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- by  Allyson Blinkhorn
Following the growth of a successful content partnership together, Caribu and its CEO co-founder Maxeme Tuchman are welcomed into the Mattel family of brands.

“There comes a time for every founder when the right next step to get your product further out into the world, and achieve the global domination you’ve always dreamed of, is to team up with a much bigger partner…” Tuchman tweeted the news on November 9th, 2022. Tuchman is the CEO and co-founder of Caribu—an interactive video-calling platform that helps kids have virtual playdates with family and friends when they cannot physically be together.

As reported by the Toybook, “Caribu’s appeal fits well within the Mattel Future Lab, an initiative launched earlier this year in an effort to pioneer the future of play.” Read more.

With this new Mattel partnership, Caribu will be expanding to provide more of Mattel’s characters and content to subscribers. 

Caribu was one of Apple’s 15 “Best Apps of 2020” and one of TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions,” and made Fast Company’s list of “World Changing Ideas.” It was also one of the “Top 10 EdTech Companies to Watch” in Forbes, and became one of the most innovative startups in the world by winning the 1776 Global Challenge Cup.

Tuchman graduated from New College of Florida in 2004 with a B.A. in Political Science & International Studies. At New College, Tuchman began fostering new community endeavors, co-founding La Esquina Latina (“The Latin Corner”). This space allowed female Spanish-speaking students to room and celebrate their culture together. Tuchman also served as president of the New College Student Alliance.

After graduating, Tuchman worked as a public school teacher, a consultant at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an Executive Director of Teach for America, and a manager of education projects. She earned an M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and an M.A. in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Caribu launched in 2016 as a culmination of Tuchman’s time and experience in youth education—with the intention of bringing children closer together with friends and family. The platform provides an intensive character bank in 10+ languages—offering games, coloring pages, and reading materials of children’s favorite characters from Sesame Street to DC Comics. Having such a large bank is central to Tuchman’s philosophy behind Caribu—making sure children have a space and community for themselves. Tuchman tweeted:

“Our library was consciously curated to have ‘mirrors and windows’ so kids could see themselves, and people different from them.” 

Tuchman has been a winner or finalist in 30-plus pitch competitions, is the 59th Latina in the U.S. to raise more than $1 million in venture funding, and is the first Latinx founder to raise $1 million in equity crowdfunding. 

“The tech industry was not built by, or for, people that look like me,” Tuchman writes. Despite race- and gender-related hurdles, she has been recognized and honored as one of the “Top 100 Female Founders” by both Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine.

Read Tuchman’s 10 pieces of advice to graduates, delivered as Commencement Speaker to the Class of 2022.

Allyson Blinkhorn is the media & communications coordinator at New College of Florida.