Startup
Spotlight

Caribu

Tell us about you.

I’ve been a serial social entrepreneur since I was little kid growing up in Miami. When you’re a Jewban (Cuban-Jew), your parents were immigrants to this country, and you’re the first in your family to graduate from college, you naturally build the same skills you need for entrepreneurship… grit, hustle, hunger, and striving for goals people tell you are unattainable. This is probably my fifth business and my second tech startup.

 

 

Tell us about your company. Caribu is an education platform that helps parents, grandparents, and mentors to read and draw with children through an interactive video call when they’re not in the same location. We have hundreds of books, in six languages, and educational workbooks you can draw on together in real-time. We have a subscription based model and donate free subscriptions to currently serving military through our partnership with Blue Star Families. We were named one of the top ten edtech companies to watch in Forbes and were featured in an Apple Keynote and iPad campaign. In the last 12 months we were featured in an episode of The Pitch, got accepted into the AT&T Aspire Accelerator, won the 1776 global pitch competition, raised a $1.3M seed round and received $50K from Toyota to continue our work in early childhood literacy. Their tagline is “Let’s Go Places,” and we were featured in a Toyota commercial to show that only with a strong foundation in early childhood literacy can you truly Go Places. We’re excited about our accolades, but we’re most proud when we get the customer emails from moms, grandmas and deployed parents that tell us how Caribu has improved their relationships with their toddlers and created a new love for reading.

In the past 1.5 years
together, we’ve invested
as much in the Miami
ecosystem as they’ve
invested in us, and I’m
honored to be building
and growing our
company in my hometown.

 

Max Tuchman, CEO & Co-Founder
Why did you choose Miami to
start your company?

I was born and raised in Miami, and even though I’ve lived all over the US at one point or another, Miami is always calling me home. Luckily, my co-founder just happened to be living in Miami and since the ecosystem is still young we can be a big dolphin in a small pond. In the past 1.5 years together, we’ve invested as much in the Miami ecosystem as they’ve invested in us, and I’m honored to be building and growing our company in my hometown.

 

 

What is the biggest
challenge that you’ve
overcome since then?
Trying to raise a seed round as a female-founded company in a young ecosystem was extremely tough, but we’ve overcome that challenge thankfully. Every other challenge, I can truthfully say, was overcome because there is an incredibly supportive and collaborative group of women in our ecosystem who will do everything in their power to lift each other up, celebrate each other, and help each other succeed.
Where do you see your
company in 3 years? In 5?

In 3 years we are a household name. Instead of “Let’s FaceTime with the grandkids tonight,” families will be saying “Let’s Caribu tonight.” In 5 years, well, global domination obviously.

 

 

Where do you see the
future of Miami?

I think the future IS Miami. Soon, more cities will look like us when it comes to diverse communities, the rate of small business creation, and the effects of climate change. What we accomplish here will be the example for what the future of cities will look like.

 

 

Favorite local place to
take visiting friends for
a Miami 
experience?

-Sweat Records in Little Haiti

-The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive for jazz and culture

-Sazon for amazing Cuban food (ummm… Guava cheesecake and cafecitos!)

-A Northwestern vs Booker T HS football game at Traz Powell stadium (with Bahamian Conch Salad)