August 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 14)


Strong Points: Novel concept, great FAQs section on site, shows promise
Weak Points: In its early stages, no evidence of current fundraisers


Crowdfunding is all the rage these days, assisting entrepreneurs from various walks of life to achieve their professional goals. The people behind the startup company Dodo simply ask, what about scientists? In today’s tight funding climate, can we crowdfund biotechnology research? They believe so, and they have launched as the online portal to connect researchers and financial backers across the globe. Researchers are invited to submit their project ideas, along with a financial goal and a deadline to reach that goal (up to 90 days). Fundraising begins once Dodo’s scientific committee approves the project. If the target is reached before the deadline, the researcher is awarded that amount, minus a 5% fee collected by Dodo; if the goal is not reached, no money changes hands. It’s an interesting idea, and while Dodo is very much in its early stages, it’s worthwhile for scientists, academic institutions, and biotech corporations to start thinking about allowing researchers to seek alternative sources of funding such as this.

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