The $130,000 Idea Challenge

I’ve done a number of posts on my blog World Beta that detail all of the investment contests that award over $200,000 in prizes for white papers on investing.

It is interesting to see a new contest that is offering $130,000 to both students and professionals alike.  From the Origami Idea Challenge :


What Types of Ideas are We Looking For?

First, some background.

Historically, Origami has been a buyer of hard-to-sell assets and a provider of liquidity. To date, Origami has provided capital to sellers of illiquid investments who wanted money immediately; Origami’s strategy has been to wait patiently for recovery of value in these illiquid investments. That is “old news.” We want you to make the next HEADLINES. Niche is our sweet spot. Origami has sought to invest in niche areas, where few others have been investing. With these ideas in mind, we have avoided venture capital (i.e., funding a new technology or operating business),  leveraged buyouts, private lending, or outright purchases of real estate or commodities. In our view, these are areas where there are many talented, well-capitalized investors. However, we could be interested in these areas if a novel approach or circumstance yielded a competitive  advantage.

We like different, unconventional, and “crazy” ideas. Origami’s current investment focus, purchasing secondary interests in hedge funds, was an application of an old idea (secondary purchases) to a new area (hedge funds). There may be other opportunities to apply old ideas to new  areas, new ideas to pre-existing strategies, or completely new ideas involving new markets. Typically, a good idea should solve a legitimate problem. Also, some of the most successful investment strategies historically have involved a key insight about the macroeconomic environment.

Below Are Some Helpful Idea Guidelines:

So What’s The Big Idea (Specifically?)

1. Broadly defined, the investment opportunity should be large enough to absorb $100 million of capital and last at least a year. Investments can include any asset class or geographical location.

2. We are seeking repeatable types of investments, as opposed to a specific asset purchase opportunity that will change quickly. For example, we would consider buying properties from the Resolution Trust Company in 1989 to be a strategy, (great idea!) but buying a specific public stock at today’s price as a one- time “trade”(too specific).

To enter fill out the registration page on:

About OrigamiOrigami Capital Partners is a Chicago-based investment firm with committed capital of $680 million. The firm, which was founded in 2008, specializes in innovative, niche investment strategies. To date, Origami has been one of the largest buyers of secondary interests in hedge funds, having acquired interests with a net asset value of more than $1.3 billion. Origami is structured as a private equity fund with capital that is committed for up to nine years. Consequently, it is able to help identify unusual but significant market opportunities that require a number of years to come to fruition. Origami’s principals, Thomas Elden and Jeff Young, also serve on the panel of judges for the Origami Idea Challenge.