Shubham Banerjee generated a low-cost Braille printer with a toy. Now, the 13 -year-olds startup is attracting investors and shaking up an industry to help the visually impaired
When not disrupting an industry, ripening his fellowship or pitching prospective buyers, Shubham Banerjee can be found encountering his board, brainstorming with architects or knocking on the doors of venture capitalists. Such is the life of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.
He is 13 years old.
Yes, I started young, he said this week, as “his fathers” drove him from academy, still in his navy blue uniform, to converge a potential investor. But you ascertain, Ive been playing with Lego since I was two years old.
Others may consider Lego a toy but Shubham, precocious even by Silicon Valleys guidelines, considers it a tool for technological innovation.
The eighth-grader applied Lego to create a low-cost Braille printer that he designed over long evenings at his familys kitchen table in Santa Clara, an hour south of San Francisco. The idea is to book Braille reading materials from a personal computer or electronic design on to paper using grown specks instead of ink.
His startup, Braigo Labs, has received undisclosed seed capital from patrons who think it could shake up world markets for the visually impaired.
Shubham wants to develop a desktop printer that costs around $350, rather than the usual $2,000, and weighs merely a few pounds rather than 20. He likewise hopes though this remains science fiction for now to develop refreshable digital Braille, so the blind can read tablets and laptops.
The founder and public look of Braigo Labs is too young to clue reports or write cheques so his mother is the official chief executive. “His fathers”, Niloy, initially from India, acts as the board.
Shubham designed the idea as local schools discipline bazaar programme last year, after he expected his mothers how the blind read. Google it, they replied.
He said he was shocked has found that a market of 200 million people, most in developing countries, are dependent upon clunky, expensive gear. I decided to hack it, he said.
He applied a Lego Mindstorms EV3 gear robotics kit to build a prototype which won a district fair rivalry and rendered local sound. “His fathers”, himself an operator and serial entrepreneur who works at Intel, invested $35,000 to get Braigo Labs off the ground last summer.
Shubham improved a most sophisticated 2.0 version using an off-the-shelf desktop printer and Intel computer chip who are capable of carry electronic verse into Braille before printing.
Intel administrations then invested an undisclosed summing-up for a share in the company, preparing the schoolboy one of the youngest entrepreneurs to receive venture capital.( Mark Zuckerberg was a relatively crusty 19 -year-old when he launched an embyronic version of Facebook .)
Hes solving a real problem, and he wants to go off and disrupt an existing industry. And thats certainly what its all about, Edward Ross, head of Inventor Platforms at Intel, told the Associated Press.
The Banerjees are use the money invested to repay about five outside architects to work on the product.
Shubham hopes to launch the third largest version this summer, starting by sending about 25 prototypes to dazzle universities for feedback before scaling up product. Agents from the Royal National Institute of Blind People are due to move out from Britain to review the technology.
Every other epoch after academy were encountering investors, Shubham read.
His father brimmed with optimism. Its a great make, he read. Were focused on fetching this is something that market so real people can benefit.
Shubhams favourite topics at academy are maths and discipline. Classmates were relatively chilled about his entrepreneurial sideline, though some sensed opening, he read. A few have asked if they can be part of my company.
Shubham also dialogues, play-acts guitar and American football game hes a quarterback. He said his heroes were his parents and business icons Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.
But becoming a billionaire is not necessarily on the orders of the day. I conclude Id like to be an operator or a surgeon, he said.
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