Market Square, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Ronald Woan’s photostream

Are you a local entrepreneur? Do you have a local for-profit/non-profit organization, a startup, or a small business? Most important, can you come up with a high-quality, innovative approach to activating spaces in Downtown Pittsburgh?

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) — supported by the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania and assisted by Innovation Works — has launched a pilot program called BetaBurgh. This program seeks proposals that are innovative and creative and that focus on the activation of public spaces in Downtown. Projects can be conceptual ideas or adaptions of products that are already under development, but they need to promote community engagement.


DSC08970, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from ccbarr’s photostream

And for your efforts? BetaBurgh will award grants of up to $10,000 for concepts and ideas that fit the bill!

From Next Pittsburgh:

[Projects] might include some piece of tech that interacts with pedestrians, or an idea for new infrastructure, or even a new business doing something cool.

“We’re thinking not just about tech companies, but about retail, mom and pop businesses, anyone with a plan for the underserved communities, or want to connect with individuals that live and work Downtown,” says PDP president and CEO Jeremy Waldrup. “Whatever the idea is, come Downtown and let us help you workshop it.”

There will be an information session on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership office (925 Liberty Avenue, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222). To attend, you’ll need to RSVP Becky Thactcher, PDP Business Development and Research Manager, by e-mailing with your name, company, phone, and e-mail address.

If you are ready to take on the challenge to “engage with and enhance” the Downtown Pittsburgh experience, the project timeline is as follows:

  • Information Session: February 9, 2016 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Proposal Deadline: February 18, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Committee Review: February 23, 2016
  • Applicants Notified: February 25, 2016
  • Committee Presentations: March 1, 2016
  • Notification of Awards: March 3, 2016
  • Awardees presented at PDP Annual Meeting: March 15, 2016

You can find out more information on PDP’s BetaBurgh page here, including links to the RFP, an online application, FAQs, and project examples.