Kano Offers $150 DIY Computer Kit Using Raspberry Pi

A do-it-yourself computer kit that got its start through a Kickstarter campaign is now available to young would-be coders. Kano, which got its start through crowdfunding in 2013, is targeting its $150 kit at technology-minded kids ages 6 to 14.

Based in London, Kano was founded by CEO Yonatan Raz-Fridman, an Israeli entrepreneur; Chief Product Officer Alex Klein, a former technology and finance journalist; and Saul Klein, an entrepreneur whose son Micah inspired the do-it-yourself computer concept.

Built using a Raspberry Pi single-board computer, the Kano kit also comes with a keyboard, speaker and other hardware, although it doesn't include a display monitor. Designed to be easily snapped together Lego-style, the kit -- once built -- then enables users to teach themselves how to code.

Backers Include 'Woz'

The idea for Kano was born when Micah Klein challenged his cousin Alex to create a computer he could build by himself. Micah's father, Saul Klein, then introduced his cousin to Raz-Fridman, and the two began developing the Kano kit in a London flat.

The startup team launched a Kickstarter campaign in November 2013 with the goal of raising $100,000. Within less than 30 days, more than 13,000 backers came forward to pledge over $1.5 million, and Kano started moving from concept to kit.

The company's supporters include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Kickstarter co-founder and CEO Yancey Strickler, former Obama for America CTO Harper Reed, and Ellen Miller, founder of the Center for Responsive Politics.

'Creativity, Not Just Consumption'

"We wanted to build a computer with creativity, not just consumption, at the core," said Alex Klein. The idea, he said, was to make computer-building and coding "as simple and fun as Lego."

We reached out to Klein to learn more about the response to Kano.

"What surprised us most has been the diversity of computer...

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