Founder Stories: Mike Haughton is Solving Problems That Matter

From the majority of our Founder Stories, we have gathered that the people who are creating successful businesses have a true aspiration and purpose for doing so.  Whether it be a big or small reason, a personal experience, or a topic that needs fixing, founders and CEOs are finding ways to speak to people and solve problems that matter.

Mike Haughton of Kernls is an admirable example of someone who has taken a personal experience and made it his life’s mission to positively impact others.  

Mike’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away shortly after while Mike was a senior in highschool.  Soon after his fathers passing he founded the Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and ran it for nearly a decade.  Moving to New York in 2006, Mike gained experience in working for a hedge fund, working for Steve Eisman, and starting TradeWinds Markets.

Sadly, in  2018 Mike’s mother was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer and passed shortly after.  Mike shared, “I really just wanted to get back into supporting medical researchers,” said Haughton.  He began his transition out of TradeWinds and into creating Kernls.

Throughout both experiences with his parents, Mike found that there was really no simple mechanism to find researchers of specific medical fields and support them.  Mike said, “when I had the idea of building Kernls, a giving platform that connects motivated donors with researchers to help them see the impact and fund their work.”

Kernls is a platform that enables academic institutions and foundations to reach GenX & GenY donors to fund medical research projects; including partnerships with Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USC, Cornell and the University of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Foundation.  Kernls provides a way for donors to connect directly with medical researchers to fund and share the impact of their work.

Creating an Impact:

One of  Kernls current research projects is raising money for a blood test that is able to detect Alzheimer’s before a patient has symptoms appear.  With an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2021, this has the opportunity to transform many lives.  Kernels was embraced by one of the top Alzheimer’s research institutes, The Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute at The University of Southern California.  Kernels will use their funding to connect researchers with willing participants.

Mike shared that detecting Alzheimer’s early in patients typically requires an MRI or CT scan, which are very expensive.  But very recently they have found ways to use simple blood tests to detect the disease, and without Kernls this research might have not been funded.

A Goal to Band Together and Help Others:

Advice from Mike: “People like me who’ve had experiences with loss are often motivated individuals, and we can band together and get things done. Our vision for this is to really create a place where professionals are able to connect with researchers doing important work.  In turn, connect with each other to achieve, see, and feel that impact.”

We are so excited to see the life-changing impact Kernls will have on the future of our world and medical research.  Check it out and maybe you’ll find a research project to get involved in!  Let us know your thoughts @StarterNoise.



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