Inventing something is only one step in the process of a successful innovation. Fisher knows this well -- he supports his inventions with a market-based development approach that ‘kick-starts’ a sustainable cycle of wealth creation. Fisher commercializes his inventions through a private sector supply chain, which is profitable for the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Centralized manufacturing and a nationwide retail network ensure high quality, economies of scale, and locally available spare parts. KickStart will soon break ground on a new technology development center in Nairobi.
“In creating KickStart, Martin has created a model that is, by design, sustainable and easily replicated nearly anywhere in the world where people suffer grinding poverty,” said award nominator Frances B. Emerson, vice president of corporate communications at Deere and Company. “Because of the quantum leap in income brought about by these technologies, the journey out of poverty is a one-way trip.”
ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM
The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. This June it will announce the 2008 winner of the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.
Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, a philanthropy that celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen social and economic life in the U.S. and developing countries. More information on the Lemelson-MIT Program is online at http://web.mit.edu/invent/.
KickStart is a non-profit organization that develops and markets new technologies in Africa. These low-cost technologies are bought by local entrepreneurs and used to establish highly profitable new small businesses. They create new jobs and wealth, enabling the poor to climb out of poverty forever. www.kickstart.org.