Canary Fund and the San Jose Grand Prix (A)
In April 2004, Don Listwin formed the Canary Fund to help develop methods for early cancer detection. Listwin had previously been a top executive at Cisco System, leaving in 2000 to become CEO of Openwave. His mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2000, and died a year later. Early detection was essential to successful treatment of ovarian cancer, and this became a passion for Listwin. He funded early detection research from his family foundation, and started Canary Fund to raise both funding and awareness. In order to rapidly gain visibility for the Fund, he decided to put on a high-profile event. After considering several possibilities, he chose to promote an automobile race through the streets of San Jose, California. The case describes Listwin’s objectives, the various events he considered, and the steps necessary to make the race a reality.