James “Jim” Fruchterman is a social entrepreneur. Jim is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tech Matters and the Founder and former CEO of Benetech, Silicon Valley's leading tech for good nonprofit. Jim is a recognized MacArthur Fellow, a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and a Distinguished Alumnus of Caltech. Prior to these positions, Jim was a rocket engineer who also founded two successful for-profit tech companies. Under Jim's leadership, his companies have created and scaled multiple social good software enterprises. He continues to develop and launch new software applications to meet critical human needs.
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- Benetech Initiative
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- Non-profit Social Enterprise
- Social Innovation
- Areas of Impact
- South Asia, North America, Africa, ASEAN, Middle East & North Africa, Eurasia, Europe
Benetech is a non-profit that empowers communities with software for social good. Benetech's work transforms how people with disabilities read and learn, enables human rights defenders and civilians to pursue truth and justice, and connects people to the services they need to live and prosper.
Benetech achieves its mission by uniting two worlds: the social sector and Silicon Valley. Benetech works closely with both communities to identify needs and software solutions that can drive positive social change. Its education work is focused on one thing: make learning inclusive for everyone around the world. Benetech provides books to people that read and learn differently through Bookshare, the world's largest, accessible online library; runs DIAGRAM, an R&D centre that creates new ways for people who learn differently to access math and other STEM subjects, images, and video; drives systemic change in the publishing industry through Born Accessible, an initiative to make all e-books fully accessible when they are first created.
Benetech's poverty alleviation work helps people get access to the essential social services they need, such as healthcare and employment. Through information and data-driven innovation, Benetech works to achieve parity in access to social services through Benetech Service Net, which makes the social safety net easier to see and harder to fall through by harnessing data collaboration among community stakeholders, including social services providers and social services referral agencies. Benetech's human rights work seeks to collect, preserve and deploy information to hold governments accountable to their obligations. Benetech's Connected Civil Society Initiative works directly with the United Nations to document human rights abuses taking place in conflict settings worldwide, including Syria. Additionally, Benetech works in partnership with human rights organizations to provide digital security training through gaming. The training allows human rights organizations to immerse themselves in fictitious storylines and tests them with realistic phishing scams and other threats. Benetech is constantly pursuing the next big social impact.