The Solution

How We Bridge Preeminent Innovators with Silicon Valley


Silicon Valley’s core investment philosophy is “bet on founders.” Research Bridge Partners takes that philosophy and extends it to midcontinent university scientists: we bet on the labs and the scientists who have or will co-found the company. That’s why Research Bridge Partners developed the most comprehensive national database of academic researchers and invented analytics to identify the less than 1% of academic researchers whose research can lead to pivotal advancements and who can be serial co-founders of successful science-based startups.

Our proprietary analytics study factors ranging from the volume and velocity of an innovator’s published research to the unconventionality of the research itself. This lets us create a fingerprint reflecting the researcher’s unique approach to science.

Once we find these researchers, we position them to succeed by giving them the same support that they would have if they were located in one of the deep, liquid commercialization markets on the coasts. Trying to do everything locally – as some university- and regionally-focused initiatives endeavor – inevitably hamstrings the researchers’ prospects for success, due to thin commercial networks and the inability to configure the market incentives downstream investors require.

At the center of our model is translational philanthropy – a new form of philanthropy that supports the labs and researchers and absorbs the search and transaction costs of mid-continent innovation, while retaining the necessary incentives and market structures. This means that we can advance an innovator’s economic and societal objectives by bridging her startup with the best business talent and the smartest downstream capital.

Our approach is informed by the experiences of our co-founders: Isaac Barchas, who has deep roots in mid-continent translational research, and Reid Hoffman, who has successfully scaled Silicon Valley startups for decades.

Scientific Co-Founder of Successful Startups

Non-Commercializing Nobel Laureate

The images illustrate the distinguishing characteristics of a mid-continent innovator who has co-founded successful scientific startups (left) and a non-commercializing Noble Laureate (right) in comparable fields of biomedical research. (Source: Research Bridge Partners model and analysis.)