Guidelines & FAQs

Initial Eligibility Guidelines

UpPrize accepts ideas and solutions that will improve nonprofit service delivery and/or the lives of vulnerable populations in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Eligibility. To be eligible to apply:

  • You must be 18 years old or older.
  • The submitting nonprofit, business or individual must be based in one of these counties in Pennsylvania: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington or Westmoreland.
  • You must not have been a Finalist (received a $10,000 grant) in last year’s competition.
  • You must ensure that your participation does not violate employer’s policies or procedures, or any other third-party rights or obligations (e.g. noncompetition agreements).
  • You, and your immediate family members, must not be employed or affiliated with BNY Mellon (UpPrize sponsor), or The Forbes Funds (that’s us), or any of their/our parent and affiliate companies.




Should I apply to the Great Ideas Competition or Great Solutions Competition?

If you’re just generating your idea or have done research on it for a while but haven’t developed it, then you belong in the Great Ideas Competition.

If you have a proof-of-concept, prototype, or an existing solution you’re looking to pivot to the nonprofit market, you should apply to the Great Solutions Competition.

Still not sure? Take our quick assessment or contact us directly.

I have many ideas. Can I submit multiple applications?

No. You may only submit one application with one idea.

What do you mean by “ideas and solutions that will improve nonprofit service delivery”?

Your idea/solution can help nonprofits save on costs and/or complete tasks more efficiently (like BlastPoint and Application Verification).

What is considered a vulnerable/marginalized population?

This population may include but may not be limited to economically disadvantaged, racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured, low-income children, the elderly, the homeless, those with health conditions, including severe mental illness.

I’m not sure whether my idea/solution fits the UpPrize scope. Is there a way I can be more certain?

Contact us!

I am a nonprofit/for-profit/b-corp entity. Can I still apply?

Yes. We welcome ideas from the individual to an organizational level as long as they fit within the scope of the competition.


Can I get a copy of the application questions before I fill out the application?

Here is the application for the Great Ideas Competition!

I need help using the F6S platform.

Check out our resource page for assistance. If you still need some help, let us know.

Benefits of using the F6S platform.

By applying on F6S you gain access to accelerator and incubators all over the world and can apply to multiple accelerators and incubators at once. Qualified applicants can also become eligible for exclusive deals and access to startup events.

Can I save a draft of my application and return to it later?

When using F6S, our application platform, your answers are automatically saved.

Is a video with my submission required?

A video is not required but is highly recommended. It can be shot on a phone or any device most accessible to you; it does not have to be a professional production.

What are you looking for in a video submission?

Your video should be no longer than 60 seconds in length and should focus on showing us your idea/solution. If you don’t have a video already, create a YouTube account to upload your video and share the link on application. We only accept YouTube video links. If you aren’t tech-savvy, instructions are available on our resources page

How do I make sure my application is successfully submitted?

You will receive a confirmation email. Check your spam folder in case it is hiding there.

I submitted my application. What now?

Fantastic! We are excited to review it. We will reach out if we require any additional information and will announce those who moved forward in the competition per the timeline on the website.


Who will be judging my application?

Applications will be reviewed by a panel comprised of members of the UpPrize team and our partner, BNY Mellon Foundation of southwestern Pennsylvania.  Those who proceed will take part in a pitch event judged by local subject matter experts in social innovation, start-ups and technology.

I’ve never pitched before. Should I not apply?

Apply! We provide pitch training.

Will there be additional documents required for semi-finalists/finalists?

Great Solutions Competition finalists will be required to submit a lean startup business plan. Don’t know how to write one? We will be offering a couple of classes as part of our Education Series.