Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge Announced at Fast Company Innovation Uncensored

Tech Community Pledges to Combat Gun Violence Through Incentive Challenges

Nov 06, 2013, 17:50 ET from Smart Tech Foundation

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, entrepreneur Jim Pitkow announced during a live session at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored event, an effort to engage innovators across the globe in finding technological solutions to reduce gun violence.  Through the Smart Tech Foundation, leaders in the tech industry have pledged at least $1 million in grants for the first challenge.  The challenge series will incentivize new, early stage, and experienced innovators to accelerate the development and availability of products to prevent and better respond to gun-related injuries and death.

The first of these Challenges, Smart Tech for Firearms, requests proposals that focus on technology for a firearm that reliably authorizes approved users and blocks unauthorized users.  Innovators can submit proposals at one of three stages, with a design only, a prototype of smart technology not yet applied to a firearm, or with a prototype of technology already applied to a firearm.  The Challenge provides opportunities for innovators to put their technologies to the test against rigorous standards, and to meet with investors, collaborators and experts in the process.

"Today we announced a Challenge to address gun violence through the strategic application of private sector momentum and competitive incentives," said Jim Pitkow, board member for Smart Tech Foundation. "Together we can harness entrepreneurial energy that will inspire new thinking to propel safety, social well-being, and a responsible industry forward. We believe we can solve market failures and inspire a new wave of ingenuity that can save lives."

As policy continues to stall in Washington and states across the country, Smart Tech Foundation intends to leverage technology to find free-market solutions that move our nation toward safety. The goal of the challenge is to accelerate the invention and market availability of consumer-choice technologies, prototype these new solutions and eventually scale them to market.

"Once again, our city rises to the challenge in the face of daily gun tragedies. In the spirit of creativity and innovation, entrepreneurs in our own backyard are working to reduce gun deaths by unleashing the power of the private sector," said Mayor Ed Lee.  "We look forward to working together with the Smart Tech Foundation, spearheaded right here in the City of San Francisco."

Innovation Uncensored is a full-day mash-up of talented speakers, groundbreaking ideas, and extraordinary people bringing the Fast Company editorial to life on-stage.

"Fast Company is excited to host Smart Tech Foundation for the announcement of a new challenge that approaches the issue of gun violence with fresh thinking.  Our Innovation Uncensored conference is designed to showcase the ground-breaking initiatives, like the one launched here today, that have potential to tackle social problems and help save lives," says Fast Company Magazine Editor in Chief Robert Safian.

The Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge will officially launch in January 2014. Innovators are encouraged to submit proposals at

For photos and video of today's announcement, contact Aimee Dewing at

To read the full story in Fast Company, visit:

About Smart Tech Foundation

The Smart Tech Foundation will address gun violence by conducting four innovation challenges: 1) smart and safe weapons, 2) mental health and brain science, 3) community safety, and 4) big data and predictive analytics. There is at least $1 million in grants available for each challenge, which will go directly toward innovation.

The judging panel will be comprised of technologists, investors, experts and community members who all strive to make significant progress in violence reduction through innovation and free market forces.

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the world's leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, ethical economics, leadership, and design. Fast Company and inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries and create the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, one of the U.S.'s leading media companies.

SOURCE Smart Tech Foundation