Medium article throws a 404, FWIW.
I mean sure, but what's important here isn't really the absolute number of intelligent/ambitious people, but the relative concentration of them. One third of Nobel prizes going to people who didn't complete their undergrad at a top 100 global university means that 2/3 of the Nobel prizes did. Out of ~30K global universities, 2/3 of Nobels are concentrated in the top 100. The talent exists outside top universities, but focusing on them with limited resources seems more tractable than spreading thin with lower average intelligence/ambition.
For what it's worth, the US higher education system is pretty stratified in terms of intelligence. The best universities are maybe a standard deviation above the 50th best university in SAT scores, and would probably be even higher if the SAT max wasn't 1600; plus, a lot of the most ambitious and potentially successful students go to them. Moreover, top universities generally attract those students from every field; while, for example, UIUC is probably better than most Ivies at CS, the Ivies will still poach a lot of those students largely because of prestige/reputational effects. Those factors combine to make it pretty likely that the kind of people that can have the most impact in these fields are disproportionately concentrated at top universities.
How much would it cost to influence the film to make this happen?
On reading just the summary, the immediate consideration I had was that the EMH would imply that in the counterfactual where I don't invest in Mind Ease, someone else will, and if I do invest in Mind Ease, someone else will not. After reading the post, it looks like you have two important points here against this—first, early-stage venture markets are not necessarily as subject to the EMH, and second, it's different in this case because EA-aligned investors would be willing to take a lower financial return than they could get with the same risk otherwise in order to do good. Do you agree that impact investing in the broader financial market into established companies has very little counterfactual impact, or is there something I'm missing there? I'm interested in further research on this concept, and I'm not sure how much EA-aligned for-profits are already working on this.