The following criteria are applicable to both the first and final rounds of the competition:
Creativity & Financial Innovation (25%)
- Has the team proposed an innovative investment vehicle that is designed to drive both returns and impact? We are looking for either:
- An innovative financial structure or
- A known investment approach applied creatively to a problem previously outside the scope or reach of a social or environmental challenge
- What’s interesting about this project? Is it just like a dozen others or truly innovative?
- Does the proposal have a unique capital structure, e.g., including different forms of capital, employing diverse types of institutional investors?
- Does the proposal uncover new ways to drive returns, a new asset class, or a new cash flow or value stream?
Impact and scale (25%)
- Does this provide a scalable solution that can mobilize sufficient capital and forge significant environmental or human impact?
- Are there specific metrics for impact? Is the impact real and persistent?
- Does the impact derived from the proposed approach stem from the financial levers rather than ancillary charitable remains?
- Has the team demonstrated diligence in defining and projecting impact to be derived?
- Does the investment thesis seem plausible?
- Are there real sources of risk-adjusted market rate returns here? (even if considering a gestation period with concessionary returns)
- Could you see institutional investors responding to and funding this?
- Was the thesis thoroughly researched and is there strong evidence of financial depth that incorporates the overall economy?
Quality of due diligence and financials (20%)
- How thorough and deep is the research on the thesis?
- Do the returns and cash flow projections hold water? Has the team demonstrated strong financial logic and validity of key financial assumptions?
- Have the key investment questions relating to returns, asset quality, underwriting, and risk management (both market-based and non-market) been identified and addressed?
- Does the team have the skills needed to execute? Have they defined the skills needed on the investment team?
- Are the proposed fees and incentives reasonable?
- Has the team been clear, compelling, and concise with their proposal?
- For the final event: Have all team members participated in either the original presentation or Q&A?