2008 Finalists

The Legatum FORTUNE Technology Prize was announced at the FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech conference in July 2008. Nominations for the Prize were solicited from a trusted network of experts with experience in technology and development issues and almost 60 individuals and organizations were evaluated by a board of senior editors and writers from FORTUNE magazine.

From this group, nine semi-finalists were selected based upon the demonstrated correlation between technology deployed and development impact; sustainability and scalability of the technology solution; and evidence that the technology solution is conducive to maintaining and sustaining a business environment that recognizes employees, rewards owners, and is environmentally sensitive and forward-looking. A further round of judging produced five finalists who were invited to a final round of face-to-face interviews with the judging panel under the leadership of Iqbal Quadir, at the FORTUNE 500 Forum on December 1st. In addition to Mr. Quadir, the panel of judges included Peter Bloom, Managing Director at Atlantic Capital and Chairman of Donorschoose.org; Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; Judi Wakhungu, Executive Director of the African Center for Technological Studies in Nairobi, Kenya; and Rubens Gama, the Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs and Technology of the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, DC.

 To view a presentation of the finalists, click here

The Finalists

Comat Technologies

Comat Technologies, India's leading social enterprise, is dedicated to providing easy access to essential information and transformational services to rural areas of the country. Comat's services are focused on revolutionizing the lives of rural citizens by providing access to and delivery of personal records and entitlement benefits on behalf of the government, job creation and training, supplemental educational services, and financial and insurance services. These services transform the lives of rural citizens and deliver to them higher economic standards and a better quality of life. Comat's services are tailored to the state in which they are delivered, since states in India are linguistically diverse. Working closely with rural communities across the country, Comat delivers its information and services through a well-established network of ICT-enabled Rural Business Centers, operated by company employees who use a common infrastructure that incorporates technology and a local human interface.

Dimagi, Inc.

Dimagi is a dedicated group of clinicians and programmers who focus on improving the quality of life and of health care around the world. Since its founding in 2002, Dimagi has successfully executed numerous international and domestic technology projects. It has led development of SmartCare, the national electronic medical record system in Zambia. Dimagi is also a founding member of the OpenRosa consortium and the lead developer of JavaRosa, an open-source, mobile, data collection application being used in studies throughout Africa.

Dimagi designs its systems with careful attention to the available technologies on the ground. Aware of the resource-poor areas in which it works, Dimagi develops license-free solutions that it scales with large NGO partners in the local regions. The company has experience working in areas with limited resources, unreliable power, and limited or intermittent network connectivity. Using an array of technologies, Dimagi is able to provide the appropriate solution in nearly any environment.

Global Easy Water Products Pvt. Ltd.

Global Easy Water Products Pvt. Ltd. (GEWP), established in 2004, is a for-profit company registered under the Indian Companies Act of 1956. GEWP is an authorized seller and distributor of the Krishak Bandhu (KB) brand of micro-irrigation products. GEWP sources micro-irrigation equipment from local manufacturers and sells this equipment through its network of independent dealers, distributors, and retailers. The company's mission is to make low-cost irrigation solutions commercially accessible and available to small farmers in India and abroad. By doing so, it hopes to leverage rural market forces. The company also builds expertise in local technicians to ensure the final product reaches the small farmer.

KB drip-irrigation products are used on crops such as vegetables, cotton, sugarcane, and horticulture. KB microsprinklers are suitable for closely spaced crops such as onions, ginger, garlic, and fodder. These systems, easy to install and maintain, are being used by thousands of farmers for their crops across India and abroad.

Microfinance International

Microfinance International focuses on expanding affordable and professional financial services to markets where such services have been unavailable, or are overpriced and not connected to mainstream banking. The company believes that a combination of microfinancing and a commercial banking approach in a for-profit model enables it to make financial services available in a socially responsible manner and ensure scalability.

MFIC aims to improve the financial integration of local families — those sending money and recipients who don't use banks — by enabling mainstream financial institutions to serve this clientele and by increasing the scale of microfinancing available to them. MFIC takes a regional approach — offering solutions at both ends of the remittance equation — for the economic development of individuals, institutions, and society. MFIC has also established a network of financial institutions in the U.S. and microfinance instruction (MFIs) in immigrants' countries of origin, linking immigrant earnings to asset-building and income-generating activities. MFIC matches the services of financial institutions with individuals without access to banks, which contributes to enhanced productivity for both parties and increases the individual's outreach.

Voxiva

Voxiva, founded in 2001, is a leading global provider of mobile-centric information solutions that allow clients to collect and analyze real-time data from the field, then communicate and interact with their staff and others more effectively. Its solutions leverage the world's 3.5 billion mobile phones as well as fixed phones, PCs, PDAs, the web, and other technologies for a much broader reach than Internet-only solutions. Working with a broad range of telecom, technology, channel, global health, and global development partners, Voxiva has developed a series of standard solutions in the health, public sector, and enterprise segments designed to support clients' critical information flows. Voxiva has offices and operations in 13 countries in Asia, Africa, and North and South America.

All Voxiva solutions are built on its mConnect Services Platform and are provided as a hosted managed service. By leveraging the existing mConnect platform and the company's library of standard solutions, clients can enjoy quick and cost-effective deployments.