The UpPrize Social Innovation Challenge engages the community in producing innovative solutions to meet the critical needs of our region’s nonprofits and people. In its second year, UpPrize is the most significantly capitalized social innovation competition focused on improving the quality of life for residents in Southwestern PA. The challenge is organized by The Forbes Funds in collaboration with BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Bridgeway Capital, Comcast Business, UPMC and NEXTpittsburgh. After this cycle, approximately $1 million will have been invested in sustainable solutions proposed by local entrepreneurs and nonprofits.
During the final two weeks of this cycle, we are publishing short spotlight interviews with each of the finalist teams. Our next spotlight features Rubitection. Interview responses provided by Dr. Sanna Gaspard, CEO of Rubitection.
Why did you apply to UpPrize?
I liked the mission to help others and to support nonprofits in a diverse area including food and healthcare.
How did you develop your idea? How will it impact the lives of vulnerable populations in Western PA?
I begun working on the technology at Carnegie Mellon where I learned about this horrible condition, its impact on patients, and its high cost to the healthcare system.
What have you learned about yourself or your team as a result of the process?
I have learned many things. Being a finalist helped validate the potential impact we could have and provided additional motivation to get the work done. I learned how to present myself to the media to deliver a particular message. I learned that is good to ask for help.
What advice do you have for anyone considering applying to UpPrize?
Do it! Its a great experience and can help make great connections in the Pittsburgh area that can help you grow your business and reach your goals.
Where can people learn more about your idea?
Anything you'd like to add?
I have enjoyed my interactions [and the] events at UpPrize. I think the team has done a wonderful job and are very professional. I am very happy I applied to UpPrize and think it has been a wonderful experience to help me grow my business, build my network, and grow in confidence.