NET WORTH: N/A
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Google, 23andMe
FUNDING AREAS: Medical Research, Technological Innovation, Open Source Information, and a variety of other causes
OVERVIEW: Wojcicki, the founder of 23andMe.com, oversees the Brin Wojcicki Foundation with her former husband, Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google. The foundation has growing assets and engages in increasingly wide ranging philanthropy.
BACKGROUND: Anne Wojcicki is the former wife of Sergey Brin. While much of her business and philanthropic vision aligns with that of her once-husband, she is also managing to carve out a niche for herself. For more than 10 years, Wojcicki was an investment analyst, overseeing health-care investments, and in 2006 cofounded 23andMe, a company that provides rapid genetic testing through a saliva-based personal genome test kit sold on the 23andMe website. In 2008, Time magazine named this kit the "Invention of the Year."
MEDICAL RESEARCH: Wojcicki strongly supports the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, to which she and her husband have granted nearly $160 million to fight Parkinson's over the past three years, and have also matched millions of dollars in other donations over several years. Wojcicki has also used 23andMe to combat Parkinson's, enrolling 10,000 people in a program that is looking for the genetic markers of the disease. She's also been involved in the funding for Call9, a telemedicine startup.
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION: In the fall of 2013, Wojcicki, along with her husband Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan, Art Levinson, and Yuri Milner, announced the foundation of the Breakthrough Prize, a $3 million prize awarded to one physics project and six life sciences projects annually, for a total of $21 million a year. For more information, see the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences or the Fundamental Physics Prize.
OPEN SOURCE INFORMATION: The Brin Wojcicki Foundation has famously given smaller, but still substantial, donations to the Wikimedia Foundation ($500,000) and Creative Commons ($100,000) in support of their work.
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Brin and Wojcicki donated $1 million to fund a grant matching for Ashoka, which has a variety of programs that support entrepreneurs who are working to better society.
OTHER ISSUES: Under Wojcicki's leadership, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation has awarded grants to organizations such as Friends of Deer Hollow Farm, which provides historical and environmental education opportunities for children and others; the Flip Flop Foundation, whose mission is to improve the fortunes of Zambian women and children; and the Family Giving Tree, which provides backpacks for school and toys for the holidays to children in poverty. Wojcicki also heads up Passerelle Investment with her ex-husband, a company whose main goal is to improve the downtown Los Altos area, regardless of the profitability of project.
LOOKING FORWARD: Though Wojcicki has primarily focused her giving toward Parkinson's Research, it would not be surprising to see an expansion into other areas of medical research. Wojcicki has a wide variety of interests when it comes to philanthropy. The biggest factors seem to be innovative solutions, and a model that combines creating social benefit with a strong sustainable business model.
- Rob Fetherstonhaugh, Executive Director, Brin Wojcicki Foundation, 1801 Page Mill Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94304, 650-219-5000