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BNY Mellon and the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania Launch $1 Million Social Innovation Challenge

Partnering with The Forbes Funds to help Pittsburgh-area nonprofits identify technology solutions to social challenges

BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, together with the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, has launched a $1 million social innovation challenge that will help nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania solve critical social challenges and crowdsource technical solutions. 

As part of the program, BNY Mellon and the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania have partnered with The Forbes Funds to develop a platform that links nonprofits with the private sector to create break-through innovations that advance critical social missions.

Nonprofits, university researchers and other stakeholders will work with The Forbes Funds to identify shared community challenges that could benefit significantly from technological innovation. Local entrepreneurs and for-profit companies will then be invited to develop and submit innovative solutions for the defined challenge areas through a competitive process, where top submissions will be pitched to a panel of judges that includes experienced investors. The winning concepts will be advanced through a process that will include funding, product development and business incubation partnerships for design, prototyping and deployment to regional nonprofits and the broader market.

"Too often, our nonprofit partners don't have access to the same innovation that drives improved outcomes in nearly every other industry," said James P. McDonald, BNY Mellon's director of global philanthropy and president of the Foundation. "Through this program, we want to level the playing field and build a new platform for private sector innovation that can have measurable social impact."

"More than ever, nonprofits are rethinking their approaches to some of these most complex community challenges," said Kate Dewey, president of The Forbes Funds. "At the same time, we've seen an extraordinary growth in for-profit entrepreneurs that measure their success by both financial and social impact."

"Pittsburgh has all the components to lead the world in developing innovation that solves major world challenges," said Matt Zieger, Executive in Residence for Social Innovation and former President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Foundation, Team Pennsylvania Foundation. "The game changer with this project is BNY Mellon's investment and commitment to accelerating ideas to market, and we hope ultimately to substantial scale." Zieger will be leading the initiative for The Forbes Funds.