Innovation Ecosystems: Greg Simon on better ways to fund pharmaceutical research

By: Eleonore Pauwels and Kunj Bhatt

How would it make you feel if we lived in a world in which one person had complete control over all of the decisions you make in life. Believe it or not, we already live in that world. Large corporations in Silicon Valley like Facebook and Google which are predominately dominated by “white elitist men” essentially have direct control over which companies and products thrive and flourish. As a result, wealth and power becomes centralized to a small, select group of people and is not spread out evenly.

This is a major issue especially in the field of synthetic biology and healthcare. Companies who may have more potential than others to make a lasting difference in the medical field may not be able to succeed and release their products due to the lack of funding.

Greg Simon addresses this issue with a simple answer; increase the diversity of investment opportunities. As the chief executive officer of Poliwogg, Greg Simon aims to democratize some of the power from Silicon Valley and give it back to the non-corporate stakeholders. The Poliwogg website contains and organizes information on small biotechnology and medical companies which are open for non-accredited investors and venture capitalists to invest in. With this information at everyone’s disposal, individuals have the opportunity to put money into certain companies or research projects that look for new cures, drugs, and treatment options that have a personal meaning or connection to them. Why shouldn’t companies have the benefit of receiving investments in smaller increments that are faster to obtain?

“Passion Capital,” what Simon calls it, allows more individuals to have power over their own decisions. As the millennium generation grows older, they will be looking for investments that they are passionate about. Poliwogg helps to assist the new generation of investors to spend money on companies and products that will have a lasting impact and will solve some of the society’s multifaceted challenges.