Founder and CEO, Benetech
A technology entrepreneur, Jim Fruchterman is a former rocket scientist who has founded two of the foremost optical character recognition companies and developed successful social enterprises. In 1989, Jim founded Arkenstone, a nonprofit social enterprise, to produce reading machines for the disabled community based on the Calera technology. Following the sale of the Arkenstone product line in 2000, Jim used all the resulting capital to fund Benetech, with an explicit goal of using the power of technology to serve humanity.
Jim has also been active in public service, with two stints on U.S. federal advisory committees. He received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Jim was named an Outstanding Social Entrepreneur in 2003 by the Schwab Foundation and continues to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Benetech received the Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship under Jim’s leadership.