Zersha Munir

Consider yourself an innovator? BNY Mellon wants to hear your ideas! In collaboration with The Forbes Fund, BNY Mellon presents the UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge to support entrepreneurs dedicated to solving Pittsburgh’s problems. Entrepreneurs — from students to startups to established firms — are welcome to submit their products or product ideas in solution to any of the three UpPrize challenges for prizes of grant and investment money. The challenges include:

Independence: What products might better equip people to be caretakers of themselves and their neighbors?

Access: What products might reduce physical barriers to accessing services and opportunity?

Coordination: What products might help multiple organizations better coordinate how they distribute goods and services to those in need?

UpPrize encourages purpose-driven innovation and offers $800,000 in grants and investments, as well as additional benefits and supports for a total prize value in excess of $1 million. Community partners and advisers include Google, Carnegie Mellon University and the Idea Foundry. Submissions simply require a  two-minute video discussing your team, product and vision, and should be submitted using YouTube or Vimeo. Submission deadline is Wednesday, April 15 at 5 p.m EST. 

Have some ideas? Then visit the UpPrize site for more information and to enter the challenge.

Next, register to attend NEXTpittsburgh’s UpPrize networking event, Mix It Up, on March 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Alpha Lab Gear to spend an evening with Pittsburgh’s local leaders and innovators. Event partners include Mayor Peduto, Fygment, Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partners and several local establishments, all who came together to plan a night of networking exercises and fun.

UpPrize competition eligibility guidelines and FAQ’s can be found here. Further questions can be tweeted at “@UpPrize” on Twitter or emailed in.

Bonnie Pfister
Second-place finishers at the 2010 Intel Science Fair

On May 13-18, Pittsburgh will host more than 1,500 of the best and brightest high school students from 65 countries for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, in which young scientists compete for more than $4 million in prizes and scholarships. Last year’s winners pioneered potential cancer treatments and a system to counter the threat of nuclear terrorism.

Fair organizers are looking for community volunteers to help with a range of activities, including setting up in the convention center, greeting participants, providing foreign language interpretation (especially Spanish, Russian and Mandarin) and judging the entries. Judges must have a minimum of six years of professional experience beyond receiving a bachelor’s or master’s degree, or hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent.

May 17 will be a public outreach day, during which local students and teachers will can tour  the exhibits, meet the finalists and participate in a “Who Dunnit” Forensic Science Challenge.

Click here or check out the video below to learn more about the fair and volunteering.