After observing the popularity of crowdfunding among citizen scientists, New Harvest began to wonder if crowdfunding might be a helpful fundraising tool for cellular agriculture research.
We decided to experiment by doing. We used experiment.com, a crowdfunding platform for science experiments, to fundraise for a project to sequence the genome of an endangered black rhino. The project was led by Pembient, a cellular agriculture company making rhino horns, and Dr. Chuck Murray at the University of Washington.
New Harvest offered support as a fiscal sponsor, with our intern running the crowdfunding campaign as a summer project.
New Harvest helped Pembient exceed their goal of $16,500. We raised $17,292 from 181 individuals.
New Harvest concluded that the opportunity costs of crowdfunding campaigns were not suitable for the fundraising needed to advance cellular agriculture research.
August, 2015 – New Harvest disburses the funds to the University of Washington.
July, 2015 – New Harvest closes the campaign after exceeding the fundraising goal.
June, 2015 – New Harvest intern Meera Zassenhaus launches the crowdfunding campaign.
This initiative was a collaboration between New Harvest, Matthew Markus of Pembient, and Dr. Chuck Murray at the University of Washington.
New Harvest’s only role was to run the crowdfunding campaign. Beyond that, New Harvest had no involvement in the research itself.