Child's Play

Jim Mitchell leads Fuhu Inc. to record growth

As the CEO of Fuhu Inc., creator of the award-winning Nabi, Purdue alumnus Jim Mitchell helped introduce the first Android-based tablet for children. And while the product may be for kids, the results that Mitchell and his team have achieved are anything but child's play.

Jim Mitchell

Fuhu Inc. CEO and Purdue alumnus Jim Mitchell spoke this February at the Krannert Executive Forum. Click on the image above for exclusive video commentary from the tech leader. (Photo by Mary Laurie)

Fuhu was named the "most promising company" in America by Forbes and was also cited as the "fastest-growing U.S. company" by Inc. magazine. It sold 1.2 million units of the Nabi last year generating $118 million in revenue for a three-year growth rate of 42,148 percent.

Mitchell, who spoke at the Krannert Executive Forum in February, sees the Nabi as a distribution channel for children's content of all kinds. "We have millions of screens on the market –– it's like a whole TV network," he said. “We’re always looking to take advantage of the next wave of technology, but are committed to using it in a way that teaches kids the core skills they’ll need as their education progresses. We want our products to provide an immersive, delightful learning experience every time a kid turns one on.”

In September, Fuhu released an audio dock attachment that converts the Nabi into a karaoke machine. There also is a special-edition Disney Nabi, preloaded with Disney videos, that sells exclusively at Best Buy, and a special-edition Nickelodeon Nabi that sells exclusively at Walmart. And then there’s the Dream Tablet, designed especially for DreamWorks.

Fuhu also has a partnership with Japanese mobile provider KDDI to produce a Japanese version of Fooz Kids, and later this year company will launch in China.

Before his role at Fuhu, Mitchell was a partner at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) with 19 years of experience working with global market makers in the media, high tech and electronics industries. He has worked with such leading brands as Google, HP, Sun, DirecTV, Ingram Micro, Qualcomm, Toshiba, Intel and Nokia with a focus on increasing shareholder value by opening new channels, launching new products and businesses, improving supply chain and global operations and enhancing customer care.

Mitchell was a co-founder of Accenture’s e-commerce practice and he established Internet centers throughout the country to deliver Internet-based solutions to leading edge companies and the Fortune 500. In 2000 he was admitted to partnership at Accenture and was a managing partner for a portfolio of electronic and high tech companies in the Western and Southwest regions totaling over $100 million in sales and revenue per year.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in management and computer science from Purdue and holds six patents on e-commerce frameworks for doing business via the Internet.