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Most Innovative Companies

The Parker Foundation

The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016The Parker Foundation may be only eight months old, but it is already having a transformational impact. Founded by entrepreneur and billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker with a $600 million investment, the San Francisco-based organization aims to apply lessons learned in business to spur global, large-scale, long-term systemic change in the areas of public health, life sciences, and civic engagement. Parker--Facebook's first president and co-founder of Napster and Plaxo--doesn't just want to find new treatments for allergies, cancer, and diabetes; he wants to cure them in his lifetime. The foundation's process is innovative in itself: It doesn't solicit grant applications. Instead, it identifies a problem, then looks for a sustainable, impactful, encompassing solution. If there is an existing organization that can use its support to tackle the problem, it makes a grant. If not, it will create one. In November 2015, the foundation gave the University of California San Francisco $10 million to create the Sean N. Parker Autoimmune Research Laboratory. And before the foundation's official announcement, Parker donated $4.5 million to eliminate malaria, $24 million to cure allergies, and $5 million to fight cancer.
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