|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|Key people||Yonatan Raz-Fridman (CEO)
Alex Klein (CPO)
A month-long Kickstarter campaign initiated in November 2013 raised over $1.5 million, and helped launch the mass production of the device. It was Kickstarter's most crowdfunded learning invention ever and third most-funded design project. Backers of the Kano Kickstarter included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler, who pre-ordered the kit.
In November 2012, "Alex, Yonatan, and Saul were trying to imagine what a computer for the next generation would look like." They "wanted to know if it was possible to make a computer kit that would be fun enough to hold kids' attention, but smart enough to actually teach them something." They drew inspiration from Saul's then 6-year-old son Micah, who advised that he wanted the kit to be as fun as Legos and he wanted to be able to figure out how to build the computer on his own without needing someone to teach it to him.
In January 2013, development began "with the goal of making the Raspberry Pi more accessible." The founders collaborated with Raspberry Pi and Codecademy, with Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton serving as an advisor. The trio also received feedback on the project "by working with parents, educators, and children around the world." This included taking the device to schools in low-income areas of London, where the students responded enthusiastically.
In the development phase, "Kano made 200 kits and sold them out based on word of mouth in London schools and at some big companies... The company spent its resources making the design better, creating its own Raspberry Pi operating system, hardware add-ons, and making a plug-and-play design."
The Kano kit "includes everything required to build a computer short of a screen, including a Raspberry Pi, a case, wireless keyboard with trackpad, cables, Wi-Fi dongle, and even a speaker." The simple instructional guide shows the user how to build the computer by connecting parts together in a manner "a bit like lego."
According to Metro New York, "the machine can serve many functions of a regular laptop – web browsing, correspondence – but the main appeal lies in teaching non-experts how computers work 'under the hood.'"
On 19 November 2013, Kano launched a month-long Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the mass manufacture of the computer for the summer of 2014, primarily through $99 pre-orders of the device. Within 18 hours, Kano had reached its goal of raising $100,000.
At the conclusion of the campaign on 19 December, Kano had raised over $1.5 million from 13,387 backers, making it Kickstarter's most crowdfunded learning invention ever and third most-funded design project. Backers of the Kano Kickstarter included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler, who preordered the kit.
Wired magazine said Kano "merges basic computer science concepts with gorgeous, functional design, turning just about anyone into a computer maker." Business Insider called Kano "a computer that's as easy to build as Lego."
Writing in The Guardian, Samuel Gibbs commented, "The Raspberry Pi is a fantastic little machine, but not that simple to get up and running if the user has never built a PC or used Linux before. Kano is trying to change that for adults and children alike."
Rohan Silva, a former British government advisor for technology described Kano as a major breakthrough: "It's the best computer designed with the majority of the world in mind. Past 'maker' innovations have focused on the West, but for the first time this makes tools available wherever you are born. It's a revolutionary moment for computing."
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- "Kano simplifies Raspberry Pi, smashes Kickstarter target". Wired. 20 November 2013.
- "How Kano turned Patrick, aged eight, into a computer programmer". The Guardian. 4 January 2014.
- "Kano: A computer anyone can make". Kickstarter. 19 November 2013.
- "Drool-Worthy $99 Kit Lets Kids Build Their Own Computers". Wired. 3 December 2013.
- "Kano launches Kickstarter for a PC kit that anyone can assemble into a computer". VentureBeat. 19 November 2013.
- "Startups Aim to Demystify Computing". The Wall Street Journal. 4 December 2013.
- "Everyone, everywhere, loves a good story". Kickstarter. 10 December 2013.
- "We have the talent. We need the equipment.". YouTube. 18 December 2013.
- "Crowdfund this: the Kano computer you can build in 107 seconds". The Guardian. 20 November 2013.
- "The DIY computer: Kano can be yours for $99". Metro. 29 November 2013.
- "Kano: a Raspberry Pi computer that snaps together like Lego in 107 seconds". The Independent. 21 November 2013.
- "The $99 Kid’s Computer Kit Kano Is About to Hit $1M on Kickstarter". All Things Digital. 3 December 2013.
- "Kano: A computer anyone can assemble, for coding and learning". YourStory. 26 November 2013.
- "Brief: Kano Kickstarter Ends, Raises Over $1.5 Million". Crowdfund Insider. 20 December 2013.
- "Lighting fireworks in 2014". Kickstarter. 3 January 2014.
- "Steve Wozniak just backed a DIY computer on Kickstarter—and so have 12,000 others". Quartz. 17 December 2013.
- "Steve Wozniak Backed This Awesome Computer Kit On Kickstarter". Business Insider. 18 December 2013.