My posts up to now have been focused primarily on crowdfunding in the area of health care, and the vast majority of research-related crowdfunding campaigns to date have been natural science or technology development projects. As a social scientist, however, I am curious about the extent to which crowdfunding might be be used to support social science projects.
On the one hand, social scientific research is usually much cheaper than that in the natural science or engineering disciplines, so the impact of crowdfunding dollars on this type of work could be quite significant. On the other hand, potential donors may perceive less potential social or personal value in research that is often viewed as less rigorous and as less likely to lead to direct real-world applications, so those crowdfunding dollars may be harder to come by.
The few examples of social science campaigns on Microryza (the specialty science crowdfunding portal), however, suggest that this application of crowdfunding is quite plausible. The table below lists 22 social science projects (where the focus was on understanding more about human cognition, behavior, or society) posted on Microryza. Of the 8 campaigns that have expired, 7 met or surpassed their goal, raising an average of $6,679 per project. Given that social science research is often relatively cheap, this is encouraging.
That said, of the 4 campaigns expiring tomorrow, only one has met its goal and the other three don’t appear likely to do so. The $6,679 average is also heavily influenced by the “Gun Policy, Gun Culture & Guns across the U.S.” campaign, which raised $22,305. If we omit this campaign, the average amount raised by successful expired campaigns goes down to $4,074.
The average donation across the 7 successful expired campaigns is $96.59, and $91.38 across all 22 campaigns. These figures lie squarely in the $60-$100 range of donation size that Ethan Perlstein finds in a more general sample of successful science crowdfunding campaigns, which suggests that social scientists are not necessarily disadvantaged in the research crowdfunding sphere relative to natural scientists or engineers. Overall, while I do think that medical research projects, in particular, are likely to have an inherent advantage in the crowdfunding arena, politically relevant social science research (like the gun control project) is also likely to do quite well.
Ultimately, this data suggests that the success of social science research crowdfunding campaigns will depend primarily on the marketing savvy of the fundraisers and the details of the project itself, rather than on the broad disciplinary background of the researchers.
List of Social Science Research Crowdfunding Campaigns
Tags: anthropology, crowdfunding, economics, political science, psychology, social science, sociology
In a recent post, I provided a list of active crowdfunding campaigns that were aimed at supporting drug development and had raised at least 10% of their stated goal. In this post, I follow up on these campaigns to see how they have fared in the past 3 weeks.
Of the 12 campaigns featured in the original list, 5 campaigns (of which two have now ended) have not raised any additional funds since September 23rd, and one other has only raised an additional 1% of its funding goal in that time.
The other 6 campaigns, however, showed substantial increases in the amounts raised, ranging from 10% of the funding goal to 79% for the “I am a little mouse and I want to live longer!” campaign, which has reached its funding goal of $15,000 and has set a stretch goal of $20,000 for its remaining 6 days of fundraising.
Notably, the “Cure Black Bone Disease” campaign has raised an additional $42,000, putting it at 71% of its funding goal of $98,000 with just 3 days left in its campaign. The “Can anle138b delay the onset of genetic prion disease?” campaign, for its part, raised an additional $4,800, for a total haul of $17,217, or 215% of its funding goal.
I have also added a new entry, the “Boost Cancer Survival Rates” campaign, which has raised $67,750 of its $200,000 fundraising goal with 62 days left.
Overall, then, it’s clear that while some crowdfunding campaigns for drug development peter out after a strong start, others roar ahead to meet their funding goals. Understanding what factors drive campaign momentum and success will be an important task for the research crowdfunding community in the coming years.
Get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Science_Menu.Tags: crowdfunding, drug development, healthcare, medicine, pharmaceutical research
In a previous post, I compiled a list of healthcare-specific crowdfunding portals that included both donation-based and equity-based models. The number of campaigns to fund health research is growing rapidly on donation-based portals, particularly in the emerging set of cancer research-specific websites.
Equity-based crowdfunding campaigns to finance medical startups are more difficult to track. Many equity-based portals do not list their projects publicly, in part due to varying regulatory requirements that restrict soliciting the public for securities investments or limit participation to accredited investors. Unsurprisingly, then, the following list of health-related companies that have attempted to use equity-based crowdfunding to raise capital carries less information than the drug development campaigns list. If you know of any other campaigns, please let me know.
|Ambiotis||Ambiotis is the first Contract Research Organisation (CRO) working on the active resolution of the inflammatory process and making the proof of concept of innovative compounds.||WiSEED||Ended|
|Antabio||ANTABIO is a France-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of first-in-class molecule compounds to treat severe hospital- and community-acquired infections caused by multi- and pan-drug resistant bacterial pathogens.||WiSEED||Ended|
|Aroma Therapeutics||Aroma Therapeutics est une Biotech spécialisée dans les produits naturels pour la prévention des maladies du CNS (Système Nerveux Central) type Alzheimer.||WiSEED||Pre-Campaign|
|BioEnergetics||This professor-led, high-growth and revenue-producing CRO provides services to big pharma. Their niche is in toxicity testing at an early stage of drug development cycle using proprietary technology significantly reducing drug development costs.||BlazeFund||Pre-Campaign|
|Caviskills||CaviSkills (Lyon, France) aims to increase chemotherapeutic penetration into target cells with devices based on their patented ultrasound technology.||WiSEED||Pre-Campaign|
|Cell Guidance Systems||Cell Guidance Systems make research tools to aid stem cell scientists. Stem cells are being developed to provide treatments for diseases inc. stroke, coronary disease, diabetes and Parkinson’s.||Crowdcube||Ended|
|Destiny Pharma Limited||Destiny Pharma is an established, UK based, private pharmaceutical company which develops novel drugs to prevent and treat bacterial infections.||Crowdcube||Active|
|Intelligencia||Nous proposons aux patients des établissements de santé et aux résidents des maisons de retraites d’accéder depuis notre terminal tactile mobile, MEDICALVISION, à des services de visiophonie, Internet, informations, éducations thérapeutiques.||WiSEED||Ended|
|Log Six Systems Ltd||Log Six Ltd (LSL) has invented patentable ultrasonic based technology which could revolutionize hygiene in the healthcare and food industry with its range of products.||SquareKnot||N/A|
|Neuronax||NEURONAX is a biotechnological company developing first-in-class candidate-drugs supporting neural repair in order to treat traumatic or severe degenerative disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) and to contribute to restore neurological function, and thus to improve the quality of life of patients.||WiSEED||Ended|
|Perle Bioscience||The bioscience company is engaged in the development of new pharmaceutical compositions – and methods for reversing Type 1 and 2 Diabetes. The innovative company, founded by an expert in the field of diabletes with prior experience and success, is setting the stage for usage of a new proprietary peptide therapy for generation of new insulin producing cells – a breakthrough with the potential to benefit millions of people||BlazeFund||Active|
|SD-INNOVATION||SD Innovation fabrique et vend deux matériels d’analyse automatisés du sang (Agrégomètre et Osmocells) pour les hôpitaux, cliniques ou laboratoires.||WiSEED||Pre-Campaign|
|Urodelia||Urodelia développe des produits pour combattre le cancer en mobilisant et organisant les défenses de l’organisme||WiSEED||Ended|
|ZoVolt Ltd||ZoVolt Ltd is producing a miniature wireless ECG/Heart Rate sensor, able to send data in real time to mobile devices.||Crowdcube||Active|
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equity-based crowdfunding, healthcare, investment crowdfunding, medicine, startups