Tech community rallies behind arrested 14yo clockmaker

The global tech startup community has rallied behind a 14-year-old boy that was arrested at his school after his homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb.


Ahmed Mohamed is passionate about robotics and inventing, and was excited to show his creation to his teachers.


But instead he was promptly taken in handcuffs to a youth detention centre and interrogated by five police, before being suspended from school – all because of a simple homemade clock.


But Ahmed seems to be getting the last laugh at least, with some of the largest tech startups in the world reaching out to him and offering their support and services, as Tech Crunch reports.


The likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Box, Reddit and even NASA have made some sort of comment regarding this story, and it looks like Ahmed has quite a bright future ahead of him.


“We love building things at Twitter too. Would you considering interning with us?” the social networking giant tweeted.


“Don’t let this stop your creativity, come hang out at Autodesk and we’ll make something new together,” Carl Bass said.


Also on Ahmed’s to-do list now is a chance to see a Mars rover, a reserved seat at the Google Science Fair, and a trip to meet the president.


“Cool clock, Ahmed,” Barack Obama tweeted. “Want to bring it to the White House?”


“We should inspire more kids like you to like science.”


Smartwatch manufacturer Pebble took a slightly more snarky approach, asking the local police if they too would be arrested for making clocks, while Box co-founder Aaron Levie upped the competition for Ahmed’s future employment by saying he’s an “enterprise software guy at heart”.


Unsurprisingly Ahmed wants to transfer schools, but fortunately it seems his passion for innovation and invention hasn’t been deterred by this incident.


“Don’t let people change who you are, even if you get consequences for it,” he said.


Mark Zuckerberg’s also posted about Ahmed’s arrest.


“Having the skills and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest,” he said.


“The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”


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Denham Sadler is the editor of StartupSmart. He was previously a journalist at the publication and has worked as a freelancer for the Guardian, the Saturday Paper and the ABC. In his spare time he likes puns and jaffles.