The Kano Build-it-yourself Computer For Kids Raises $1.4M On Kickstarter

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Built on top of the Raspberry Pi, Kano is a build-it-yourself computer which launched on Kickstarter with the aim of pulling in $100,000 in crowd funding to get 1,000 of its Kano kits to market by summer 2014. It’s only six hours away from closing its campaign and has raised just over $1.4 million so far.

The kits are for an an “end-to-end computer”, costing $99, which arrives in pieces so the curious – this is mainly aimed at kids – can put it together. Kano’s very simple guidebooks lead the kid on to start coding and building stuff.

This is a simple, fun, step-by-step computer kit which makes the Raspberry Pi a lot more accessible. Kano comes with Keyboard, SD card, makeable casing, case mods, an operating system, lots of games and levels, a DIY speaker, and Level books with dozens of hours of projects.

Kano is not just repackaging Pi hardware but building its own software on an operating system, Kano OS — built on top of Debian Linux (using the Debian Wheezy distro) — and a Scratch-esque visual coding environment called Kano Blocks.

Kano Blocks look like this and show a game of Pong, and Minecraft constructions:

Kano is starting with the idea of serving a global and emerging markets, starting with English, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin versions of its kit’s guidebooks. It’s also working on adding more languages, including Hindi.

The startup has also taken in seed funding from friends & family to develop the kit over the past year, including some funding from Index Ventures via one of its three co-founders, Saul Klein, a partner at the firm.