If you work in healthcare, education, technology, smart cities, or the space economy, you already know: critical thinking and scientific curiosity are a prerequisite. To enable that curiosity, people need access to tools for scientific discovery.
Over the past eight years, we’ve designed more than a dozen virtual accelerators in support of open innovation programs. Today, we’re combining that expertise with our passion for science, equity, business strategy, and invention to launch Tool Foundry. This new Luminary Labs initiative, supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures, is advancing accessible tools for scientific discovery.
We believe low-cost, high-quality, easy-to-use tools can inspire a deeper interest in science and empower people to indulge their curiosity, explore their environments, and solve problems relevant to their own communities. A growing number of makers, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs are paving the way by producing accessible tools, but many inventors find it difficult to turn their prototypes into effective and useful tools that can be sustainably produced at scale.
Tool Foundry is seeking applicants for a four-month accelerator program — high-potential teams with prototypes for tools that meet real needs. Selected cohort members will each receive $50,000 and access to expert mentorship and technical guidance, virtual learning modules, user testing opportunities, and an in-person boot camp at the Autodesk Technology Center in San Francisco, in partnership with Autodesk Foundation. And this fall, cohort members will present their tools to a live audience at the Tool Foundry Showcase.
Invention — and science, in general — has an equity problem; this new accelerator is one way to level the playing field. We are committed to promoting equity in all aspects of this initiative. We’re seeking applications from teams with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, including those from historically marginalized groups.