$1M Prize for Best Developing Country Technology Innovation

March 23, 2008 · Print This Article

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width=125Legatum Group, founded by Chris Chandler and based in Dubai, has announced today at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Half Moon Bay, California a $1 million prize for the best technology innovation from a for-profit company in the developing world. I will update this blog when they post details on how to enter.

I wanted to write this post as from all appearances, Legatum seems to be making a concerted effort to invest in long-term sustainable development in developing countries and putting their money where their mouth is. They are a sponsor to the Fortune conference here, and are mostly unheard of. Even their original company Sovereign Global, is nearly unheard of. Yet they manage over $4B in capital invested in India alone.

Legatum is the donor to the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. They invested $50M in the Center to obtain naming rights. Here is a short video I took this afternoon of Iqbal Quadir who is the founder and Director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT.

Although Dubai-based, the group is made up strictly of Westerners, mainy of whom previously worked at Chris Chandler’s Sovereign Global. They claim a 40% CAGR over the lifetime of thier original fund started in 1986. The President of Legatum, Mark Stoleson, attended Occidental College and Duke. The other chief team members attended Wharton, London Business School, Babdon, Oxford, and University of Brisbane and has worked at law firms, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and PWC.

I do wonder if most of these individuals are based at the head office in Dubai, which is slowly on its way toward challenging London and New York for the global capital headquarters. If you can find any statistics on capital under management for equity investment firms based in New York, London, Hong Kong, and Dubai please let me know.

Legatum Group is also the creators of the Africa Prize, which gave away $450,000 in 2007 to the most innovative businesses in Africa. Their philosophy is simply that for-profit businesses are more efficient at creating positive social improvement than bi-lateral foreign aid which in their Easterlyan-like view too often has created dependency.

Comments

One Response to “$1M Prize for Best Developing Country Technology Innovation”

  1. Dan on December 15th, 2009 10:36 am

    Hi,
    I came accross your site looking at some other entrepreneurship information, and wanted to say I think this is a very encouraging page. The videos are a nice touch also.

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