Startup founders that despair over their ventures going nowhere after several rounds of funding it seems can take a leaf out of activist disease foundations. These are foundations that operate with speed and urgency and a business model completely unlike the traditional foundation model, where funds that get raised often become the ends instead of the means.
Of all this valiant initiatives, the outcome has been disparagingly insignificant. To cite an obvious hurdle, it takes years to discover what is to be discovered. That explains why disruptive innovations that most startup founders go after still elude them. They set a goal and then wend their way into it; something that is not as it should be, going by the experience of these enormously funded foundations.
The “spray and pray” model will have to be replaced by more targeted model. What could be that? Lay down a goal and find a team that can get past it. Why can’t VCs be ideators? Would it not save them the wasteful exercise of screening? One look at these foundations reveal that self-interest is a great starting point – in that some celebrity or her close relative suffers from a disease – if not the raison detre. Michael J Fox, Actor and Chairman, Parkinson’s Disease foundation says “the goal is to go out of business”. The foundations don’t want to exist forever, they would love to move on, go out of business as soon as the cure is found. The startups can certainly stay in business, but the fierce commitment in pursuit of the goal can certainly be loaned from the foundations.