Benetech: Finalist's Statement
"As an engineer and entrepreneur, I burn with the desire to solve problems, build tools and create enterprises. I share that desire with many colleagues in the technology industry. But, what happens when there is a great opportunity that serves society, but doesn't make a lot of money? Under our current venture capital driven system, these projects don't get done. End of story." Jim Fruchterman
Big Needs, Big Ideas, Big Impact
Benetech bridges the social, technical and funding sectors to provide innovative technology solutions that serve humanity. Our target markets are underserved communities worldwide, and the organizations that serve them, who have important social needs that can be solved through technology. We work with our customers to ensure that our offerings respond to their actual needs.
We serve a variety of causes, all linked by the common challenge of access to information for underserved communities. Our objective is for our technological solutions to be replicated or reapplied to remove barriers and help people help themselves now and for generations to come. Today we work in the areas of literacy, human rights, preserving the environment and finding landmines. We are confident that we will continue to find the appropriate technology to meet future social needs.
Silicon Valley Expertise, Social Conscience
Using the latest innovative technology, we create the solutions to that address the pressing social issues that our partners need. Our unique team takes what others see as impossible and, with our novel approach and social responsiveness, creates technology that make customer focused solutions possible. We have a track record for getting things done with a proven impact on areas of immense need.
The real strength lies in the powerful combination of this passion with deep, technical expertise and business acumen. We're able to harness the transformative power of technology to help people who would otherwise remain underserved, and often left out. Blending the best of Silicon Valley with the hearts of social activists, we build sustainable social enterprises that provide creative solutions and deliver critical technology tools to humanitarian needs.
Set Goals, Set Course
Benetech operates just like any Silicon Valley technology startup--except our overriding metric of return on investment is a return to humanity. We find market opportunities: gaps where technology could be helping but isn't. Our product managers investigate the need and consult with potential partners and end users about what would truly help. Then our engineers build the best solution possible. Through priority-driven project management, we can replicate our model and repeat success across projects and sectors.
Values Driven Technology Examples
For people who have disabilities that stop them from reading print, Benetech created the affordable PC-based reading machine. We've also created the world's largest digital library of accessible books; providing people who are blind with instant access to talking books and newspapers over the Internet.
We are a leading creator and disseminator of information technology tools to the global human rights community. Our tools ensure that the suffering from human rights abuses does not go unnoticed, by making the advocates of human rights more powerful in their pursuit of reform and justice.
Transformative Change Agents
We believe it is crucial for people to learn that they have the power to change their own, and their children's, history. Learning to read, identifying those responsible for violations of fundamental human rights, clearing the land by removing the threat of explosive munitions are examples of the positive effects for which we strive. We are creating the ability to change future outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people. Our goal is to change the lives of millions.