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Global eye care campaign offers $250k seed funding for best ideas

Global eye care campaign offers $250k seed funding for best ideas

Global campaign ‘Clearly’ is designed to find and develop “revolutionary approaches to eye care for the people who need it most”. It is offering $250,000 in seed and mentoring to help develop the best ideas.

The campaign is the work of James Chen, a Hong Kong-based philanthropist and investor who is on a mission to address the problem of poor vision “that the world appears to have forgotten about”. He says that there are 2.5 billion people around the world suffering from poor vision and with no means of improving it.

The Clearly campaign brings together innovators, scientists, technology firms and big business, with investors, governments and NGOs to solve this problem “and help the world to see”.

Three-part campaign

The year-long campaign has three strands:

  • An ideas competition for entrepreneurs, which asks technologists, supply chain experts, data scientists and forward thinkers tocome up with innovative solutions. The prize offers $250,000 of seed funding and mentoring to get the best ideas off the ground.
  • A series of ‘Clearly Labs’ challenges for individuals to help find the answers. Innovators will come together for one day events in India, China, Silicon Valley and elsewhere, meeting with health leaders and optometrists, applying their expertise and ideas to help find new thinking, new ideas and new solutions.
  • A global event with a small group of the world’s best and most creative brainpower in one place to develop the big idea

The campaign has attracted support from Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health, Rwanda; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear brand Warby Parker, and former director of charity, VisionSpring; Brian Doolan, CEO of The Fred Hollows Foundation; and Sir David Tang, entrepreneur and founder of Shanghai Tang; and others.

James Chen

James Chen

Campaign founder James Chen said:

“Good vision empowers and transforms lives on every level. In the digital era, the world has the ideas and the technology to crack this challenge and transform access to sight around the world. Through Clearly, I hope to inspire creative minds and unlock innovative solutions to solve this global problem, accelerating a revolution in eye care and helping the world to see.”

Chen is the founder of Adlens, a global enterprise leading the development and sale of adjustable focus eyewear, and the founder of Vision for a Nation Foundation, a UK charity that supports emerging nations to provide nationwide primary eye care and affordable glasses to all their citizens.


Main image: hazel eye close-up by Evantravels on


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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