Teen Creates Braille Printer Using Legos

Shubham Banerjee is the youngest CEO Intel has ever invested in.

ByABC News
November 13, 2014, 3:09 PM
Shubham Banerjee, founder of Braigo Labs Inc., is seen at IDF (Intel Developers Forum) with Braigo 2.0 on Sept. 9, 2014.
Shubham Banerjee, founder of Braigo Labs Inc., is seen at IDF (Intel Developers Forum) with Braigo 2.0 on Sept. 9, 2014.
Braigo Labs Inc.

— -- Intel announced at its Intel Global Summit on Nov. 4 that it was investing $62 million in a total of 16 companies that work in areas like product development, cloud-based technology, mobile technology and more.

The proposed investment in the start-up Braigo Labs, however, stood apart from the pack.

Its CEO is just 13 years old and his start-up is centered around a device that was created with Legos.

When Shubham Banerjee, a middle schooler from San Jose, California, and the youngest CEO Intel has ever invested in, walked onto the stage to demo his product, Moderator Cory Johnson said, to crowd laughs, "So I see this kid here, where's the CEO?"

Banerjee founded Braigo Labs after discovering a serious price problem in the market early this year. Banerjee, who just turned 13 in October, discovered that printers that print Braille, a readable alphabet for the blind, were extremely expensive.

Neil Banerjee, Shubham's father, told ABC News that his son only learned about Braille when a flyer for a blind charity arrived at their doorstep and his son asked, "How do blind people read?"

Neil and his wife encouraged Shubman to discover the answer for himself. So he Googled it. Neil said that the subsequent Google ads catering to Shubman's recent searches suggested purchasing Braille printers.

"They were $2,000 and up," Banerjee said. "He was so surprised."

That's when Shubman decided to work with a kit of Legos and materials that his father got for him from Home Depot to create a product he could debut at his Science Fair in February.

He named that product Braigo -- combining the words Lego and Braille -- and presented his $350 prototype at the Intel Capital Summit less than a year later.

“I was just trying to help people, I never thought it would come this far” Shubman Banjaree said at the Summit, but customer interest made him want to turn his science fair project into a business.

His father Neil told ABC News that he is handling the work and the press attention well. He said that he must get his school work done, and that, as parents, he and his wife Malini set up an appropriate schedule for him and take on the work that they can to help him.

"He's still just a kid who loves to play football," he added.

Looking to the future, Banerjeer, said at the Summit that he intends to get the product to market -- a product no longer made out of Legos -- which is currently in development.

His father said it's a matter of capitalizing on the investment.

"He is just 13. He doesn't know all the things in life. He needs to be surrounded by people who have knowledge and will give him support," he said.