Image courtesy of Expii.

Education, healthcare, energy and data collectionthese are the areas in which the five UpPrize Impactful Technologies finalists hope to make a difference for nonprofits and the people they serve. The participating companies will soon compete for thousands of dollars in prize money that could help them further develop their early-stage tech offerings, which range from online platforms to medical devices.

“Becoming involved with UpPrize really showed us all of the great progress and innovation that is happening in Pittsburgh and will make it a tech destination for the future,” says Andrea Janov, director of operations for Expii, one of the finalists.

Meet the UpPrize Impactful Technologies finalists below:


Tomer Borenstein (left) and Alison Alvarez (right) of BlastPoint. Image courtesy of BlastPoint.
Tomer Borenstein (left) and Alison Alvarez (right) of BlastPoint. Image courtesy of BlastPoint.

The ability to collect data can help organizations become more efficient and effective. But unlike larger, better-funded organizations, smaller nonprofits often can’t afford to hire experts or invest in necessary data tools. BlastPoint, a startup spun out of Carnegie Mellon University, wants to change that.

BlastPoint’s chief technology officer Tomer Borenstein states that the mission of the company is to bring “affordable and accessible data analytics tools to organizations that are not adequately served by the current landscape of options.”

“For these organizations, operating without data insights is operating blind,” he says. “Without data, it is more difficult to make decisions, plan for the future, understand the forces at work around them or self-advocate from a place supported by evidence.”

He adds that their model has already made a difference for clients like Red House Consulting, a Washington, PA-based nonprofit that’s using BlastPoint’s data to plan a project aimed at helping displaced coal miners farm lavender on unused mining land.

Borenstein and BlastPoint CEO Alison Alvarez believe winning the UpPrize competition would help the company improve their product and reach out to more change-makers and nonprofits.

“We would be able to offer more features, a better experience and serve a greater number of users,” says Alvarez. “We would also be able to focus on where we could make the most impact rather than chasing short-term contracts that will keep the lights on temporarily.”

Community Data Roundtable’s Parent Portal

Community Data Roundtable executive director Dan Warner. Image courtesy of Community Data Roundtable.

When keeping track of a child’s health, especially one with special needs, families need all the help they can get. Community Data Roundtable (CDR) has developed something that could make the process a whole lot easier.

The company created Parent Portal, an online platform they claim would allow caregivers to easily access a child’s medical records. The information would come from CDR’s DataPool system, a cloud-based tool used by approximately 200 clinicians across 23 counties in Pennsylvania.

With insight from team members such as chief business officer Amanda Hope, whose son was diagnosed with autism, Parent Portal was primarily designed to help families navigate the challenges associated with raising a special needs child. The company believes the technology would give parents a faster, better way to assess their child’s progress and determine how to move forward with treatment.

With help from UpPrize, CDR hopes to complete development of the Parent Portal and offer it for free to nonprofits and health care provider groups in Pittsburgh and across the country.

“We have already experienced benefits to our business from participation in the educational opportunities provided throughout this process,” says CDR executive director Dan Warner. “We are really excited to watch our fellow finalists’ products take off as well.”

Amanda Waltz

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.