Board Member, Past Chair
Dr. Martin J. Fisher is the co-founder and chief executive officer of KickStart-International, a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty. It operates by developing and mass marketing very low-cost technologies that are bought by poor entrepreneurs to kick-start highly profitable small businesses. Over 170,000 new businesses have been started using KickStart’s manually operated irrigation pumps and other technologies. Between them the new farm businesses are already generating over $140 million per year in new profits and wages and growing enough fresh produce to feed 8-10 million people. KickStart was founded in 1991 and employs over 120 staff in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali, Zambia, NYC and San Francisco. Martin and KickStart have won numerous awards and accolades including; the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Skoll Award for Social Enterprise, Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability, AGFUND Prize for Development, Peter F Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, Tech Museum Award for Technologies Benefiting Humanity, and Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Award and Martin has been named a “European Hero” by Time Magazine and “Engineer of the Year” by Design News. Martin has a BSc from Cornell University and an MSc and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Kenya.