Rob Katz

SEVEN Fund Offers $50K to Spur Investment Indicator Discussion

Editor’s note: I received this e-mail over the weekend, announcing a unique base of the pyramid sector competition.? Read on for details.

The Social Equity Venture Fund (SEVEN Fund) has recently launched the VINE (Virtual Integrated Networking Experience) Competition. The unique competition, open to all, merges the world of commercial financial investment with open innovation to promote a broader free flow of ideas for investment in emerging market small and medium sized enterprises.This online competition asks participants to answer the following question in 750 words or less: “What indicators can outside investors measure to help them predict the potential success of emerging market SMEs?” A $50,000 prize will be shared among all those who contribute to the winning idea, starting with the originator and continuing to contributors or nodes along the two-phased “vine.”? This competition is the next step in SEVEN’s efforts to accelerate the rate of innovation in the area of enterprise solutions to poverty. ?

Getting involved is simple.? SEVEN is accepting submissions through its website between July 15 and November 15th.? The online competition invites anyone with ideas to submit, collaborate, and refine them. Once complete, SEVEN hopes to evaluate, develop, and publicly release a set of metrics that can be used to help improve investor confidence and stimulate investment in promising emerging market SMEs. To participate, contributors can view more information about the competition and submit their ideas at

The first phase of the competition will remain open until November 15, with the second phase of wiki-based collaboration taking place between November 16 and December 15 at the VINE Project’s Web-based wiki which will be made publicly available in November. The online VINE community will select finalists and a jury of experts will award the grand prize. The winner will be announced in January 2009.