Philanthropy Giant Takes VC Approach to Scientific Funding


Wellcome Trust, the world's second-largest foundation, is not new to the philanthropy scene. The UK-based foundation donates $1.3 billion annually to health and science causes alone. Now $332 million has been used to launch Leap Fund, a philanthropic vehicle designed to take the big "moonshots" towards major scientific breakthroughs.

We've seen this approach before: applying large sums of money to tackle problems that appear insurmountable, the thought being that great rewards require great risks. Being such a large operation, Wellcome Trust has taken this page out of the venture capital playbooks, hoping to spark new, innovative ideas. Their approach should address one of the major setbacks plaguing scientists today: having sufficient funds to complete their research.

Leap Fund will operate as a subsidiary of Wellcome Trust and be governed by an independent board. They are currently hiring for CEO and plan to start awarding grants in 2020. LEARN MORE