Fund FAQ

Our micro-VC fund invests into a broad range of solutions and companies selected through each Index Award cycle. Read more about the Fund or browse our most commonly asked questions below.

1. How do I apply?
If you’d like to be considered for potential investment, you’ll need to first nominate your design for The Index Award. Submitting a project is free and easy — all you need to do is register online and follow the prompts to nominate for the next cycle, Index Award 2021.

2. Why do you invest?
Each award cycle we receive hundreds, sometimes thousands, of nominations, which are boiled down to just five winners. But, while we believe it's important to celebrate the best, we don't believe the impact should stop there. The Index Award pipeline is an invaluable and ever-growing source of great solutions, regardless of winning status, that is ripe for investment — both human and financial. That's why we've gone beyond award-giving to invest.

3. What kind of companies do you invest in?
As The Index Award is global and diverse, so are our investments. We are stage, sector and geography agnostic — we make investments from Pre-seed to Series C round.

4. How does the process work? 
We identify investment-potential companies during each Index Award cycle. These are then vetted, based on our criteria, and final selections are made by the investment committee. Investments into each solution are made alongside leading international investors.

5. Who chooses the investments?
Potential investments are selected, from the Index Award pipeline, by the Fund Management Team and presented to our Investment Committee comprising professional angel investors, innovative family offices and private equity leaders. These are vetted and final selections are made by our Investment Committee. The process is entirely separate from The Index Award jury process. 

6. What’s your investment criteria?
Following a rules-based investment process, the Design to Improve Life Fund invests alongside VC Funds and professional investors into convertible or equity financing rounds of The Index Award pipeline. In plain English, this means:

  • We invest in companies from each Index Award cycle;
  • We co-invest alongside professional investors: 1-2 independent investors or VCs leading minimum 30% the round;
  • We aim to follow exactly the same terms as the lead investor(s);
  • We ask the potential investees to have at least a 12-month runway;
  • We invest a maximum of 10% of any given round and a maximum of 10% of the Fund.

7. What benefits do you offer in addition to funding?

  • Officially endorsing your mission;
  • Profiling you and/or your company on our media platforms with global reach — we produce original articles, video content and podcasts on a regular basis;
  • Offering sparring or mentorship on your design challenges;
  • Connecting you to like-minded peers within the global network of experts in the field, entrepreneurs, designers and investors.

8. Who are the investors?
Our DTIL Fund comprises a diverse group of passionate impact investors, inspiring industry leaders and founders both domestic and international with different backgrounds and expertise. They share a purpose-driven mindset and want to support sustainable businesses aiming to make a positive impact.

Want to know more? Email us.