In the News

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 program operations during the summer quarter, funded by a grant from the Caltech Y. Joey worked closely with IMI Guatemala Program Manager Paulina Quinones and Transitions’ staff to form the IMI-Transitions joint venture. With his work, the chair has seen three new redesigns after taking into account carefully gathered market feedback. 

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.

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

IMI Featured in Voices of America
VOA speaks with Paul Polak on his groundbreaking work with developing nations, Ken Pickar and his experiences as the instructor of Design for the Developing Worlds at California Institute of Technology and the ideas behind IMI. 

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

Oliver family featured in Sacramento Bee 
Dan (Executive Director), Tom (E-Team) and the Oliver family are featured in the Sacramento Bee on the tireless effort and family support that has helped make IMI possible. 

IMI 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 
Under the leadership of the Board of Directors, 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.

Danielle Yariv has joined IMI
Danielle brings over 20 years of international sustainable development experience to IMI, having founded two non-profits in Latin America.

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. For the full press release, see this link:

New Prototype
IMI has completed a new prototype with its new cutting template. IMI will test the comfort, durability, and ergonomics of the chair in the coming weeks. Check it out here.

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 manufanturing process.

Guatemala Research Trip
IMI Board Members Rudy Roy and Daniel Oliver just returned from a research trip to Guatemala. With Paulina Quinones, IMI’s Program Manager for Guatemala, 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 production and distribution channels for the company’s wheelchairs.

width=”192″ height=”135″ align=”right” />Engineering Design for the Developing World
Two of IMI’s founders, Ben Sexson and Rudy Roy, have won Caltech’s Engineering Design for the Developing World Contest. Their team, called Independence Through Mobility (ITM) was comprised of four Caltech engineers and an industrial design student from Landivar University.