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IMI 2009 Mid Year Newsletter

The Intelligent Mobility International newsletter is now available highlighting updates from January to August of 2009! Download Newsletter

Suzy Kim, MD joins IMI’s Advisory Board

IMI is honored to have Suzy Kim join its Advisory Board to provide strategic and product guidance during its time of rapid growth. Suzy is currently the Assistant Clinical Professor of  Orthopaedic Surgery and Director of  the Acute Spinal Injury Program at UC Irvine.  As someone who uses a wheelchair  herself, Suzy brings a unique perspective on the direction the wheelchair designs need to follow in order to provide the most value to the end users. Suzy brings a wealth of experience in spinal cord and rehabilitation medical science and cliniical practice, and is both a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and a Board Certified Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

caltechIMI’s Pilot Program Featured Covered by Reuters
Reuters provides a glimpse into some of the impact IMI’s pilot program is beginning to have as it works in collaboration with the Transitions Foundation in Antigua, Guatemala.

caltechIMI featured in Design 21
IMI has been featured in Design 21, a network that connects and supports social change through design. Design 21 features designers and initiatives that follow the principle of “Better Design for the Greater Good."

caltechAJ Viola wins Harvard Business School
Social Enterprise Fellowship

AJ Viola has joined IMI for the summer of 2009. AJ brings nonprofit fundraising experience from his time at United Way and will spend his summer developing a solid foundation for IMI’s expansion. 

caltechIMI on WAMU 88.5
IMI profiled on WAMU 88.5 American University radio.

Listen now.  

IMI featured on NBC at World Health Care Congress
IMI has been featured on several national NBC stations, including Seattle's NBC 5.
See story.

caltechIMI at the World Health Care Congress
IMI has been invited to participate in Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus' panel for Extremely Affordable Health Innovations at the World Health Care Congress in Washington DC. The panel, hosted by Grameen Health and the World Health Care Congress, recognizes health care innovations targeted toward the BOP markets.


caltechIMI receives grant from Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation
IMI has received grant funding from the Bristol Meyers Squibb (BMS) Foundation. The BMS Foundation has been dedicated to supporting strategic initiatives that help address health disparities around the world for over 54 years. 

caltechIMI invited to Showcase at the Smithsonian Institution
IMI has been invited to showcase its invention and innovation at the NCIIA’s March Madness for the Mind event at the Smithsonian Institution. 


caltechDaniel Oliver on VOA
IMI's Executive Director, Daniel Oliver has been featured on Voices of America. 

Listen to clip 

caltechIMI Partnership with UCLA Anderson Advanced Management Research group
The Anderson School of Business at UCLA has partnered with IMI providing the nonprofit with six months of invaluable market research and strategy consultation pro-bono.


caltechAnnenberg Foundation Funding
IMI has received grant funding from the Annenberg Foundation and its partner Metabolic Studio to fund the production of its innovative wheelchairs in its pilot program in Antigua, Guatemala.


IMI 2008 Year End Newsletter
The Intelligent Mobility International 2008 newsletter is now available including technical developments, program launches and fundraising news. Download Newsletter


caltechIMI Named One of LA’s Top 10 Most Innovative Nonprofits
IMI placed as one of the top 10 most innovative nonprofits at the USC Steven’s Institute for Innovation’s Social Innovation Fast Pitch Competition. Thomas Oliver and Joey Koehler had the opportunity to give a 3 minute presentation about the company in front of a distinguished panel of venture capitalists, angel investors, and Business School professors. The event was co-hosted by the Los Angeles Social Venture Partners and the Social Enterprise Institute.

IMI receives 2008 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award
IMI has been selected as the winner of the prestigious Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics for advances in science and engineering that will change the world. "These winners are applying brilliant design and engineering to improve the lives of others," said James B. Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics. 


