It only took $2 dollars for Caine Monroy to open up his buisness and become an entrepreneur.
During one summer vacation, the 9-year-old boy simply took some old cardboard boxes from his dad’s East L.A. auto parts shop, and built himself an elaborate cardboard arcade.
It started off with one game that consisted of a basketball hoop he got a Shakey’s Pizza. Caine soon built a cardboard basketball machine and with the help of some clear tape, Caine was able to set up his game next to his dad’s shop. He charged a nickle for each play and not many or not any people took up the offer. But despite all the rejection, he never gave up.
“My arcade is called Caine’s Arcade. It’s open weekends only, and it’s really cheap,” said Caine.
Soon, Caine spent his downtime making more arcade games with the cardboard he was getting from the back of his dad’s shop. The games became more and more elaborate with claw machines, soccer games, and even a calculator at every game for “secuirty reasons.”
So how did he go from $2 to almost $200,000? Well, Caine might not have had the success he does now, if it weren’t for Nirvan Mullick, his first customer and the first person to ever invest in a fun pass.
At Caine’s Arcade, it costs $1 for 4 plays, and for $2 dollars for a fun pass. A fun pass is worth 500 plays.
Cain met Mullick, a film director for the company Interconnected, when Mullick was dropping by the auto parts shop to fix up his car. He saw Caine’s story and decided to not only make a short film (which eventually became a viral video) about the boy and his arcade, but to also surprise him with a flash mob of customers.
A few hundred visitors and a short film later, Caine was well on his way toward almost $200,000. The boy had made a 100,000% investment.
After making the film, Mullick had started the Caine’s Arcade Scholarship Foundation, a trust that will go to helping Caine prepare for and go to college. At first, Mullick was aiming at $25,000 dollars. On the first day he posted the video, the fund received $60,000. In a week, the Gold Hearst Foundation was willing to match every dollar donated to the scholarship and put it into Caine’s Arcade Foundation. This foundation was set up to help other creative kids. According to the website, it’s “devoted to discovering, fostering, and funding creativity and entrepreneurship in more young kids like Caine.”
This boy managed to start his business with almost nothing and make a fortune.
In addition to the $2 fun passes, you can also buy Caine’s Arcade t-shirts, or buy the Caine’s Arcade song on itunes to support the foundation. Caine’s Arcade Scholarship has now raised a total of $191364.64.
The Exploratorium museum in San Francisco has also offered to pay Caine $100 to make a cardboard claw machine, like the one featured in the film. Now, Caine is not only a successful businessman, but also a collected artist.