December 3, 2011

Breakout Labs: another funding model

In a previous post, I discussed the potential of small-scale (e.g. peer-to-peer) science funding. One very recent development in alternative funding has been the founding of Breakout Labs, funded by PayPal founder Peter Theil.

Breakout Labs specializes in funding high-risk, early-stage science. These are project too risky for the major funding agencies (e.g. NIH, NSF) and too formative for venture capital investments. One area that could benefit from this model is so-called "entrepreneurial" science, which is not immediately profitable but may lead to innovations down the road. This is a "blind spot" in current science funding models. Due to the high degree of risk inherent in these early-stage projects, a funding model that provides support first and expects a rate of return on investment later is critical. If you are interested in applying for funding, see the Breakout Labs website for more details.

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