11-year-old Lily Born’s grandfather has Parkinson’s disease. When she saw him struggle to drink from a cup without spilling, she tapped into her inner entrepreneur and did something about it. From there, the Kangaroo Cup – an unbreakable, three-legged, spill-proof cup – was born.
Lily made a prototype of the cup for her grandfather using moldable plastic. A year or so later when she saw her dad, Joe, spilling coffee all over his computer, she made a ceramic version for him.
Joe saw that Lily was onto something and asked if she wanted to try and bring the invention into production. Soon after, the pair ended up on an adventure that brought them to JingDeZhen, China, where they were able to refine the models, find a manufacturer, and prepare for a production run.
The original ceramic cup was funded on Kickstarter in 2012, raising over $6,000 and allowing Lily’s dream to become reality. But while the ceramic cups were beautiful, they tended to break if they weren’t handled properly. After a bit of brainstorming, Lily and Joe decided to create a tougher plastic version – perfect for both kids and adults.
They initiated another Kickstarter campaign, and the $25,000 goal was quickly surpassed (though interested backers can still order the cups and support the project until July 8, 2014).
The Kangaroo Cup puts control back into the hands of those with degenerative diseases. The ingenious design is packed with features that elevate it far above a run-of-the-mill cup:
- Three handles keep the cup stable on virtually any surface
- A two-handed grip allows for more control when drinking
- The cups can be neatly stacked to save space in cupboards
- The rim of the cup is gently curved inward, so splashing is kept to a minimum
- It saves your coffee table: An elevated base means no need for coasters
- It’s made with BPA-free plastic
It’s rare to receive business advice from an 11-year-old, but Lily has it in spades. She told FastCoDesign:
“Don’t freak out if you screw up or fail, because you’ll fail a lot before you get it right.” She added, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. No matter how good your idea is, there are lots of things that grownups will have to help you with. Most of the time they are excited to help you, unless it’s something really expensive!”
We just love stories like this! A clever little solution that will improve the quality of life for millions of people all over this lovely planet of ours. Nice one Lily.
A set of four cups costs $25 (plus applicable shipping outside the US). Visit the Kickstarter site here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/joeborn/kangaroo-cups-plastic