When Maxeme Tuchman saw a photo of an on-duty soldier sitting in front of a laptop, awkwardly holding a picture book to “read” to his daughter through a webcam, “it was heartbreaking,” the educator recalls. Was it possible that today’s technology couldn’t give kids and parents a better way to enjoy one of childhood’s fundamental joys- reading stories together? In that moment, Caribu was born: “We say it’s like FaceTime meets Kindle, for kids,” says Tuchman, the ebullient CEO and founder of the company. In 2017, Tuchman was named one of Toyota’s Mothers of Invention, for her endearingly simple yet effective reading app. Not only can parents connect with their kids over long distances – whether they’re deployed in the military or just out of town – being able to maintain a simple nightly routine of reading together is a boon to literacy, Tuchman says. Toyota has honored Maxeme Tuchman with a Mothers of Invention grant to further develop and distribute Caribu.

Maxeme Tuchman

Since its inception in 2012, Toyota has cultivated the Toyota Mothers of Invention program by not only awarding more than $1 million to these women-led companies with Driving Solutions grants, but also facilitating networking opportunities, building relevant connections, and providing access to intellectual capital to help their organizations go places. These women, who are leading the charge to work on issues like homelessness, education, food, water, energy, and more, come from all over the world, and are using innovation to create lasting and sustainable impact.

To learn more about Toyota’s Mothers of Invention, please click here.