Group of Billionaires & Prominent Investors form Fast Start to Fund COVID-19 Research: Delayed due to Demand

Group of Billionaires & Prominent Investors form Fast Start to Fund COVID-19 Research Delayed due to Demand

A group of wealthy entrepreneurs have formed a funding pool targeting COVID-19 research projects all across the U.S. and beyond—committing $22 million. The diverse group of funders pooled their resources and solicited so-called “Fast Grants” proposals back in April, offering to evaluate proposals within 48 hours and send the money literally within weeks. At UC Berkeley alone, seven researchers received an injection of $2.2 million focusing on new diagnostic and drug treatments for SARS-CoV-2, the infection behind COVID-19.

Fast Grants

The funders seek researchers currently working on a COVID-19 related study. Do you need funding? Why not give Fast Grants a try? They offer grants from $10K to $500K and decisions within 48 hours!

Inundated and Delayed—Slow Down!

Well, there was the good intentions and then the reality of the magnitude of the current COVID-19 research apparatus in America—it is frankly massive. Hence, because Fast Grants, as well intentioned and serious as can be imagined, received so many qualified proposals they have struggled to keep up with the demand, hence a pause in their ability to respond, review and finalize any decisions. 

Waiting List

Fast Grants established a waiting list for those that seek to be notified once they reopen applications. See the link.

Who is Eligible?

Researchers must have the following checked off:

  • PI at academic institution
  • Existing COVID-19 project—funding could help within 6 months
  • Need additional funds
  • Available for outside U.S.

The Funders

The backers include Arnold VenturesJohn Collison (Stripe), Patrick Collison (Stripe), CrankstartEmerson CollectiveKim and Scott Farquhar (Atlassian), Paul Graham (Y Combinator) Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), Fiona McKean and Tobias Lütke (Shopify) Yuri and Julia Milner (Digital Sky) Elon Musk (Tesla), Chris and Crystal SaccaSchmidt Ventures (Google) and others. AWS also contributes compute credits to the cause.

Call to Action: Interested in learning more? See their website here.