Want to change the world? Start right here in Pittsburgh with UpPrize, the social innovation challenge from The Forbes Funds which is awarding up to $350,000 each in two categories this year. The challenge kicked off its second year with a bang on October 6 when nearly 500 innovators, technies, nonprofit folks and others got together at AlphaLab Gear to network and hear more about the awards.

L to R: Felecia Bute, Ralph P. Watson, Kate Dewey, Christian Hughes, and Pam Eichenbaum.

UpPrize is sponsored by The Forbes Funds with challenge partners BNY Mellon and Bridgeway Capital. Comcast is the official media/technology sponsor.

L to R: Vanessa Garcia and Jayme Holloway.
Nonprofits are strongly encouraged to participate. Startups, established firms, students and government agencies are also eligible to apply. Download the UpPrize information here.Finalists will be selected by January 2017 and an awards ceremony will take place in March 2017.

NEXTpittsburgh was happy to host the kickoff event this year and we want to thank Kate Dewey of The Forbes Funds for letting us be part of it. Also a big thanks to Ilana Diamond and Chris Millard for having so many in their cool space at AlphaLab Gear.

Kenya Boswell and Ilana Diamond.

Thanks also to Whole Foods for a fabulous buffet, and to Fuhrer Wholesale for great beer; also to Millie’s Ice Cream who wowed the crowd with their goods and East End Brewing for their Big Hop IPA. And many thanks to Liz Juchno and her crew from Revive Marketing Group for handling the event, along with the volunteers, bartenders and other workers that night who helped out so much.

Check out the photos then check out the website and get innovating!

All photos by John Colombo. 

Soya Ford with Mary C. Parker.
From left: Ryan Green, Nicole Xu and John Frazier.
Pam Eichenbaum with Marcus Jeter.
Mollie Walter and Rachel Graper.
Matt Madia with Mark Peterson, both of Bridgeway Capital.
Marcus Taylor and Jonathan Brown.
Brian Gaudio and Natalie Stewart.
Aaron Connor and Kenny Chen.
Cameron McKinley and Christian Hughes.
Ashley Paulisick with son Nolan who enjoyed the free child care provided at the event.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.