If Shubham Banerjee cannot lay claim to being the world's youngest venture capital-backed entrepreneur, he comes very close. Banerjee was 12 years old when he closed an early-stage funding round with Intel Capital, the company's venture capital arm, for his prototype for a low-cost Braille printer. Since then, the San Jose, California middle-schooler has turned 13. That's young, even by the standards of Silicon Valley, where many venture capitalists unapologetically prefer to fund youth over experience. After reading a fundraising flyer about the blind, Banerjee felt inspired to turn a high-tech version of Legos into a device that could print in Braille. One day, he wants to mass-produce the printers and sell them for about $350, far less than Braille printers cost now. This past summer, he worked on incorporating an Intel Edison chip, a processor aimed at hobbyists, into the printer. In September, Intel invited him to a conference in India to highlight uses for Edison. There, he got a big surprise. Intel executive Mike Bell announced from the conference stage that the giant chipmaker would invest in his company, Braigo Labs. Banerjee and a spokesman for Intel Capital declined to disclose the size of the investment.
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