When Lily Born was 8, she noticed that her grandpa, who has Parkinson’s Disease, was knocking over his cup a lot, creating spills that grandma needed to clean up. Inspired, she came up with the idea for Kangaroo Cups: a three-legged cup that won’t tip over. After prototyping for several years, first with hand-moldable plastic and then with clay at a pottery studio, she had a cup ready for production. Now 12, she has pre-sold over 11,000 of the cups (in plastic and ceramic) through crowdfunding sites Indiegogo and Kickstarter. Lily uses part of the profits from Kangaroo Cups to support STEM education for young girls and to donate Kangaroo Cups to not-for-profit organizations that help adults and kids with mobility issues.
Lily recently exhibited her invention at the White House Science Fair. In addition, Lily and her cups have been featured nationally on CNN Heroes and headline news, NBC Nightly News NPR’s Weekend Edition, Fast Company, Business Insider, internationally on the Daily Mail (UK) and The Telegraph (UK), as well as locally in the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, on WGN’s morning news, and on CBS news. Lily has also been recognized by A Mighty Girl and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls as someone who inspires other girls to follow their passions and dreams.
Lily loves the design, prototyping, and marketing aspects of her business the most, and when she’s not working on promoting cups and thinking of other ways to make life simpler, she enjoys acting, singing, doodling, and snuggling with small, furry creatures.