Our first star is… *drum rolls*... Limor Fried, the founder of Adafruit Industries, the hottest place for learning electronics these days.
Limor Fried is an electrical engineer who graduated from MIT with a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). Back when she was an undergraduate, Fried often blogged about her DIY (Do-It-Yourself) electronic projects, which garnered so much interest from her classmates that she eventually started making kits and selling them. This gig became the seed for Adafruit Industries, an electronics hobbyist company that Fried founded in 2005 and still owns 100% today.
With Adafruit, Fried’s goal was “to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels,” and she is certainly working towards this goal through the various resources she has provided on her company site, where you can find many tutorials on cool electronics projects and buy different components or kits for a decent price, and Adafruit’s YouTube channel, where you can watch interviews and live shows about their current projects and even more tutorials. In addition, Fried maintains her personal website, where you can learn more about her past projects and find even more resources for DIY projects.
With such efforts, it is no surprise that Fried became the first female engineer to grace the cover of Wired or that she was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Entrepreneur in 2012. Her brainchild, Adafruit, has grown to over 100+ employees in the heart of NYC with a 50,000+ sq ft. factory, and is ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 "fastest growing private companies”. Fried’s accomplishments have inspired many people, students and colleagues alike, but Fried especially hopes to inspire the younger generation into following her path. In an interview with CNET, Fried said, "If there's one thing I'd like to see from this, it would be for some kids to say to themselves "I could do that" and start the journey to becoming an engineer and entrepreneur."
If you are interested in learning more about Fried’s works, listen to her podcast “You Can’t Outsource Knowledge” or visit her personal site.