Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor "Ladyada" Fried. Her 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. In the last 10 years, Adafruit has grown to over 100+ employees in the heart of NYC with a 50,000+ sq ft. factory. Adafruit has expanded offerings to include tools, equipment, and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests, and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. Adafruit is a 100% woman owned manufacturing company, a certified Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE), a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), and WOSB.
During the COVID-19 outbreak Adafruit Industries is operating as an essential service and manufacturing business: NYC – Executive Order 202.6 making PPE and medical device components. In 2020 Adafruit was appointed to the Small Business Sector Advisory Council by the City of New York to help restart the NYC economy post COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2022, New York City launched a new Industrial Working Group which Adafruit is Co-Chairing, bringing together leaders from across the city’s industrial and manufacturing sectors with academics and policy experts to redefine the sectors’ needs and opportunities as the city recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Limor was the
first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine, awarded
Entrepreneur Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year, and was on
the cover of Make: Vol. 57. Ladyada was a founding member of the NYC Industrial Business Advisory Council. Adafruit is ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and
#1 in New York City
by Inc. 5000 "fastest growing private companies." Adafruit is featured in Google's Economic Impact Report. Limor was named a
White House Champion of Change in 2016.
In 2018 Limor became one of "America's Top 50 Women in Tech" by Forbes Magazine.
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Adafruit manufactures many of our own products right here in our NYC factory. From designing PCBs, to loading the pick and place machines. Printing, soldering, testing, debugging, and more...the Adafruit production line allows us to come up with new ideas and get them to customers in a matter of weeks. Our pick and place machine has produced over 3 million boards in 3 years! In addition to our product manufacturing, many of Adafruit’s shows and videos are produced and broadcast live from right here in the factory as well. This includes the long-running Ask an Engineer and Show & Tell programs, which air every Wednesday evening.
Limor Fried, Adafruit founder and lead engineer, works with a team of talented Creative Engineers to develop community-driven products and code. For example, the Adafruit Feather (released in 2015) is a complete line with over 100 products, including development boards and accessories. In 2017, we introduced the coding language CircuitPython, our own branch of MicroPython, designed to simplify experimentation and education on low-cost microcontrollers. The Circuit Playground Express is our latest educational board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino - no soldering required! Crickit - our Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit - is a new add-on Circuit Playground Express that lets you #MakeRobotFriend.