Emergent Ventures prize winners, third cohort

I am happy to announce two further winners of the Emergent Ventures prizes to fight Covid-19.

The first is to Statnews.com for their excellent and intelligent reporting on public health, including the coronavirus, with the latter articles being ungated.

This is not only a prize for past achievement, but also resources to allow them to continue into the future.  As most of you know, journalism is a highly precarious enterprise these days.

And to be clear, this is a one-time prize and it involves absolutely no editorial control or influence over what they publish.

Here is a recent NYT article on Statnews.com.  the headline reads: “The Medical News Site that Saw the Coronavirus Coming Months Ago.”

The second winner is Tina White and Covid Watch, for their work on track and trace apps, you will note that Tina and her group were earlier winners of a (smaller) Emergent Ventures fellowship.  This is an Early Response prize, for their critical and timely work to boost the quality of these apps and to make them more privacy-friendly and more palatable to civil liberties concerns.  Here is some coverage:

This App Protects Privacy While Tracing Covid-19 Infections

Here is the second cohort of prize winners, here is the first cohort.  And here is an update from Celine, from Curative Inc., from the very first cohort of winners:

Emergent Ventures is pleased to have been their very first funder, and to have consummated the entire grant process, including the wire of funds (at the time critical for materials purchase), in less than 24 hours.


Interesting to see this reporting about Curative from March 13 at dot.la/coronavirus-vaccine-test-venture-capital-2645472110.html

"The terrifying stories of Italian doctors running low on respirators as COVID-19 patients overwhelmed hospitals inspired Joe Wilson, a partner at bioscience venture capital fund MarsBio, to create a way to quickly fund new coronavirus' vaccines, testing kits and other lifesaving ideas.

Over the last week, the fund launched by Soylent Nutrition co-founder and biohacker Rob Rhinehart, has fielded more than a dozen calls and made connections with startups and scientists that have ideas about how to quickly combat the spread of the deadly virus.

One of those known as Curative Inc., led by Fred Turner, has already set up shop in San Dimas and is now ramping up production of testing kits thanks to the connection.

"The stories felt like they couldn't possibly be real as they were so horrific, and yet they kept coming," Wilson said. "There are crises all the time, but I felt like this is one that we can do something and contribute to."

This week, MarsBio posted a call for proposals to those working on research or an idea that would combat the fast-spreading virus, particularly through vaccine development, public safety and prevention, treatment and operational response. The effort is not a venture fund, rather the group is looking for backers for individual projects that can address the pandemic.

"We think we can have a pretty big impact and we are seeing it already," he said.

The idea behind the group is to vet those ideas that can make the highest impact and then help them get funding — whether it be through grants, government, individuals or other sources like connecting them with operational help."

All part of that cooperative effort that marks American greatness when solving problems.

Wait, is this prior_approval passively attacking America? I'm shocked.

All I can say is: Great going, Tyler. I'm in awe of your effectiveness in creating such things.

+1!!! I've read most of the papers coming from the researchers whohave been funded and this is making a difference.

Alan, Would the papers not have been written but for the EV funding?.

Tyler, I reviewed Statnews.com and I couldn't find any report and opinion on what has been happening in NY state and city. I couldn't find any report and opinion on how the U.S. political authority on public health is divided between levels of government either. Yes, I could find opinions criticizing the Federal government and Trump but none about the governors and mayors that have been claiming authority and have been at the frontline of managing the government response.

Also, I have been surprised that Statnews.com published a column by John Ioannidis on March 17, but since then the only reference I could find to Ioannidis and other skeptical scientists was this


Is that what you mean by "journalism is a highly precarious enterprise these days" or it's just the typical bias of journalism these days?

Finally, why do you still ignore what is happening in Virginia? Is it related to being an employee of a state-funded university?

StatNews has been in existence for awhile and is produced by BostonGlobe Media, and has a long list of awards beginning in 2016. https://www.statnews.com/about/

That Curative was a sepsis company before taking on Covid 19 testing makes sense. Sepsis occurs when the body is overwhelmed by harmful microorganisms such as from a bacterial or viral infection and the body's response to fight it by releasing chemicals in the bloodstream that trigger inflammation throughout the body, potentially leading to organ malfunction or failure, shock, and death. That describes the worst Covid 19 cases, especially in children. Sepsis is often the cause of death when an otherwise seemingly healthy person gets an infection and dies in a short time, such as when someone has routine surgery and dies, or when someone with a chronic condition such as CLL gets an infection and dies in a short time. Anyway, those Covid 19 cases involving children are helping physicians and scientists better understand Covid and its effect on the body. A company that has been focused on sepsis would be in the best position to test for and recognize early symptoms of Covid. My point is that Curative's venture into Covid testing is not unrelated to its primary mission.

I have today announced
The recipient of the
Divergent Ventures Award
To a person who did not need
An award to motivate his behavior,
Dr. Anthony Fauci.

I give this award because
It is an honor to me
To announce this award
And have some of his
Reputation rub off on me.

Next week I will be awarding the
Status Signaling Award
For Achievements that
Would have happened
Without it.

Tea and cookies will be served.
Everyone six feet apart.

Maybe I can meet the recipients.

Emergent Ventures is doing great work, providing seed money for people with good ideas, offering encouragement in this crisis. On the other hand, the hucksters are out in full force, creating hype for short-term gain. Hucksters must huckster. We tolerate them, in part because that's how free enterprise works and in part because hucksters occupy high level positions in both business and government. The risk of hucksterism is that it will discourage those with good ideas, the ideas being funded by Emergent Ventures. Don't fall for the latest huckster headline. This is a slog not a sprint.

We are dedicated to going above and beyond for our customers. iPaytotal wants to be a game-changer within high-risk industries

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