Moulay A. Essakalli

Moulay A. Essakalli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zid Zid. Essakalli relocated to the U.S. in the summer of 2016 to launch the first play-based language learning membership platform for preschoolers. Zid Zid empowers children to learn languages through real-world activities complemented with bilingual storybooks, songs, and on-screen games. 

Zid Zid is a 2016 graduate of The Brandery, a seed stage startup accelerator in Cincinnati, Ohio, ranked as one of the top 10 accelerator programs in the United States. The Brandery leverages the expertise of the Cincinnati region, namely in branding, marketing, and design. 

From 2005 to May 2016 Essakalli was CEO of the Morocco-based, award-winning children’s brand Zid Zid Kids. His vision has been to make a positive impact on the global marketplace by embracing sustainable manufacturing practices and high design standards for children. Zid Zid Kids began designing soft toys and children's furnishings for play-based learning. The products were distributed worldwide and received international recognition, including The Global Entrepreneurship Award from President Barack Obama in 2010. Zid Zid Kids’ designs have also been recognized by top international trade shows, publications & media.

Prior to co-founding Zid Zid Kids, Essakalli worked in the US for 17 years and was an active Experience Design Principal for top firms in Boston. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the Université de Nice, France in 1986. In addition, he mentored aspiring Moroccan designers at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech, Morocco between 2009 and 2015.

Fluent in Arabic, English, and French, Essakalli has been a partner in business and in life with Zid Zid Co-Founder and Creative Director Julie Klear. They live in Cincinnati with two trilingual teenage children: Noor and Zak.