USAID DIV Stage I - Pilot/Proof of Concept's Logo
World Map
Latin America; Middle East / North Africa; Subsaharan Africa; India; Southeast Asia; Central Asia

USAID DIV Stage I - Pilot/Proof of Concept Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) is an innovation fund within USAID that sources, tests, and supports the growth of proven, cost-effective interventions.

Biz. Plan Comp / Contest; Government; International Development Agency / Development Finance Institution; Investment Fund



DIV selects investments through a year-round innovation competition that is open to ideas in any country and sector, from any type of organization or individual, and at any period of growth from early stage to scale.

Stage 1 funding of up to $150,000 supports the introduction of a solution in a developing country context to gain an early, real-world assessment of the solution.

DIV looks for compelling new development solutions in a year-round competition, rigorously tests them, and helps scale those that are proven successful to reach millions of beneficiaries around the world. The DIV competition accepts proposals from anyone, anywhere; in any sector and any country; at any stage of growth; and any day of the year.

DIV is interested in innovations that are expected to lead to transformative (as opposed to incremental) improvements that could ultimately scale across multiple developing countries and, ideally, multiple sectors in these countries. DIV recognizes that development breakthroughs can come from anywhere—a lab in a university, a local organization, or a passionate entrepreneur. Solutions range from new technologies and new service-delivery practices to novel or more cost-effective variations on existing practices. Innovations are expected to eventually scale up through the private sector, the public sector, or a combination of the two in order to reach sustainability without DIV support.

Drawing inspiration from product development enterprises, DIV invests in ideas across different stages of their development from proof-of-concept to widespread use. Applicants can apply to any stage:

Stage 1: establishes proof of concept and initial testing

Stage 2: tests solutions and positions them for scale (stage 1 criteria previously met with DIV or other support sources)

Stage 3: transitions proven solutions to scale (criteria of stages 1 and 2 previously met with DIV or other support sources)


Provides direct investment


$1,000 - $150,000




Agriculture; Arts, Culture, Handicrafts; Civic Participation; Clean and Green Technology; Communications / Media / ICT; Disabilities; Disaster Recovery; Distribution / Supply Chain; Education; Employment, Livelihood, Income Generation; Energy; Enterprise Development, SME; Environment, Climate Change; Fair Trade, Organic Products; Financial Serv./Inclusion, Microfinance; Food and Nutrition; Health; Housing, Shelter, Homelessness; Mobile; Natural Resources / Conservation; Peace and Security; Sanitation, Waste Management; Tech; Training, Technical Assistance Services; Water; Web, SaaS, Online Tech; Women, Girls


  • 3) Prototype/ Pilot
  • 4) Early Customer Traction, Revenue
  • 5) Starting to See Strong Revenue Traction
  • 6) Solidifying Operations
  • 7) Rapid Growth
  • 8) Exit or Mature Business

social vs. financial return preference

  • 3: Balanced

Types of entities

  • For Profit
  • Non-Profit
  • Hybrid
  • Other

providing funding for these regions

  • Latin America
  • Middle East / North Africa
  • Subsaharan Africa
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
  • Central Asia

funding types

  • Grants / Donations