CEO and Co-Founder of KickStart International
Martin is the co-founder of KickStart International, an award-winning social enterprise which has helped over 670,000 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 multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team to create, market, and sell money-making tools. The most successful have been KickStart’s MoneyMaker irrigation pumps, with over 200,000 sold to date. Individually, people who purchase and use KickStart’s pumps see an average ten-fold increase in farm income. Combined, users of KickStart tools are generating over $114 million in new profits and wages each year.
Martin holds a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell class of 1979. He earned a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics in 1985, both from Stanford.
Martin is a frequent conference presenter on topics of social entrepreneurship, agriculture in the developing world, poverty alleviation, water usage, and related issues. He serves on the Board of BuildChange, the advisory boards of both the XPrize, and the Global Social Benefit Incubator at Santa Clara University.