Congratulations are in order!

Over the past year, we’ve been thrilled to work with XPRIZE, supporting the amazing work they do in designing and implementing global incentive competitions to solve the world’s grandest challenges.


Over that time, Pittsburgh has further proven its success as a hub and leader of innovative and impactful technology. In just the past 3 months, we’ve received news of 9 Pittsburgh teams advancing in 3 different XPRIZE competitions:


CMU spinoff company named a finalist in $15M Global Learning XPRIZE (9/18)
Meet the 21 Semifinalists for the Women’s Safety XPRIZE Competition (11/15)
Seven Pittsburgh teams move on to to next round of AI XPRIZE (12/5)


Meet the teams and celebrate with us!

WHO: Pittsburgh’s XPRIZE teams, networks, and other interested parties
WHAT: Food, drinks, networking, and presentations (post-event at Social)
WHEN: Tues., Dec. 12, 5:30-7:30pm (program from 6:15-7:00pm)
WHERE: Ascender, 6401 Penn Ave, Floor 3


We’d like to acknowledge these teams for their impressive work.

$15M Global Learning XPRIZE Finalist:
The Global Learning XPRIZE challenges teams to develop open source and scalable software that will enable children in developing countries to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic in 15 months. 5 finalists will test their solutions in Tanzania until the competition concludes in April, 2019.

RoboTutor leverages Carnegie Mellon’s research in reading and math tutors, speech recognition and synthesis, machine learning, educational data mining, cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction, to provide digital tutors and games that help children learn to read, write, and do arirthmetic.

$1M Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE Semi-Finalist:
The Women’s Safety XPRIZE challenges teams to develop a low-cost technology that will autonomously and inconspicuously alert a network of community responders within 90 seconds. 21 semi-finalists will submit their prototypes for testing before the competition concludes in June, 2018.

Hera Global Tech uses a flexible, sensor-equipped electronic patch that can be inconspicuously placed on the body, synced with a smartphone app, and configured to automatically send a customized alert to the user’s safety circle when in danger.

$5M IBM Watson AI XPRIZE Round 2 Competitors:
The IBM Watson AI XPRIZE challenges teams to develop and demonstrate how humans can collaborate with powerful AI technologies to tackle the world’s grandest challenges. Of 59 competitors in round 2, Pittsburgh has 7 – more than any other U.S. city, and second only to Montreal as the global leader. The competition concludes with 3 finalists on the stage of TED 2020.
Wild card applications are currently open until December 20.

Behaivior uses machine learning and wearable tech to support people recovering from opioid addiction.
BlipIQ helps memory-loss patients keep track of their memories and share them with family and caretakers.
Choitek produces low-cost responsive humanoid robots to engage students in STEM education.
CleanRobotics produces TrashBot, an automated waste sorter that separates landfill waste from recyclables.
Expii combines learning algorithms with crowdsourced interactive lessons to deliver free personalized education with the aid of AI tutoring.
Marinus Analytics develops artificial intelligence tools to help law enforcement stop human trafficking and rescue victims.
SCAD AI uses a digital assistant to catalyze strategic learning by bridging the work + life continuum.


For further inquiries, please contact Kenny Chen (Ascender Program Director and XPRIZE Ambassador) at