littleBits Joins the Prestigious Disney Accelerator Program

July 11, 2016

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true

 

We are going to Disneyland!!!

Today, littleBits is honored to join the prestigious Disney Accelerator program! Every year, The Walt Disney Company selects a handful of companies with a common trait: the ability to dream big, and a vision for making an impact on the world of entertainment and technology. In the Disney Accelerator, they’re given the incredible creative expertise and resources of The Walt Disney Company in order to develop innovative new entertainment experiences and products.

Probably like everyone in the universe, I have a very personal connection to Disney. I grew up in Beirut, Lebanon—far from Anaheim, California—but I still remember watching the Little Mermaid on repeat. When I was 12, my parents took my sisters and me to Disneyland, and I couldn’t sleep a minute the night before, knowing that the next day I would get to meet Mickey in person.

From left to right: Dania Bdeir, Mickey Mouse, Ayah BdeirAyah Bdeir & her sister Dania Bdeir with Mickey Mouse in 1994

 

The integrity, innovation, and magic of Disney has influenced me in my adult life as well. As we grow bigger and bring littleBits to more people across the globe, one of my favorite quotes that is a constant inspiration for the company is:

“We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”
– Walt Disney

 

I tend to put my own spin on it during team meetings:

“We don’t make products to make money, we make money to make products to get the world inventing.”

 

We’re also super excited to work with and learn from Disney’s vast network of media and entertainment properties: ABC Television, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, ESPN, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Maker Studios, Disney Games, and Disney Consumer Products & Interactive.

80bb8d68-6c33-4a3a-94f0-a49f06cc01d1 Invention #1578: littleBits R2D2, by Diego Thuler from Americana, Brazil.

 

Our acceptance into the Disney Accelerator marks an important milestone for littleBits, as we work to bring invention into every home and every classroom. Over the next three months, we’ll be working closely with the Disney Accelerator team to brainstorm, prototype, and develop ideas for amazing new littleBits products, culminating with a Demo Day on October 13, 2016.

We’ve already seen the magic that happens when you combine littleBits with Disney via our community, who have created countless Disney-inspired littleBits inventions, ranging from an Aladdin’s lamp that plays music using the mp3 Player to a Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon costume that lights up and dispenses chemballs.

 

We can’t wait to invent with Disney! Some companies are worth melting for.

Invention #2401: “Frozen” Snow Globe, by JackANDJude. The snow globe uses littleBits Arduino to play music from the Frozen soundtrack and blow snow around Olaf.

 

There is so much for us to learn from Disney. Disney is one of those companies that crosses the boundaries of space and time, transcending languages and generations; bringing people of all ages and nationalities together. Disney has also renewed its commitment to heritage and diversity, striving to foster a rich diversity of voices, perspectives and experiences across its products and companies.

But most importantly, and more meaningfully, Disney is a company about bringing more imagination, magic, and fantasy to the world. We could not be more honored to work alongside these creative innovators who share our desire to bring more magic into the universe – whether it’s on screen or built with Bits in your own two hands.

 

To infinity and beyond,

Ayah, Founder & CEO
littleBits

 

This week is DISNEY WEEK at littleBits! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see more Disney-inspired littleBits inventions!

 

About littleBits

littleBits is the New York-based hardware startup that is on a mission to Democratize Hardware by empowering everyone—of any gender, age or technical background—to Create Inventions, large and small, with its innovative platform of easy-to-use Electronic Building Blocks. Our innovative building blocks snap together with magnets to allow anyone to build, invent, and prototype with electronics independent of age, gender and technical background. From classrooms to homes, littleBits is driving excitement for invention-based learning through design challenges and in-classroom curriculum. littleBits is being used by more than 14,000 educators across the world as an engaging tool for making STEAM more accessible to all students and preparing them for the jobs that haven’t been invented yet.

Founded in 2011 by MIT graduate, TED Senior Fellow and cofounder of the Open Hardware Summit, Ayah Bdeir, littleBits has grown to be a global leader in hardware. Bdeir was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, one of one of Inc.’s “35 Under 35” and “Entrepreneurs to Watch,” one of Entrepreneur’s “10 Leaders to Watch,” one of Popular Mechanics’ “25 Makers Who Are Reinventing the American Dream,” and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35. The littleBits platform includes more than 9 kits and 67 interoperable modules with millions of products sold to over 150 countries around the world.