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"Speed Dating" for Winners and Funders

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Dave Finnigan

Sep 16, 2015


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I wonder if it might make sense, now that MIT Climate CoLab has solicited around 1,500 proposals and has selected winners in every category, to take the process to the next logical level from the point of view of ourselves, the authors of winning proposals. What we would like to see soon is for MIT to hold a mechanism for all past winners to meet providers of funds and expertise, to help us to take our proposals to action. You could set up a weekend or three days of "match making" for those of us who have won to be placed in front of individuals or organizations that might want to provide funding, or grant writing, or grants administration, or other services. This might take the form of an exhibit area with each of us designated winners renting a "booth space" with a table and a few chairs, where we stand for the duration of the "trade show" while foundation representatives anonymously traipse by asking us to describe our projects, and making notes on those they feel they want to contact later. Let the free market prevail. MIT Climate CoLab has the prestige and drawing power to contact all the Family Foundations and Environmental Foundations and supporting private and government agencies in the country and get them to send a representative to the event. You don't need to wait for Fall 2016 to do this, but could do it sooner. If you do not want to do this, perhaps you could pass this mission on to a full-service consulting agency for not for profit organizations or a trade show organizing company and get them to do it for MIT. Then your job is simply to give them the contact information and the imprimatur of MIT Climate CoLab. This should cost MIT Climate CoLab nothing. Let the projects and the foundations pay a modest fee to rent a booth or to attend. I hope you have a chance to think about and discuss this idea before we convene in early October. If MIT has already got something like this in the works, please let us know. We want to spend our time working on our projects, not learning a new set of skills to seek and secure funding.