In 2014, Autism Rocks nabbed the legendary, world-famous artist Prince as the main attraction of their invite-only charity concert. The foundation, dedicated to raising funds to support autism research, has been growing ever since. With no shortage of A-list celebrities willing to perform in these shows (think Drake, Lenny Kravitz, and Michael Buble), Autism Rocks is changing the fundraising game.
Founder Sanjay Shah started out as a banker. He gained 20 years of experience with Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Rabobank until 2008 when he found himself unemployed and in need of a new direction. Using what he had learned in his career, Shah began his own company, called Solo Capital. It wasn’t long before Solo Capital made Shah a multi-millionaire, and put him in a prime position to contribute to autism research.
Sanjay Shah’s youngest son, Nikhil, was diagnosed with autism in 2011. After hearing the news, Shah approached Dubai Autism Centre and bought them vehicles to be used to transports patients. This, however, was not enough, and led Sanjay to create Autism Rocks. His desire to combat the disease goes beyond funding treatment centers; Shah wants to focus his contributions to researching and understanding autism. The end goal of this research is not a cure. Instead, Shah wants the world to have a deeper understanding of how autistic children and adults (like Nikhil) think and interact with others in the world.
Autism Rocks was in fact inspired by a visit by recording artist Snoop Dogg to Shah’s home. A man with excellent business acumen and an eye for marketing, Shah realized concerts were the perfect place to promote autism research. It’s success has been undeniable, and Shah looks forward to increased growth in the coming years.
The Go Fund Me campaign Shah has erected helps support his efforts to promote and put on the concerts for Autism Rocks. He wants to raise awareness of the research, and keep the concerts an event that celebrities continue to want to be involved with.