UrbanLeap, Paradox Prize partner to connect nonprofits with COVID-19-related transportation needs

April 24, 2020
The Bay Area startup and Ohio funding alliance are helping nonprofits address transportation demands by connecting them with area transit agencies that have available resources.

UrbanLeap, a Bay Area startup, and Paradox Prize, an initiative of a group of northeast Ohio funders, are partnering to help connect nonprofits with COVID-19-related mobility needs to available transportation assets.

The Paradox Prize launched in June 2019 and has awarded nearly $1 million to support mobility pilots that can improve connections for people to jobs. The overall mission of the Paradox Prize is to incentivize and inspire breakthroughs that change lives and transform northeast Ohio’s economy. The prize is supported by the Fund for Our Economic Future, the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Lozick Family Foundation, Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Foundation and DriveOhio.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has given the greenlight for transit agencies across the state to use their fleets for other purposes during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as aiding nonprofits.

UrbanLeap makes the software that has supported the mechanics of the Paradox Prize competition, and now its software is helping the Paradox Prize match nonprofits with transit agencies and other providers. The Bay Area startup works with cities and nonprofits around the world, helping local governments better understand how to fix problems.

“Connecting local agencies that are facing challenges with solution providers is at the very core of UrbanLeap,” said UrbanLeap CEO Arik Bronshtein. “We built a new product for the Paradox Prize to do its work around COVID-19. And we’re so happy to see the good that’s being done with our platform.”

Fourteen transit agencies and operators from several Ohio counties have registered on the Paradox Prize’s site so far and are offering their services to organizations with requests for senior food deliveries, transportation to and from work, and more.

“It’s hard to see communities that were already struggling get hit even harder due to COVID-19,” said Dominic Matthew, urban and regional planner for mobility innovations at the Fund for Our Economic Future. “UrbanLeap has been really helpful in setting up this new feature for us.”

Transit agencies and nonprofits with COVID-related needs are encouraged to fill out information forms on the Paradox Prize’s website as soon as possible. Fund for Our Economic Future staff is actively assisting with the matchmaking process.