Our founder, entrepreneur and data science pioneer, Edwina Dunn hosted a fireside chat with electrical engineering entrepreneur and Adafruit Industries founder Limor Fried. As one of the Female Leads, Limor is a vibrant, passionate and realistic voice for what it takes to create a disruptive business. While sometimes chasing a passion can be an emotional and overwhelming effort, Limor reminds us that ‘if there is a brick wall, it means there is something valuable behind it.’
Limor earned a bachelor’s of science in electrical engineering and computer science and a master’s of engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). As is the lore of many a genius entrepreneur, Limor founded Adafruit Industries from her MIT dorm room. The business which designs and resells open-source electronic kits, components, and tools (mainly for hobbyists) later moved into a headquarters in New York City.
Today Adafruit’s mission includes a focus on pre-school STEM education, in addition to being a top go-to for the electrical engineering hobbyist. The 100% women-owned company generates revenue of more than $40 million annually. Limor has won a number of awards including the ‘Most Influential Women in Technology’ award by Fast Company magazine. She was also the first female engineer to be featured on the cover of Wired Magazine and named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Entrepreneur magazine.
Limor had some strong and inspiring words for the audience at Advertising Week. By forging ahead in an industry with few women at the helm, Limor shared her thoughts about failure and fear. ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste,’ Limor said. She, like Edwina, stressed the value of facing down failure. Both talked about the times when they almost lost it all and how they took that learning and used it to grow.
From the number of attendees who asked to be in touch with both founders after the talk, it’s clear that Edwina and Limor struck a cord.