Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) is an Israeli venture by the Reut Group, led by Edun Sela ‘17, which offers a global, systemic, community-based solution to a societal failure affecting millions of people living with disabilities around the world.
Company: Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM)
Location: New York City and Israel
Why We Love TOM
Tikkun Olam in Hebrew means “repair the world.” Naturally, TOM is on a mission to do just that: Helping many people all over the world by inspiring and supporting a global movement of communities, connecting makers, designers, developers and engineers with people with disabilities (aka - 'Need-Knowers') to create and disseminate extremely affordable solutions for their everyday challenges. Once developed, all the designs are free and available for any user to adapt for their needs on the TOM Web Platform.
Edun’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Edun was trained as a corporate lawyer in his native Israel, working for many for-profit startups. He was amazed by the energy and innovation that surrounded these ventures, but felt disappointed that this energy was not building towards fixing acute societal challenges. Coming to study at SIPA helped Edun focus deeper on his ethos of harnessing technology and innovation to help society, both locally and globally.
Running a High Impact Business
The TOM process is comprised of three progressive activities: (1) Makeathons, during which local TOM teams create prototypes of extremely affordable solutions to neglected problems faced by people with disabilities. To date, more than 400 such prototypes have been developed, by 2,500+ volunteers, in 35+ Makeathons, taken place in 13 countries around the world (see below for video from TOM: Bay Area); (2) Developer Groups, in which TOM prototypes are turned into Digital Product Files by dedicated teams of volunteer-professionals, and made available in the public domain (see video example below of such solution); (3) Dissemination, ensuring that TOM Products can reach their potential users through local makerspaces in universities, high schools, corporations or in local community centers.
TOM: Bay Area
Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Before jumping to a solution you think is needed, ask your potential clients/beneficiaries what are their needs. I believe that once you have an intimate and thorough understanding of the need you are trying to address, it will allow you to provide a better, more effective solution, and, no less important, the ability to pivot if needed.
Favorite Place on Campus / Favorite SIPA memory
Low Library Steps (on rare sunny days).
Learn More about Tikkun Olam Makers