IMI Launches Production in Guatemala
IMI is excited to announce Joey Koehler has launched the pilot program with the Transitions Foundation during the summer of 2008. Joey worked closely with Program Manager Paulina Quinones and staff of the Transitions to launch the in-country R&D efforts. With his work, the chair has seen three new redesigns after taking into account carefully gathered market feedback. Joey’s summer was generously funded by a grant from the Caltech Y. 


Anthony Bruneau joins IMI as CFO
Anthony Bruneau has joined the management team as CFO. Anthony brings a wealth of knowledge in accounting and financial controls, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

caltechIMI featured in Pasadena Weekly
IMI’s Thomas Oliver has won the Donald A. Strauss Foundation Award for Public Service, and has been featured in Pasadena Weekly’s cover article Designing Independence. 


caltechIMI Featured in Voices of America
VOA speaks with IDE founder Paul Polak and Ken Pickar about the ideas behind IMI and his experience as the instructor of Product Design for the Developing World at the California Institute of Technology.


Maria Shriver endorses IMI
"I commend you for being true architects of change...Thank you for believing and for all you to do to give dignity to our disabled brothers and sisters around the world"
-Maria Shriver, First Lady of California.

caltechOliver family featured in Sacramento Bee
Daniel (Executive Director), Thomas, and the Oliver family have been featured in the Sacramento Bee on the tireless effort and family support that has helped make IMI possible. 


caltechIMI selected as semi-finalist in Echoing Green
IMI won Semi-Finalist recognition (top 23% of more than 1500 applicants globally) in the 2008 cycle for Echoing Green’s prestigious Fellowship Contest.


Mariana Amatullo joins IMI's Board
Mariana brings a wealth of experience in leading initiatives that create innovative design solutions for sustainability and international development, and currently serves as the Director of the Art Center College of Design’s DesignMatters, which she helped to cofound. Through her leadership, Art Center has become the first design institution to be formally affiliated with the United Nations as an NGO and has become recognized with numerous public and private agencies as an exemplary effort uniting humanitarian, social and educational objectives.

IMI Wins International Foundation Grant
IMI has won the International Foundation’s grant to support the launch of its operations. The International Foundation partners with U.S. based charities that work to help people in the developing world attain a better standard of living.

OCTANe Foundation Social Impact Award
IMI has been chosen as the recipient of the Social Impact Award from the OCTANe Foundation for Innovation (OFI). The OFI Social Impact Award recognizes individuals who have developed an innovative idea that showcases the region's strength in biomedical technology and its ability to create social impact on a large scale.

E&S Article
IMI is featured in E&S, Caltech’s alumni magazine. Click here to download the article.


PBS Project Enterprise Competition
IMI has been chosen as a finalist in the PBS Project Enterprise Competition. Project Enterprise will follow social entrepreneurs as they implement innovative business models to enact lasting social change, and showcase the story on national television. More than 100 people were nominated for the contest from all around the world.

NCIIA Advanced E-Team Grant
IMI has been awarded an Advanced E-Team grant from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). The grant will help IMI advance its product and manufacturing process development and perform high-level business research to develop the business model in Guatemala.

Housner Discovery Fund
The George W. Housner Discovery Fund has awarded the IMI founders with fellowships to advance the wheelchair design and development. Grant funds provide stipends and cover all expenses related to the development of the wheelchair and its manufacturing process.

Guatemala Research Trip
IMI Board Members Rudy Roy and Daniel Oliver have just returned from a research trip to Guatemala. With Paulina Quinones, IMI's Program Manager for Guatemala for 2008, they researched the developing world terrain and potential applications for the chairs. They also met with key potential partners Vamos Adelante and the Transitions Foundation to look into strategic
distribution channels for the company's wheelchairs.

Engineering Design for the Developing World
Two of IMI’s founders, Ben Sexson and Rudy Roy, have won the Engineering Design for the Developing World Contest
at Caltech. Their team, called Independence Through Mobility (ITM) was comprised of four Caltech engineers and an industrial design student from Landivar University.