13-Year-Old Entrepreneur Youngest Recipient of Venture Funding

youngest recipient of funding

Most 13-year-olds spend their time playing games and just trying to get through middle school. But not Shubham Banerjee. Instead, he founded his own company, Braigo Labs Inc.

The company, a producer of Braille printers, just received funding from Intel Capital, making Banerjee the youngest-ever recipient of venture funding from Intel. And he’s quite possibly the youngest-ever recipient of funding from any VC firm.

The idea for Banerjee’s innovative product came to him after a non-profit organization dropped off a flyer at his house. The flyer was asking for donations for an organization that helped the blind.

He became curious and asked his parents how blind people read. They encouraged him to do some research on Google. It was then that Banerjee learned about Braille. And he also learned that Braille printers cost upwards of $2,000.

It struck him that many people, particularly those who live in developing countries, wouldn’t be able to afford such an expensive device. He was sure that he could create a printer that would cost much less. So he turned to an unlikely tool — a LEGO kit.

He used LEGOs, paper and some weights to create a prototype Braille printer. He entered it in his school’s science fair and received a lot of positive reception. So he moved forward with his creation to receive the venture funding that may make him one for the record books. See him speak about his project at the Intel Capital Summit 2014 in the video below.

Though the final product won’t be made of LEGOs, it will be much less expensive than other Braille printers — right around $350. There’s clearly a need for such a device, since Braille is necessary for a lot of people. And there aren’t any options even remotely as inexpensive out there.

Banerjee can’t even read Braille. But he likes being able to help people with his innovation. He said at the Intel Capital Summit 2014:

“I was just trying to help people. I never thought it would come this far.”

Image: Video Still


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

8 Reactions
  1. Kids are amazing nowadays. Since most of them have access to the Internet, they are now open to a world where they can become anything they want to be.

  2. He’s done a great job, from conception to cost saving to securing funding. Hope the product comes out within the next year.

    • It is really amazing how much he has done. I’m sure he’ll keep it going and see the product come out soon!

  3. Typo:
    “He used Legos, paper and some weights to create a prototype Braille printer.”

    replace with
    “Lego” or “Lego Bricks”

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for the comment. It’s not really a typo. More like an informal use. Fact is, while LEGO is a brand name and LEGO bricks the company’s name for the product it sells, lots of people know them as LEGOs. You’ll even find some toy stores advertising them that way on the Web. Yes, we’d definitely go with a more formal usage if referring to the company itself. But as a news website of general circulation, we’ll bow to the will of the masses on this one. And their preference for the name of these beloved little plastic bricks couldn’t be clearer. 🙂