A startup aimed at supporting early-stage research, iAMscientist launched its website Tuesday aiming to offer not only a source of donations for scientists, but a community of peers to provide advice and career development.
Claude Sheer, CEO of the Bedford-based company, said he intends the site to be to science what fundraising site Kickstarter is to the arts: a platform where researchers can post projects which donors can browse and commit small amounts of money (as low as $10) in exchange for tokens of gratitude. Project types are broken down into areas like physics, computers and life sciences, and the rewards for donors range from an email of thanks to – depending on the project -a watch, a signed book or an option on a patent.
The company serves to fill a fundraising gap for amounts too small for larger granting organizations, like the National Institutes of Health, he said.
“If you’re a researcher working on a novel idea that needs $20,000, you’re not likely to get it,” said Sheer.
He said the idea is similar to the website Petridish.org, in that both raise money for research, but he said the aim is for iAMscientist to focus on more meaningful research aimed at specific data.
“A lot of what’s on Petridish is what I’d call ‘popular science,’” he said, adding that while he believes Petridish serves an important function, “we want this for researchers doing real and valuable work.”
[via Mass High Tech]