Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neuron Disease - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Thought it had been cured by now? Still no known cause. Still no cure. Still quickly fatal. Still outrageous.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Philanthropy, Meet Venture Capital

Here is the website for the new MDA enterprise --

It's a 501(c)3 organization that will invest as a venture partner in targeted research areas.

This should spur some interesting conversations and articles on business pages. Is it really philanthropy when you want a piece of the action? Is there any other practical way to attract necessary large sums to certain diseases? Will the businesslike approach help make donated research funds be used more efficiently? Does a piece of the action taint the charity? Will this raise the level of funding to a level that will find cures quickly? Can such venture capital complement government-funded research? Can philanthropy and venture capital coexist? Can a successful investment in one therapy fund more successful investments in others?

It's a good time for the public and for journalists to look at and understand the business model and ask their questions and figure out if this is the answer. What we've been doing for the last 140 years has certainly not been the answer.

1 comment:

  1. Will there be a splintering of efforts with me-too organizations cropping up? Would that be better for the cause, or would more results come from one venture capital charity with many funding 501c3s who would want seats at the table?

    Will be tempted to invest in projects with the greatest ROI potential and perpetuate the problem of the ignored diseases with the smaller market potentials?

    It's a good day when you have a topic that spurs so many questions.