Tech giants MIT, Facebook, Twitter and Google are fighting over the teenager who was arrested after his teachers mistook his homemade clock for a bomb.
Ahmed Mohamed has received an outpouring of support after the incident at Texas’ MacArthur High School, which saw him handcuffed and taken to a juvenile detention centre.
The 14-year-old Muslim had brought in the clock after assembling it from a piece of circuit board and other objects he had found in his father’s garage.
A teacher at the school thought Ahmed had actually brought a bomb into the classroom and its principal notified police, who have not charged the boy.
But the unpleasant experience has not come without a silver lining.
Leading US technology organisations are clamouring to recruit the innovative schoolboy.
Top-rated university MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) made its pitch on live television when an MSNBC interview with Ahmed cut to Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, who works for the university’s physics department.
She said: “You are my ideal student. A creative, independent thinker like you is the kind of person who should be becoming a physicist.”
Ms Prescod-Weinstein invited Ahmed to visit MIT and said her former advisors at Harvard University also wanted to take him on a tour of their astrophysics facility.
Offers have also come in from the social networking world.
Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair...want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed— Google Science Fair (@googlescifair) September 16, 2015
Writing on his Facebook page, its founder Mark Zuckerberg said: “Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.
“Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’ve love to meet you. Keep building.”
Twitter reached out to Ahmed by tweeting “We love building things at Twitter too. Would you consider interning with us? We’d love it – DM us!”
Google tweeted it was “saving a seat” for Ahmed at its science fair at the weekend, urging him to “bring your clock!”
Nasa scientists have also offered the teenager visits to their labs.
Speaking about his arrest, Ahmed told The Independent he felt he had “lost my innocence”.
“I can never look at the world in the same way,” he said.
“I like science, but I look like a threat because of my brown skin.”
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, said he believed the incident was racially-motivated.
“My son is very upset. He wants to be like Einstein. He has so many ideas. He does not have an evil bone in him," he said.
“I think it is because of Islamophobia and the [impact] of 9/11.”