A while ago I met an 18-year old high-school kid from Karlovac, Croatia, called Albert Gajsak. Karlovac is a small town where I grew up myself.
Albert has been messing around with robotics and electronics for a couple of years, participating in different student competitions, and investing all his free time into this hobby-turned-obsession.
I liked him because he was hard working, passionate and a little bit crazy. He wanted to create stuff and had this general “fuck it, let’s do it” attitude, which I personally enjoy.
The kid just won’t stop talking
So I was sitting with Albert drinking coffee, and he’s telling me about how he has his own ideas and wants to turn them into reality. He wants to do his own thing and he wants to help other kids get into the world of technology and engineering.
So I’m thinking, cool story bro, but can barely get a word in because the kid won’t stop talking. That doesn’t happen very often to me in conversations, so I started thinking — this might be interesting.
After getting a Harvard prize book award, Albert started prepping for SAT-s, with the goal of studying at a US university, but then abruptly quit and decided to follow his passion.
When you’re 18 years old making such a big decision isn’t easy. Especially if your parents aren’t rich and there’s no safety net to catch you. It takes guts.
First commercial product — the MakerBuino
MAKERbuino is a DIY (do it yourself) gaming console, reminiscent of the Gameboy, but with one pivotal difference – it comes in kit form, meaning you have to assemble (solder) it yourself.
After you do that (and hopefully it works), you can sit behind a computer and program games for it.
Now, try to imagine that from a perspective of a creative child. You get this box full of parts, you put it all together, then you code something for it, and in the end — play games on this device that you yourself have built.
He’s explaining to me how he can make this thing and sell it for $40–50 and how that’s the same price a video game costs, so why wouldn’t parents want to buy this for their kid.
And it all kind of makes sense. Technology is changing the way people live and work, so getting more people involved in this area is very important.
The Kickstarter campaign
The first MAKERbuino is out with a Kickstarter campaign and it’s a breakout success.
In a mere 3 days (of the predicted 24 days), it managed to hit the goal of $10k in funding (it's at $30k, at this time), was featured by Kickstarter in the “New and noteworthy” category, got covered on Mashable and is gaining fans all over the world.
I started Infinum with Matej when I was 19 years old, and the main thing I needed back then was mentorship and money. In hindsight, everything turned out great, but it could have been even better if we had access to these resources from the very beginning.
So I decided to do something about it and invest money in Albert and his ideas. The company will be called CircuitMess, and MAKERbuino will be the first product. The goal is to develop, manufacture and sell products in the field of electronics and learning.
If you think this is a cool idea or you want to support the work of a smart 18-year old - go support the campaign while it’s still running.