On Wednesday, June 22nd, Benetech hosted twenty-five global entrepreneurs who were in Silicon Valley to attend the seventh annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. This Summit is the seventh installment in a series previously hosted by the United States and the governments of Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Morocco, and Kenya. In bringing the Summit back to the United States, President Obama highlights his commitment to building bridges that help us tackle global challenges together. The President will address the delegates on Friday along with luminaries such as Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, and Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
GES Partner Event Demonstrates Technology for Social Good
In addition to the main agenda, over thirty summit partners, including Benetech, are hosting events to expose the entrepreneurs and investors to the full breadth of Silicon Valley’s innovation ecosystem. Partner events include workshops, panel discussions, field trips, film screenings, and networking receptions.
During Benetech’s event, Founder and CEO Jim Fruchterman greeted visitors from countries including Malaysia, Swaziland, Colombia, and New Zealand, and shared Benetech’s story and mission to harness the power of technology to drive positive social change. Visitors then rotated through demonstrations of the following technology initiatives:
- Bookshare – the world’s largest accessible online library for individuals who cannot read printedbooks due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, and other print disabilities.
- DIAGRAM – an R&D center that creates tools that make images and graphics accessible to all learners
- Martus – free, open source information management system allowing human rights practitioners to securely capture, encrypt, and analyze sensitive data
- secureApp Generator – free, open source tool that lets users create custom Android apps for secure data collection
- Labs – Benetech’s technology innovation and new product development center
“Finding out about Benetech and the unique things you do through this visit is like a dream come true!” said Luis Negrete, a GES delegate and founder of Amesoft.co, a start up in Colombia.
Another delegate, Sarah Goodman, an entrepreneur from Canada, demonstrated iHeart, a fingertip device and mobile app that determines a user’s internal age by combining the power of a pulse oximeter, a blood pressure monitor, and an aortic stiffness device. She hopes to expand iHeart and bring it to areas of the world where heart disease is prevalent.
We also had a chance to meet eleven-year-old Hamish Finlayson, a delegate from Australia. This young entrepreneur has created two dot coms and four apps that combine his passion for technology with his love of sea turtles and his desire to improve the lives of people with autism. Hamish developed LitterbugSmash, a game for iPads that features Triple T, the turtle who cleans up trash and saves other turtles from ghost nets in the ocean. Hamish, who has high-functioning autism, wants to use the Summit as an opportunity to put a global spotlight on the plight of sea turtles and the challenges people with Autism Spectrum Disorder face.
Connecting Innovators from Around the Globe
GES 2016 strives to “connect global entrepreneurs with the access and exchange needed to create and
innovate, so they can unleash their power to change the world.” The Summit truly creates an environment where networking and collaboration happen synergistically among the entrepreneurs, investors, partners, and other delegates in attendance. Benetech is pleased to be a partner in the Global Entrepreneurial Summit and share our knowledge and expertise in the tech for good sector. We wish all of the global entrepreneurs much success with their ventures.
Jim Fruchterman to Speak on GES Panel
On Friday, June 24, from 4:30-5:30 pm, Jim Fruchterman is speaking on the following panel:
Breakout 20 – Technology for Entrepreneurship with a Social Impact
This panel will feature individuals whose companies are delivering advanced technological solutions to real societal problems. These innovators will provide an authoritative opinion on how technology can and should be used to deliver social impact.
- Moderator: Doug Kramer – Deputy Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration
- Gia Schneider – CEO, Natal Energy, Inc. (invited)
- Gyanda Sachdeva – Director, Product Management, LinkedIn
- Gavin McIntyre – Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Ecovative Design
- Jim Fruchterman – Founder and CEO, Benetech