The BLACKSWAN Foundation is a Swiss foundation supporting research for rare and orphan diseases. Current Swiss policy has no public funding source for rare and orphan diseases, in spite of being a leader in biotechnology and pharmaceutical research. An orphan disease is one for which there is no active research or medical treatment. These diseases are largely ignored by private and public funders. Likewise, the public is unfamiliar with these diseases. Although these diseases are considered rare, it is estimated that as many as 500’000 Swiss citizens may suffer from a rare disease (7% of the national population), and 35 million Europeans. The principal mission of the BLACKSWAN Foundation is to collect funds to support research on rare and orphan diseases. Another goal of the foundation is to improve public understanding of these diseases.