When you are 12, or 13, your brain does think innovative, but thinking innovative and acting the same, are two entirely different possibilities.
Indian-origin Shubham Banerjee, struck a deal with Intel Capital, when he was 12, to develop low-cost Braille printers, making him one of the youngest (even by Silicon Valley standards) to garner funding via a VC firm. He runs a firm, named Braico Labs Inc. (and yes, he is 13), which is developing these printers.
It all happened, when Banerjee got an eye on one of the fundraising flyers about the blind. He felt inspired to turn a high-tech version of Legos, the toy building blocks, into a device that could print in Braille. Now, he is all set, to mass-produce those printers at a meagre $350, way way below what current Braille printers cost.
He then worked on Intel’s Edison chip (a chip Intel designed for young innovators) to convert it into a printer. Intel, invited him to a conference in Bangalore, India, where he got the surprise funding for his project.
Intel executive Mike Bell announced from the conference stage that the giant chipmaker would invest in his company, Braigo Labs. Banerjee says,
I turned back to my dad, and said, ‘What did he just say?. I was all over the place.
Amount of funding is still undisclosed from both Banerjee and Intel’s side, but a source familiar, pegged it to some hundred thousand dollars.