Morgan Stanley - Sustainable Investing Challenge

The Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge harnesses the power of capital markets and student creativity to create positive impact in a world of perpetual resource scarcity and continued population growth. A pitch competition for graduate students, the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge focuses on developing institutional-quality investment vehicles that seek positive environmental or social impact and competitive financial returns.

Contestants must propose and defend a strategy that uses finance and investment tools to address an environmental or societal challenge. The competition is an opportunity to apply core finance principles to target the economic, social and environmental challenges that drive the field of sustainable investing. Pitches might focus on areas like water, energy, food, social mobility, climate change, education or healthcare, among others. Contestants are encouraged to apply the entire spectrum of investment tools, styles and asset classes.

Teams of graduate students are invited to submit a two-page prospectus by February 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM CST that outlines an innovative financial vehicle that addresses a sustainability challenge and meets the requirements of an institutional investor. The portal for prospectus submissions will open on February 3, 2014. Each prospectus should appropriately address the guidelines provided. Ten finalist teams will be selected from the pool of submissions and announced by March 7, 2014. Finalists will present their proposals to a panel of judges at Morgan Stanley’s New York City headquarters on April 4, 2014. A panel of experienced investors and officers who currently manage pension funds, foundations, and institutional assets will review and judge the pitches. Judging criteria can be found here.


$15,000 in prizes will be awarded to the winning teams. Awards will be made for the overall quality of the proposals based on the judging criteria.

Overall First Place:  $10,000
Overall Runner-Up:  $5,000

If you are interested in participating and would like help in forming a team, email us at

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