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Make It Rain

Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin Cut Big Checks to Reward ‘Extending Human Life’

You can't sit with us.

Here’s the thing about philanthropy: There’s always plenty of people more than happy to accept a generous cash donation. Hence, Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize, which he launched back in August as his very own version of the Nobel Prize for Physics, is branching out. The prize will no longer go to just physicists doomed to toil in obscurity, as Mr. Milner has enlisted several Silicon Valley heavyweights to contribute to a new Life Sciences franchise.

Art Levinson (former Genentech CEO, Apple chairman) has signed on as chairman, while Mr. Milner, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki (of 23andMe and also wife to Mr. Brin), Mark Zuckerberg, and Priscilla Chan are all founding sponsors, as well. (Though it’s not clear who coughed up how much.) They plan to dole out five $3 million prizes annually going forward, with alums selecting the honorees.  Read More

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InVision Picks Up the Latest Investment From the NYC Entrepreneurial Fund

Mr. Valberg. (LinkedIn.)

The latest addition to the NYC Entrepreneurial Fund’s growing portfolio: InVision, a design-centric UI prototyping tool. The company will receive $200,000 in order to staff up, which will in turn allow the polishing up of version two of its software, which will incorporating richer collaboration and a full suite of project management tools.

Said EDC president Seth Pinsky in a statement released earlier today: “This investment is another example of the Bloomberg Administration’s strong commitment to supporting our City’s talented entrepreneurs and creating conditions that will allow for continued growth within our emerging technology sector.” Read More

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Wanted: Social Games. Money No Object.

OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter with Ghostface Killah. (Twitter)

MegaMillions isn’t the only game in town capable of inspiring a feeding frenzy. Not content merely to snap up OMGPOP at something like $180 million, Zynga is making it known they’ve still got IPO cash burning a hole in their corporate pockets. Merger chief Barry Cottle basically told Bloomberg that they are hungry, ready to move fast, and rich as hell: Read More