Student competition seeks ethical investment proposals

Image of mountains with competition title

UO students with ideas for investments that will help address climate change are invited to submit proposals for consideration by the University of Oregon Foundation investment team as part of an upcoming symposium.

The Impact Investing Pitch Competition invites students to submit new and innovative ideas for investing endowment funds in ways that benefit society and the environment and that help solve current and future problems. Four or five ideas will be selected for presentation at an April 28 forum, “Ethical Endowments: Investing in the Age of Climate Change.”

Students interested in taking part in the competition must submit an intent to compete form by March 3. Proposals are due by April 7. See the competition website for details or send questions to ethicalinvesting@uoregon.edu.

“This is a unique opportunity to present directly to representatives of a major foundation with millions in assets,” said Steve Mital, The UO’s director of sustainability and one of the event organizers. “Our students will get first-hand experience in pitching their ideas for investment, with a very real possibility they’ll earn the interest of people who make these kinds of decisions every day.”

In particular, the foundation will be looking for ideas that can do good for the world while appropriately earning the returns that UO donors hope to see. Proposals will be judged on four categories: relevancy, thoughtfulness, feasibility and benefit.

A panel of five MBA students, overseen by UO Foundation Chief Investment Officer Jay Namyet, will select the finalists. At the forum, the finalists will pitch their ideas to the audience and Namyet.

Namyet will then work with the student panel to select an overall winner for recognition by the foundation. But it will be up to the foundation’s investment team to decide whether to pursue any of the proposals.