A new crowdfunding platform site called Microryza has started funneling cash to dozens of high-risk scientific research programs, including a number of drug development efforts that would otherwise never see the light of day.
Microryza’s co-founder, Cindy Wu, came up with the idea of a Kickstarter-type site for science projects after finding out she had no hope of getting a grant from the NIH to support her work on an anthrax treatment. She ended up getting the money after pitching it at a lab meeting but wanted to do something for the many other drug researchers in the same beached boat.
“I was so lucky,” Wu told TechCrunch last month. “But I realized there are so many other undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members that would never be able to get funding,” she said. “I talked to 100 different scientists and found that all of them had high-risk ideas, but they never wrote proposals because they didn’t think it would go through.”