Jim Fruchterman

Jim Fruchterman started his Silicon Valley-based company Benetech because he wanted to merge two things: the ambition of the tech industry with the ongoing needs of the disenfranchised. And so far, it seems to be working. As part of our First Person Series, we talk with Fruchterman about how he turned his inner geek into outer good.

Benetech has developed technology that aids the blind, that buoys the fight against human rights abuses and that protects the environment.

First Person: Jim Fruchterman 8 June,2012forum

Jim Fruchterman, founder and CEO of Benetech and 2006 recipient of a Macarthur Fellowship

  • Mike Weston

    Now there’s a familiar name! I overlapped with Jim at Caltech. I don’t think I knew he got the Macarthur. Cool.

  • Lewis_tecson

    The best person I ever worked with.
    This is cool!!! 

  • Mandmmehta

    They are doing amazing work
    I want to search, scan and preserve books unavailable in marketplace for my language Gujarati ( west India) who should I contact
    My battery is down so I can not hear you but I would appreciate an e mail @

  • Candice Santaferraro

    I live and work in agriculture in the Napa Valley. Yesterday evening I spent an evening with several youth advocates, community members, and policy makers addressing issues on immigration that are pertinent to our community as well as the state of California. The Napa Valley Community Foundation just released s 75 page study on the immigrant population. The data is powerful, however how many community members aren’t going to sit down and read all 75 pages. With the explosion of data and big data there needs to be more open source rapid visualization technology for grassroots organizations to visualize the facts and make change happen.

  • Pacifica Progress

    Hi Jim, I would like to talk to you about an idea I have that could generate billions for charities.

  • Anitamitchell3p

    This program was incredibly interesting and illuminating.Thank you so much. Do you know whether this “read-to-go program” also works in other languages, i.e. German? 

  • Sheridan

    How about a “finger-reader” app for all touch-screen devices that shows scrollable and scalable lines of text, highlights and simultaneously reads aloud the word you touch (just below so as not to obscure), thus enabling learning to read for anyone.  It repeats as often as you touch, and can also offer a read-aloud screen of definition and synonyms when tapped at the magic spot, then return to text page when re-tapped.  Another mode would automatically read continuously (while highlighting). This app could be ported to any language and could give literal translations of words from any language to any another. 
    I see its largest use in enabling and inspiring marginal readers to progress, as it employs the power of giving complete agency to the user through instantaneous sensory-integrated responsiveness.  It could be especially helpful for autistic spectrum users.

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