May 6, 2024 - Technology

Exclusive: Tech heavyweight launches philanthropy firm

Illustration of a hand with scissors cutting a ribbon in the shape of a dollar sign

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tom Kalil is launching an organization to help philanthropists support science, technology and innovation, according to an announcement shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Many innovators lack the resources to move forward with their moonshot ideas.

  • According to one 2018 study, high net worth households gave just 1.2% of their assets on average.

Driving the news: The nonprofit advisory firm, called Renaissance Philanthropy and launching Monday, will connect high net worth individuals and foundations with technologists, scientists and innovators.

  • Schmidt Future's Eric and Wendy Schmidt gave the organization an initial donation.

Catch up fast: Kalil formerly worked as Schmidt Futures' chief innovation officer and held science-related positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

  • Eric Schmidt said Kalil and he have worked on accelerating innovation in synthetic biology, neurotechnology and drug discovery.

What they're saying: Kalil told Axios he's particularly excited about AI, large datasets, simulation, and self-driving labs coming together to accelerate scientific discovery.

  • "This will allow us to diagnose patients with cancer before they are symptomatic, and develop clean energy technologies that are cheaper than coal."
Go deeper