We had a great meeting with Peter Singer and the team atÂ Grand Challenges Canada. They have a great pipeline of opportunities in health innovations for the developing world that are in need of funding and mentoring. Of roughly 600 applicants, they select 120 finalists who can receive $100k grants to develop and market their innovations. A subset of these will qualify for follow-on funding. Their key grand challenges are:
A fifth, still in development, is Strengthening Health Enterprises. Modelled on the Oxford Lotus program and sharing lots in common with one of our heroes, theÂ Acumen Fund, we see this as a great opportunity to get involved with social VC (the patient Venture Capital kind… not the Silicon Valley Vulture Capital variety!).
We’re looking at various ways to get involved, from being a part of the selection committee to meeting the finalists at the World’s Fair in July 2012 in the Development Exchange. Some finalists who are not ready to put $100k to work right away may benefit from a smaller investment by the Madiro Fund and some help to advance the idea.