UpPrize event photo by Dave DiCello.

UpPrize has been running information sessions this week to help Pittsburghers enter their Great Solutions: Impactful Technology competition, which is accepting applications through June 21. And they’ve announced finalists for their Great Ideas competition.

Great Solutions invites entrepreneurs, researchers, startups and existing companies to show how their product or service can help support nonprofits in how they operate or help them to better serve vulnerable populations.

The product or service can be a prototype or something that already exists, but here’s the key: It must be something that can have a meaningful positive impact within a span of just 18 months.

Want to learn more? An information session is taking place tonight at 5:15 p.m. at Innovation Works, and UpPrize has a range of advice and resources for applicants posted on their website.

This competition‘s semifinalists will be announced on July 12 and will be offered pitch training, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities. Five finalists from among that group will each receive $10,000 in grants and a chance to compete for first ($150,000), second ($100,000), and third ($50,000) place prizes in August and September. Great Solutions wraps up with a showcase event and winner announcement on October 10.

In the meantime, five finalists have been announced in the Great Ideas competition. They are:

ESL Assistant: Help bring ESL programs to the digital age.

The Food Trust: Streamline Food Bucks for individuals using food stamps (SNAP benefits).

IMPULSUM: Help nonprofits measure their social impact and effectiveness.

ReEntry App: Serve as a resource hub for individuals experiencing life post-incarceration.

Virtual Vacant Property Realtor: Empower residents to acquire and rehab blighted buildings.

You can hear more about these five innovations — and find out which three will each receive $5,000 in grants and support in applying to accelerators/incubators — at the Great Ideas Showcase on June 6 at the Hill House Kaufmann Center. Register for that free event here.

Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The...