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Martin J. FIsher, Ph. D.

KickStart International

Martin is the co-founder of KickStart International, an award-winning social enterprise which has helped over 400,000 people escape poverty permanently.  He and co-founder Nick Moon, have created an innovative approach to fighting poverty that brings together the power of technology and the entrepreneurial spirit of the world’s poor.

After receiving his Ph.D. in engineering from Stanford, he won a Fulbright Fellowship to study the Appropriate Technology Movement in Kenya.  A ten-month fellowship turned into seventeen years of fighting poverty in Africa.  The lessons about what works—and what does not—formed the foundation of KickStart.

Martin leads a team of designers and engineers to create a number of money-making tools.  The most successful have been KickStart’s MoneyMaker irrigation pumps, with over 120,000 sold to date.  Individually, users of KickStart’s pumps see an average ten-fold increase in farm income. Combined, users of KickStart tools are generating over $83 million in new profits and wages each year.

Martin is a frequent conference presenter on topics of social entrepreneurship, design, poverty, water, and related issues. 

He serves on the Board of BuildChange, and the advisory boards of the XPrize, and the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University.

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