CU*Answers Awards $10,000 in its First Investment Grant Program

At its 2011 CEO Roundtable Event, CU*Answers and credit union CEOs participated in the 1st Annual Investment Grant Program. Leading up to the event, credit unions were encouraged to vie for the grant by providing Randy Karnes, CEO CU*Answers, and the CU*Answers board of directors with a synopsis of an innovative idea they might have, but for which they lacked proper funding. Of the entries, five finalists were selected to present their investment opportunity to their peers at the 2011 CEO Roundtable Event, hosted by CU*Answers.

CU*Answers said that after each credit union presented their investment opportunity to their fellow CEOs, a selection committee composed of credit union CEOs then gathered to distribute $10,000 in grant funds. Finalists were judged by the following criteria:

  1. Does the business idea clearly answer a need in the marketplace? Or if the need is already being met by a competitor, does your idea do it cheaper or in a more clever way?
  2. Show how a network of your peers might share your idea, or copy your idea for their institution, or participate in your idea and the business you are thinking about starting
  3. Since most great businesses are built on better execution of an existing idea, how could our network help you improve on the execution of your idea, even if it’s not a new idea?
  4. How do you intend to show how the grant was used and how it affected your CU at next year’s CEO Roundtable?

CU*Answers said that all five credit unions received grant funds after the judges met, and has asked its credit union CEOs to think about how this exciting new Investment Grant Program might work differently if the grant was for $100,000 instead.