Michelson Spark Grants

Building awareness of and working to close the “digital divides” through grants up to $25,000

Pathways From Prison to College in Action: Learnings From a Bachelor’s Program at UC Irvine

UCI’s Leveraging Inspiring Educational Futures Through Educational Degrees (LIFTED) team shared their experience teaching a BA degree granting program inside prison.

The State of Pregnant and Parenting Students in California: Lessons Learned From Implementing AB 2881

AB 2881 represents major progress toward serving over 480K student parents across the California’s higher education systems. Explore how implementation is going throughout the state.

Spotlight Initiative:
Openstax Free Textbooks

OpenStax provides free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks for introductory college and Advanced Placement® courses and low-cost, personalized courseware that helps students learn.

The nonprofit ed tech initiative is a Michelson 20MM grantee based at Rice University and is committed to helping students access the tools they need to complete their courses and meet their educational goals.

Over 3.5 million students have used an Openstax textbook, that’s more than $342 million saved! Visit openstax.org to learn more.


Our Vision:
Improving Access to Higher Learning

Founded by Dr. Gary K. Michelson, Michelson 20MM is positioned at the cutting edge of innovation in education. We are dedicated to supporting and investing in entrepreneurs, technologies, and higher learning initiatives that seek to transform lives. We are at the frontline of ensuring educational opportunities, and thus meaningful careers, are accessible for all.

Featured Initiatives in Education Innovation


The Michelson Runway EdTech Accelerator invests in companies working on higher learning technologies: programs, products, and/or services that improve equity, access, and efficacy in postsecondary education and career readiness.


The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property addresses critical gaps in the world of intellectual property (IP) education, to empower the next generation of inventors and creators.

Our Reach:
Supporting Educators & Access through Strategic Partnerships

We support organizations that get students into college, help them stay enrolled until they graduate, and help them re-enroll if they’ve dropped out. This helps students succeed as workers and entrepreneurs, leading to a better quality of life and helping the economy by supplying skilled workers to meet the projected increase in demand for tech workers.



Michelson Runway is the world’s first social impact accelerator dedicated to supporting innovations in higher education and career training.


Focus Areas

We make targeted investments in three focus areas: Access and Success, Learning Technologies, and Workforce Development.



Get insights and information about our overall approach to investments and the companies we’re working with to achieve our vision.

About Our Founder

Dr. Gary K. Michelson is an orthopedic and spinal surgeon, inventor, and philanthropist.

Dr. Michelson is the sole named inventor of more than 990 patents for medical devices and procedures worldwide. His three private foundations support medical research, animal welfare, and education.

Through Michelson 20MM, Dr. Michelson supports initiatives that make postsecondary education more accessible, affordable, and effective, such as providing access to high quality downloadable digital textbooks. He is also a strong advocate for Smart Justice reform efforts that expand quality to postsecondary education for currently and formerly incarcerated people.

gary michelson

Interested in partnering or collaborating with Michelson 20MM? Get in touch with us today!