Biography

Biography

Ayah Bdeir is the founder and CEO of littleBits, an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks that is empowering kids everywhere to create inventions, large and small.  The company is the leader in education and STEAM.

STEAM includes sciencetechnologyengineeringart, and mathematics.

With a team of 100 people, it has raised $85M and won over 150 awards in tech, education and toys.  Bdeir is an engineer, interactive artist and one of the leaders of the open source hardware movement. She has lectured extensively and taught numerous workshops to get non-engineers, and particularly young girls, interested in STEM and STEAM.

Bdeir’s career has centered on making education and innovation more accessible to people around the world. An alumna of the MIT Media Lab, Bdeir founded littleBits in 2011, after exhibiting a prototype at World Maker Faire in New York City. In 2012, Bdeir was awarded the highly prestigious TED fellowship, as one of 25 innovators from around the world. Her TED talk: “Building Blocks that Blink, Beep and Teach” about littleBits has over 1 million views. She was named a TED Senior Fellow in 2013. Bdeir was named one Business Insider’s 26 Most Powerful Women Engineers, Inc. Magazine’s 35 Under 35, one of Entrepreneur’s 10 Leaders to Watch, one of the CNBC Next List, and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. Originally from Lebanon, Ayah now lives in New York City.

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Awards

2017

  • Forbes Women @ Forbes Under 30: Closing the Tech Gap
  • Silicon Republic The Game-Changers of 2018

2016

  • NYSCI Creative Entrepreneurship Award from The New York Hall of Science
  • 2016 Marie Claire America’s 50 Most Influential Women
  • Crains New York 40 Under 40

2015

  • Disruptor Awards Honoree

2014

  • Inc. Magazine 35 Under 35
  • Popular Mechanics 25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream
  • 2014 Entrepreneur Magazine 10 Up and Coming Leaders to Watch
  • MIT Technology Review 35 Innovators Under 35
  • CNBC Next List
  • New York Business Journal Women of Influence winner

2013

  • Fast Company Most Creative People in Business
  • TED Senior Fellowship
  • Ozy Rising Star

2012

  • TED Fellowship

2011

  • Maker Faire Editor’s Pick

2010

  • Creative Commons Fellowship
  • INK Fellowship

2008

  • Eyebeam Senior Fellowship

2007

  • Eyebeam Fellowship