remote identity to police and verification that it is a police officer before the officer approaches the vehicle on foot
May 4, 2023
June 8-9, 2023
JULY 10, 2023
July 20, 2023
October 19, 2023
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 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 www.innovationworks.org.