Crowdfunding has been a godsend for getting lots of projects off the ground that otherwise may not have attracted dollars from traditional powers-that-be in retail manufacturing, music, movies, and the like. So at a time when the federal dollars that typically fund medical research are under more constraint than ever, doesn’t it make sense to bring that same model that has worked so well for wristwatches and rock albums to work for curing breast cancer and new methods for lung transplants?
That’s what Molly Lindquist believes, so she founded a non-profit organization called Consano for allowing people to browse through vetted medical research projects at select universities and research institutions, and then contribute funding directly to the ones they find compelling.
It’s a fascinating model that could really shake things up and help to empower individual scientists. So we invited the Portland, Oregon-based Lindquist to come by the TechCrunch TV studio when she was in San Francisco recently to tell us all about it.
Lindquist told us that herself is a breast cancer survivor, so the roots of Consano come from a very personal place. She realized when she was diagnosed that she wanted a way to provide direct funding to research about the specific gene that may have triggered her ailment, which is the same gene her two young daughters also carry. Organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure are wonderful for getting the word out about breast cancer and funding general research, but Lindquist also wanted a way to provide direct support to projects herself. After lots of discussions with medical professionals and research institutions, Consano was born.
Please watch the video above to see what the site looks like and hear more about Consano’s beginnings and plans for the future.