A few short weeks ago, Yuri Milner announced to the world that he’d be investing $100 million to find extraterrestrial intelligent life.
Today, TechCrunch has its own announcement: Yuri Milner will be joining us on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco in September.
Milner is one of the biggest names in tech venture capital, founding DST Global after finding success as the CEO of Mail.ru. Since its founding in 2005, DST Global has invested in companies like Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and a handful of other unicorns.
But at Milner’s core, he describes himself as a scientist. Since childhood he’s wanted to explore space in search of an answer one of our planet’s biggest mysteries: Are we alone in the universe?
Breakthrough Initiatives aims to answer that question, starting with Breakthrough Listen, which uses two of the world’s most powerful radio telescopes to scan the entire sky, across every frequency, pulling in more data than we’ve ever had access to. Milner also announced Breakthrough Message, a $1 million annual prize for creating messages about Earth and humanity to be decoded by ET. These program are just the latest in Milner’s effort to spur scientific advancements.
In July 2012 Milner started The Breakthrough Prize with the financial backing of Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang. This program awards prizes in three categories: Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics.
At Disrupt SF, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty of how the latest initiative will work, what we’ll do if we actually do find intelligent life elsewhere, and what drives Milner to so passionately lead this search.
Disrupt SF general admission tickets are available for an early bird discount price until Friday August 21, so snag one before the cost jumps by $1,000.
Featured Image: NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images