I recently stumbled upon a story about Caine Monroy, a nine-year-old who started an arcade business made from discarded boxes.
Caine, a creative boy with an entrepreneurial spirit created a whole arcade in his dad’s auto shop in East LA. This is not your typical arcade, but a cardbox arcade filled with new games invented and built by Caine himself. He has found innovative ways to cut costs by assembling his own contraptions. The first game he created was a basketball game with a little plastic hoop taped to a cardboard box. He charged customers a nickel for a shot. From there, his games became more intricate.
WATCH the clip that made Caine’s Arcade a huge success.
The best thing about Caine’s Arcade is how energetic Caine is as a business owner. He even has his own office and business cards. He is serious about earning money and not afraid to work hard. When you win a game, Caine will personally climb into the backend and push the winning tickets out of a slot for you, stimulating a real arcade experience.
Caine’s hard work created this big break. His very first customer was so impressed that he planned this flashmob customer base and produced this short film. And now Caine’s Arcade is the hottest thing in town.
With over seven million total views on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, this campaign went viral. In two months, over 100 schools in nine countries created cardboard arcades inspired by the original, Caine’s Arcade. With over $210,000 raised for Caine’s Scholarship Fund, and as the youngest entrepreneur to speak at the USC Marshall School of Business, this boy has a bright future ahead of him.
I couldn’t help but be inspired by his curiosity, resilience, problem-solving skills and ingenuity. At the age of nine, I was simply reading Goosebumps and making clothes for my Barbie. I would earn 50 cents if I washed dishes after the family dinner…and that’s about it.
Good luck to you Caine and keep up that entrepreneurial spirit!