August 30th, 2013
Wisdom (and health) of the crowd: Portland’s Consano is changing the way medical research is funded with crowdfunding
The concept of crowdfunding has changed—or utterly disrupted—any number of industries. But what about healthcare? Can taking medical research funding to the crowd prove to be a viable means of changing the industry? Portland’s Consano is convinced it can be.
And people are starting to take notice. Like Fast Company.
After a conversation with friends at a Memorial Day barbecue in 2012, Lindquist came up with Consano, a crowd-funding platform for medical research. The site currently lists eight projects from three institutions–OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, in Oregon, University of California, San Francisco, and UW Medicine, in Seattle–and allows people to make donations directly to research endeavors. Like on Kickstarter, they also get feedback on progress.
“It’s a great way to keep donors up to date, but in a very seamless and easy way, given that researchers are already super-crunched for time,” she says. The scientists just have to enter a little summary of the work, and the site updates all the people who’ve given money.