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Jim Fruchterman      

President and CEO, Benetech

Former rocket scientist Jim Fruchterman was born in 1959, and quickly established himself as a technology entrepreneur by creating social enterprises that targeted under privileged communities. In 1982 he constructed the Calera Recognition Systems that made it possible for computers to read almost all text. From his study of smart bombs in college, he connected the concept of character recognition with his idea to make books available to those with reading disabilities. With this goal as his motivation, he established Benetech, a non-profit organization that develops technology for the disabled and meets many other social needs. Benetech's Bookshare program boasts the world's largest library of electronic books for the disabled. Other Benetch programs include the Martus Project, an advocacy for human rights, and Mirandi, an environmental management program being used in over 90 countries. Fruchterman also served twice on federal advisory committees and was named an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur in 2003 by the Schwab Foundation. In 2006, Benetech received the Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship, and for his accomplishment of providing a wide range of literary works accessible to the visually impared, Jim also received the Robert F. Bray Award from the American Council of the Blind.

In a field that often focuses on achievement and gain for the elite, Jim Fuchterman uses the highest technology advancements to work on behalf of those who might otherwise not ever have had access to such opportunities.


Jim Fruchterman
Jim Fruchterman is a leading social entrepreneur and CEO of Benetech, a nonprofit technology company based in Palo Alto, California. He is a former rocket ...

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