The Kuzneski Innovation Cup is a part of the Pitt Ventures Student Challenge and is sponsored by Andrew and Laurie Kuzneski, and is for University of Pittsburgh students who are developing innovations that can positively impact people’s lives in areas other than healthcare. (Students with healthcare related innovations should apply to the Michael G. Wells Competition.)

Andrew and Laurie Kuzneski

The students (individually or as a team) compete for the $15,000 Kuzneski Innovation Cup to help move their idea towards commercialization. A $7,500 second place and $5,000 third place awards will also be given. All finalists will also promote their innovations at the Innovation Showcase hosted by the Innovation Institute, each October. 

The 2017 Kuzneski Innovation Cup was awarded to the team PneuMobility, which developed a wheelchair powered with compressed air that is lighter than electric-powered chairs and is waterproof.

Second place was awarded to Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), which is a statistical modeling platform that supports decision making and forecasting based on dynamic human interactions.

Third place was awarded to Slideshow Presentation Access with Real-time Communication (SPARC), which has developed technology to make presentations accessible to visually impaired people.

The winners for 2019 will be announced at the Innovation Showcase in October 2020.

The Innovation Showcase provides University innovators the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, regional economic development representatives, local business executives and Pitt alumni.


  • University of Pittsburgh students (undergraduate and graduate) working on Pitt technology or new idea
  • Possess an idea that could change the world
  • Interested in learning about starting a business

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