A New Program for Innovation

Breakout Labs uses philanthropy to support a growing portfolio of early-stage companies in areas ranging from food science and biomedicine to clean energy. We provide up to $350,000 for companies to achieve specific milestones that are critical to their development. Our 2-year program goes well beyond financial support.

EVENTS. Breakout Labs gathers our companies together for two to three Foundation-sponsored events per year, which include invited speakers from a range of entrepreneurs and company executives, investors, and strategic business resource providers such as attorneys, regulatory consultants, business development and marketing experts and HR providers.

EXPOSURE. Our flagship “Unboxing” event is held every year in October and provides an opportunity for grantees to present their business and technological progress to a large number of potential investors and strategic partners.

NETWORK. Breakout Labs provides access to a database of investors, strategic advisors, and industry partners. We identify and make introductions to key contacts in our extensive network, and are continuously developing new relationships for the benefit of our grantees. We also curate an internal discussion board for grantees to benefit from each other’s experiences.

ADVICE. Companies benefit from complimentary consultations with a corporate attorney who specializes in startups, as well as feedback sessions from the Breakout Labs team and seasoned investors. For grantees who do not yet have formal board meetings, we provide check-in meetings approximately every eight (8) weeks to discuss business and science progress.

PRESS. We work with a strong public relations team to help our grantees reach a broad and relevant audience with their newsworthy events and announcements.

PARTNERSHIPS. In many cases, our companies benefit from partnership programs Breakout Labs has developed with external partners. These additional benefits can include funding and/or domain-specific mentorship (see Corporate and Financial Catalysts).

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 Thiel
  • Lindy Fishburne
    Executive Director
  • Hemai Parthasarathy
    Scientific Director
  • Julia Moore
    Portfolio Director
  • Grace Eckert
    Program Coordinator
  • Nick Cederlind
    Administrative Assistant
  • Geoff O’Donoghue
    Senior Associate


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