$500k Matching funding challenge for Stan from the Schmidt foundation. Your help needed

Dear Stan Community:

Schmidt Futures is considering funding Stan and they are looking for matching funds to help demonstrate our relevance and value to the scientific community. The current rough shape of the deal is that Schmidt donates $500K to support advancing Stan with Bob Carpenter as the lead. Then if Stan hits some milestones in the next 18 months we get another $500K, one of the milestones is to raise $500k in matching funds. The other milestones are growth and technical improvements like reduced compile time.

What I’d like to do is start raising money now. The decision will get made in the next few weeks, but I think showing progress at matching now could help convince them Stan has support from its users.

How you can help?

Right now we’re asking if you, your company, lab or research group have any ideas on how to support Stan R&D; if you do please reach out. You can contact me, breck@mc-stan.org or @breckbaldwin or anyone else on the fundraising team (Andrew Gelman, Daniel Lee @syclik, Lizzie Wolkovich).

What we will use the money for?

The matching funds will be allocated by the Stan Governing Body. From there they will support the suite of improvements we’re working on to make Stan faster and more expressive and to support and grow the Stan community. Particular projects include: more effective adaptation that can speed computation by an order of magnitude for some difficult problems, incorporating parallel and GPU computing into the language, faster compilation, language improvements such as ragged arrays, more user-friendly interfaces; improved documentation; and various aspects of community development.

Breck SGB Exec Dir. on behalf of the fundraising team