Social-Impact Investment

Pitch Competition

To best address the most vexing social problems facing our region, we need a wide range of solutions from our best thinkers. The Richard King Mellon Foundation invested in novel products, technologies, or services from social-mission oriented for-profit companies through our Pitch Competition. 

The Foundation’s Pitch Competition was announced July 14, 2021, The three winners, and the 13 other companies that won Foundation investments, were announced Jan. 26, 2022. 

Pitched ideas had to align with the Foundation’s program areas in Economic Development, Economic Mobility, Health and Well-Being, or Conservation.

Winning ideas received the following investments:

First Prize: $500,000

Second Prize: $300,000

Third Prize: $250,000

Pitch Competition applicants who did not win one of the three prizes were considered for investment through the Foundation's Social-Impact Investment Program

To accelerate the impact and effectiveness of the pitch competition, the Foundation partnered with three expert national and local organizations: The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, in Menlo Park, California and Boston, one of the largest venture philanthropy firms in the world; OneValley, the Silicon Valley-based global entrepreneurship platform that just set up shop in Pittsburgh, operating out of the newly renovated historic Roundhouse Building in Hazelwood Green; and OneValley’s local partner and longtime Richard King Mellon grantee, Ascender.

Here is a list of the expert national and local judges who advised the Foundation in selecting the winners.

Pitch Competition Results

Click below to view the results from the Social-Impact Investment Pitch Competition.