Funding for science and research is hard to come by, yet these discoveries made through research projects and lab experiments can revolutionize industries and make the world a better place. Enter Petridish, which is a crowdfunding platform for science that plans to transform the way research is funded. On Petridish, science-lovers can connect directly with researchers to help them launch new projects.
On Petridish, researchers can post materials about themselves and their research, and the public can discover projects that are exciting to them. In exchange for contributing to the project, backers receive insider updates on the research, naming rights to new discoveries, and other souvenirs from the work.
For example, one of the scientists on the site is offering naming rights to new species of animals. Disciplines of projects include those centered around biology, ecology, geology, astronomy and more. Scientists can apply to be listed on the site, but co-founder Matt Salzberg tells us that Petridish really wants to put the decision-making process in the greater community.
Similar to other crowdfunding sites, backers don’t get equity but will receive other benefits in exchange for participating in the project. For example, one project on the site will acknowledge backers in journal articles, arrange visits to field sites, or naming rights. For each transaction, Petridish will take 5 percent of the donation. Projects will only be funded if they reach their goal before the deadline set by the researcher.
Petridish is the brainchild of Ilia Papas and Salzberg. Prior to founding Petridish, Salzberg was a senior associate at Bessemer Venture Partners.