Reshaping the way
innovation is funded

Founded by the Thiel Foundation in November 2011, Breakout Labs uses philanthropy to support a growing list of early-stage companies in areas ranging from food science and biomedicine to clean energy. For many of these companies, we were the first external investor.

The program provides up to $350,000 for companies to achieve specific milestones that are critical to their development. In addition to the funding, our grant recipients benefit directly from the Thiel Foundation’s large community of investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Our program goes well beyond financial support. We also provide access to strategic mentorship and networking opportunities that enable further development for years to come. Successful grantees contribute to the next generation of scientific innovation, in accordance with the terms of our grant agreement.

Pushing the Boundaries of What’s Possible

Today, there are many scientists with bold ideas that could have tremendous value for society. Too often, they don’t receive the support they need to launch from the lab and into our economy. We want to give those radical ideas a chance to thrive. We want to jailbreak them from existing research institutions and set them free.  We want to champion technology that has the potential to change the world and take our civilization to the next level.

So we created Breakout Labs, a new funding and support mechanism for radical science companies. We use philanthropic funds to advance big ideas and give them the attention they deserve from traditional investors and funding agencies.  Our portfolio companies are building things that have never been thought of before, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible instead of settling for what’s probable.

Atoms are harder than bits, but the people at the Breakout Labs’ companies are bold and dedicated to a definite view of the future.  We believe they’ll prove that new science addressing hard problems can create great businesses that make our lives better.



  • peter_lg
    Peter Thiel
  • lindy_lg
    Lindy Fishburne
    Executive Director
  • hemai_lg
    Hemai Parthasarathy
    Scientific Director
  • michelle-430
    Michelle Kim-Danely
    Portfolio Manager
  • photo_grace_eckert
    Grace Eckert
    Program Coordinator
  • nick_430x430
    Nick Cederlind
    Administrative Assistant
  • alana_430x430
    Alana Ackerson
    Executive Committee Member
  • jim_lg
    James O'Neill
    Executive Committee Member
  • ajay_lg
    Ajay Royan
    Executive Committee Member

Contact Us

Use the form below to contact
Lindy Fishburne, Executive Director, Breakout Labs


Breakout Labs, Thiel Foundation
One Letterman Drive Bldg. C, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94129