Meet the 13-year-old boy starting his own Silicon Valley company

Jumpers for goalposts?

No time for that. At just 13, Shubham Banerjee looks set to become the youngest Silicon Valley entrepreneur ever after receiving funding from computer giant Intel to develop an affordable, lightweight Braille printer – which he made out of Lego.

I'm still waiting for my eureka moment...

Banerjee's came when he asked his parents how blind people read. Like any good modern-day parent, they directed him to Google. Doing his research, he was shocked to find that a Braille printer would set you back £1,300 and weighed a cumbersome 9kg. So he turned to his toy box to see if he could do any better…


All hail the Braigo! A combination of 'Braille' and 'Lego' (duh), it's the name of the printer he built at his kitchen table in California in the evenings after school from a Lego Mindstorms robotics kit. The lightweight device will cost just £200.

What inspired him?

"I know that there is a simpler way to do this," he thought after being struck by the sky-high expense. His father had faith in him and backed his son to the tune of $35,000 (£31,000).

And it's paid off?

Yes, Intel sees great potential in Banerjee's design. Edward Ross, director of inventor platforms at the company, said: "He's solving a real problem, and he wants to go off and disrupt an existing industry. And that's really what it's all about." They now aim to have a product ready this summer for testing by blind organisations.

Move over Zuckerberg?

Not quite. While a whizz with the Lego, Banerjee is currently too young to be chief executive of a company – so his mother is in charge for now. Leaving him free to focus his energies on school – or, better still, get to work on his next invention.

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