When 11-year-old Chicago girl Lily Born noticed that her elderly grandfather often spilled his drinks, her creative mind immediately kicked into overdrive. Her grandfather has Parkinson’s, and like others who suffer from this or other tremor-inducing conditions, he has trouble keeping a cup steady when picking it up and setting it down. Lily’s idea was the Kangaroo Cup, an unbreakable, spill-proof cup that is easy to hold, drink from, and set down.
Its three legs suspend the cup itself a bit off of the surface, which makes coasters unnecessary. The legs also provide stability on uneven terrain. The Kangaroo cup makes a perfect picnic companion because it can sit right on the grass without tipping over.
The cup’s invention and refinement have gone through many stages that are familiar to any other inventor. Lily and her inventor father first made the cups from hand-molded plastic, then from clay at a ceramic studio. The ceramic versions couldn’t stack in the cabinet and were prone to breakage, so Lily turned to a team of designers and manufacturers to help the Kangaroo Cup really reach its potential. It has become a stackable, BPA-free cup that is unbreakable and comes in a variety of colors.
The Kangaroo Cup’s first Kickstarter project was successful and allowed the team to produce the ceramic cups, but they went back to Kickstarter to fund the new, improved cups – and quickly surpassed their fundraising goal. The plastic cup is dishwasher and microwave proof and suitable for people of every age. Even if you don’t suffer from tremors, the cup is also great for kids who are too old for sippy cups but not quite old enough to drink from regular cups without tipping them over.
About Lily Born
“Listed as Business Insider’s top 11 year old in tech, and Mochi’s “25 game changers under 25,” She has exhibited her invention at the White House Science Fair, White House Woman’s Expo, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and has been honored as a CNN Heroes “young wonder” in addition to appearing on CNN headline news, NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition, Fast Company, Business Insider, CBS’s Hidden Heroes, Univision, 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 2 news. Lily Born has also been recognised by A Mighty Girl and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls as someone who inspires other girls to follow their passions and dreams.”