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Internet Idit Harel

Idit Harel

Idit Harel is founder, Chairman and CEO of MaMaMedia. Idit Harel has been developing and introducing new-media technologies to kids since the early 80's - the earliest days of the personal computer. One of the first graduates of Harvard's Education Technology Program and the MIT Media Lab, Harel founded MaMaMedia in 1995, in NYC, to develop a business for creating playful web-based products and services that help kids and families use the Internet constructively and creatively for learning and play.

Over the past seven years, critically acclaimed had tens of millions of visitors, grown to a community of almost five million registered kids members, and received numerous awards, including the coveted Computerworld Award for Technology Innovation (in 1999 & 2002), and Yahoo! Internet Life's "Best of the Net" Award for Kids two years in a row (1999 & 2000).

As CEO in the past 7 years, Idit Harel has 1) built a powerful team, 2) established a leading children's new-media company with one of the top children's sites, 3) developed a large library of software engines, and customizable online content, projects, activities, and interactive characters; as well as 4) formed business partnerships with AOL Time Warner's America Online and RoadRunner; Microsoft's WebTV & MSN-TV, Intel, Scholastic, General Mills, Nintendo, Disney, General Mills, Minute-Maid's Hi-C, and many others.

During 2000-2002 Harel responded fast and effectively to drastic market changes, downsized the company and restructured the entire business, and was able to refinance it, turn it around, and saved it. In 2002, MaMaMedia supports itself with advertising and sponsorships from kids companies such as Nintendo, Kraft, Disney, Warner Brothers, and Kellogg. The company established the "MaMaMedia Professional Services Group" - a consulting group with kids/technology expertise. The team consults and does web development (work-for-hire) in the areas of education, kids' marketing, TV programming, On-air/Online integration, tech-toys, educational publishing, and Internet media technology programming. September 2002 was the first profitable month for MaMaMedia Inc.

Harel is a published author of books and articles, and is often an invited speaker to business and academic communities. Born and raised in Israel, she holds a Ph.D. from MIT, two graduate degrees from Harvard University, and a BA from Tel-Aviv University. She is a mother of three (ages 22, 19, and 10), and a tireless contributor to business innovation and media technology conferences and initiatives dedicated to the integration of media technology to reform education, such as FOCAS, the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society, and the Academy of the Computerworld Honors Program. Harel also serves on the advisory boards of ATLAS, the University of Colorado's Alliance for Technology Learning and Society; Dialogue on Diversity for Women in Business; advised the Sesame Workshop's Research and Development team; Nation1, an Internet-based global youth network; and CAMP, a Kyoto-based technology and learning research foundation.

In April 1992, Harel's book "Children Designers" received the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Book Award. In June 2002, MaMaMedia received two awards: Peace Project awarded first place in Computerworld's Media & Entertainment category "for innovative use of Internet technology to benefit society;" Harel received an Honor from the Network of Educators in Science and Technology and MIT "for devotion, innovation, and imagination in science and technology on behalf of children and youth around the world."


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