Maxeme Tuchman was named the 2017 Toyota Mother of Invention on Monday night at the Women in the World Texas Salon. The honor was presented by Lisa Materazzo, Toyota’s vice president of marketing and communications, who told the audience that the automaker has honored 19 entrepreneurs over the last five years and delivered the exciting news to Tuchman. “Tonight we welcome Max to the family,” Materazzo said and then presented her with grant of $50,000. “Oh my God!” Tuchman said before the two embraced in a hug. “Thank you so much.” Above, watch full video of the presentation.
Tuchman is the CEO and co-founder of the information tech company Caribu, which allows people to read bedtime and other stories to children when they’re away from home. Alisha Laventure, anchor and reporter for the Dallas TV station WFAA, then interviewed Tuchman about the inspiration behind her product. Describing Caribu and how it works, Tuchman said, “We like to say, we’re FaceTime meets Kindle for kids.”
Tuchman told the audience she was inspired to invent Caribu after seeing a photograph of a U.S. soldier who was in a coffee shop trying to read a book to his daughter through a webcam. In the photo, the soldier is seen wearing his battle fatigues and holding a large book up to the camera on the laptop.
“Does your heart not break when you look at this photo?” Tuchman said to the audience. “You know he can’t see his daughter and she can’t see the text. And this is a man that’s out there possibly giving his life to keep our families safe. And this is the best technology we have.”
Watch the full interview and see the photo that inspired her invention below.