Sanjay Shah, Founder of Autism Rocks

Autism is a brain development disorder and effects over 3 million people in the United States and over 10 million worldwide. Autism symptoms usually show up after the first two years of a child’s life and are known for social impairments and difficulty with verbal and non verbal communication.

To raise money for autism research, philanthropist Sanjay Shah, founded the Go Fund Me campaign for Autism Rocks. The Go Fund Me campaign stages gigs by song artists to raise money. Beginning in 2014, the artist Prince kicked off the campaign, performing in London to raise money for research. Autism Rocks has hosted private shows with famous performers such as Michael Buble, Lenny Kravitz and Drake. All proceeds raised by Autism Rocks goes directly to autism research. The research is directed toward understanding the cause and effects of autism and who might develop autism.

Sanjay Shah grew up in a wealthy neighborhood in Central London and attended Kings College where he studied medicine. Soon after, he changed careers and became an accountant. His first job was at the investment bank Merrill Lynch and he then followed that with jobs at several other investment banks. He lost his job in 2009, at the peek of the financial crisis. Sanjay then decided to take a risk and start his own brokerage company. He began by renting a tiny office and hired just a few associates to help. Before long he founded the company Solo Capital and soon had a net worth of over $280 million.

In 2011, Sanjay’s 4 year old son was diagnosed with autism. This settled hard with Sanjay, so he immediately sought treatment for his son Nikhil back home in Dubai at the Dubai Autism Center. He wanted to help families who could not afford treatment, so he volunteered to donate money to the cause. Since he was retired and in a financial position to help, Sanjay came up with the idea of organizing music artists to perform at venues to directly raise money for autism research. And soon after, Autism Rocks was born.