Science Exchange (company)
|Founders||Elizabeth Iorns, Dan Knox, Ryan Abbott|
|Headquarters||Palo Alto, California, U.S.|
|Elizabeth Iorns (Founder & CEO)
Dan Knox (Co-founder)
Number of employees
|21 (Nov 2014)|
Science Exchange is an online service that allows scientists to outsource their research to scientific institutions such as university facilities or commercial contract research organizations. The online science marketplace was founded in 2011 by Elizabeth Iorns, Ryan Abbott, and Dan Knox and is located in Palo Alto, California. Science Exchange took part in the startup accelerator program Y Combinator in the summer of 2011.
In 2011, while an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Iorns came up with the idea for Science Exchange after needing to conduct immunology experiments, but having difficulty finding potential collaborators or providers to work with. Iorns formed Science Exchange with Knox and Abbott, and the company applied for a place in the Y Combinator startup accelerator program. The company was accepted into the Summer 2011 batch of Y Combinator and launched the first version of its website in August 2011. In 2012 Iorns was recognized by the Kauffman Foundation for her role in starting Science Exchange.
Science Exchange functions like a freelance marketplace utilizing a model similar to Elance or ODesk. A researcher posts an experiment they would like to outsource and then receives bids from experimental service providers. The researcher selects a bid, and Science Exchange facilitates communication, project management and payment via its platform. The company receives a service fee based on the value of the project.
In August 2012 Science Exchange partnered with the open-access scientific publisher Public Library of Science (PLOS) to launch the Reproducibility Initiative, a program developed to assist researchers in validating their findings by repeating their experiments through independent laboratories. The program is facilitated by the Science Exchange platform, which matches scientists with experimental service providers according to areas of expertise. Iorns has been a longtime spokesperson on the issue of reproducibility in academic research.
Independent validation program
In June 2011, Science Exchange received a $100,000 investment from StartFunds' Yuri Milner, a $50,000 investment from angel investor Ron Conway, and a $20,000 investment from Y Combinator as part of participating in the startup accelerator program. In December 2011 the company announced it had closed a $1.5-million seed financing round led by Andreessen Horowitz. In May 2013 the company closed a $4-million Series A financing round led by Union Square Ventures, Tim O'Reilly's O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and several leading angel investors including Esther Dyson, Joshua Schachter, Lisa Gansky and Yuri Milner. In March 2016 the company announced it had closed a $25-million Series B financing round led by Lee Ainslie's Maverick Capital.
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