The Most Radical Crowdfunding Experiment Yet

By Ben Schott, on Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Editor’s Note: Wayne and Matt are presenting at a big investing conference this week in Southern California:

While they’re busy spreading the equity crowdfunding gospel, our Publisher has offered to step in and share the below opportunity with you. Enjoy. 

We have a motto around here:

Try to do well… but always do good.

“Doing well” includes making 500% returns by investing in private companies.

“Doing good” includes helping fund research to cure disease.

Today, we’ll show you a fascinating new business you can invest in:

It’s helping people do good – and has figured out a way to do well at the same time.

Funding for Scientific Research “Bites”

In Africa, nearly 3,000 children die every day from mosquito-borne malaria.

Recently, a group of scientists discovered a potential solution:

Using the same chemicals that cause stinky feet, they trapped the mosquitoes before they could inflict damage.

To complete their research, the scientists sought government grants, but their applications were rejected.

That’s when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation stepped in.

With funding in hand, the scientists turned their research into a device – and it’s lowered malaria rates by 400%, and saved the lives of tens of thousands of children.

Fighting for Funding

To get their research projects funded, scientists fight an uphill battle.

Many of them spend three months of each year writing grant proposals…

And 80% of these grants will be rejected.

To solve this problem, a new company came up with a novel idea:

Just like equity crowdfunding platforms connect start-ups with investors, why not create a platform to connect interested individuals with scientists?

A Worthy Experiment

The company is called Experiment.

It’s a place where scientists can tap the crowd to fund their research.

If you browse Experiment’s offerings, you’ll see a wide variety of projects.

One group is studying new treatments for cancer…

Another group wants to study whether prosthetic legs are possible for horses…

Yet another seeks to leverage 3D printing technology to improve water purification.

Experiment has already listed more than 3,000 projects, 200 of which have been successfully funded.

To make money, they receive a 5% commission on funded projects.

The Joy of Giving

To be clear, when someone contributes to a project on Experiment, they’re acting as a patron, not an investor.

Instead of a financial return, Experiment hopes to offer us a sense of excitement, and a sense of being part of a shared project for the better good.

From their website:

“The average age in mission control was 26 when we put a man on the moon. Hundreds of thousands of Americans contributed to the effort and a half-billion people watched the first step. Experiment is a crowdfunding startup with a mission to bring that same sense of excitement to the science research each one of us cares about.”

Experiment also offers a way for each of us to contribute to causes that are most important to us.

For example, since losing my mother to cancer in 2007, it never ceases to disappoint me that – with all of our brilliant scientists and all of their groundbreaking work – there’s still no cure for some of the world’s most common killers.

I’ve donated to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation – but I’d love to know exactly how my donations have pushed the cause forward.

That’s one of the great features of Experiment:

Once you contribute to a project, Experiment facilitates open communication between donors and researchers.

In other words, if I donate to a group of scientists working on a novel treatment for cancer, I’ll receive progress updates directly from the researchers.

That’s pretty cool.

But there’s another angle here as well: Experiment might also make for an attractive investment

An All-Star Cast

Experiment is currently raising money to grow its business.

It’s raising money on WeFunder, one of the high-quality equity crowdfunding platforms we cover here at Crowdability.

If you’re accredited, you can invest in the company right now – and you’d be investing alongside heavy hitters like Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, and 500 Startups founder Dave McClure.

Have You Ever Wondered…

Like me, perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering: “If human beings can walk on the moon, how is it that we haven’t found a cure for __________?”

Experiment offers an innovative new way for us to get involved in the solution.

And in the meantime, the company might also offer us a way to do good.

Happy investing!

Remember, Crowdability has no financial relationship with either WeFunder or Experiment.

Best Regards,
Ben Schott
Ben Schott
Publisher
Crowdability.com

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Tags: 500 Startups Dave Mcclure

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