Caine Monroy's hand-built cardboard arcade in his father's auto parts store led to a flash mob, a scholarship fund and a viral internet sensation.
If a 13-year-old boy from Ohio can find entrepreneurial success in a line of “manly”candles, then why shouldn’t a nine-year-old from East LA achieve similar results with a homemade cardboard arcade? This is just what has happened for young Caine Monroy, whose hand-built cardboard arcade — Caine’s Arcade — in his father’s auto parts store led to a flash mob, a scholarship fund and a viral internet sensation. Caine built the arcade out of cardboard boxes in his father’s store mainly as a way to pass the time during a long summer break. The result, however, was meticulously built and elaborately well-planned. When customer Nirvan Mullick happened upon the arcade by chance one day, he was inspired to help Caine get the recognition he deserved. Accordingly, he tapped Facebook and the internet to organize a flash mob and make a documentary film, shown below: Not only that, but USD 60,000 was raised for a scholarship fund within a day of the film’s posting; a week later, the Goldhirsh Foundation offered a matching dollar-for-dollar seed funding grant of USD 250,000 to help start the Caine’s Arcade Foundation to help innovative kids. Caine’s Arcade may not be a traditional tale of entrepreneurial success, but if it’s not a testament to the power of passion, creativity and persistence, we don’t know what is. Aspiring entrepreneurs, both young and old: this one’s for you!