Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kid! of the Month – Lily Born – November 2017

By Victoria Feng, Assistant Editor and AKOM Editor
Lily Born, 15-year-old founder of Imagiroo


Quote of the Month

“It’s not about how you fall; it’s about how you stand back up and keep moving.”
-Lily Born, 15-year-old founder of Imagiroo

November Amazing Kid! of the Month

November is the month of Thanksgiving, a month to celebrate what you’ve been grateful for all year. Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate what your family, friends, and other important people in your life have done for you and to be thankful for what you have in your life. Sometimes the best gifts are the smallest ones that add up into something big over time.

Lily Born started with an idea for a different cup—one that has three legs—when she was only seven years old. Six years after the founding of Imagiroo, the company is thriving, and Lily wants to send a message that everyone can do what she has done.

Read on to find out more about Lily and Imagiroo!

Revolutionizing Cups

Lily saw how her grandfather, who has Parkinson’s disease, was struggling to hold his cup without spilling and started drawing a vision for a cup that has three legs, a “kangaroo” cup. Her father was also prone to spilling drinks on his keyboard, and Lily realized that this invention was for everybody and for all kinds of uses.

Lily with her grandfather.

She drew a sketch and eventually created a prototype for her grandfather at her grandparents’ house with simple materials: a plastic cup and moldable plastic.

Soon her aunt took her to a pottery studio, where she was able to create a cup for her father, who found the cup very helpful. He suggested that she start selling her cups.

At that time, being only nine years old, Lily didn’t know exactly what her father had meant with taking the cups into production. But she was curious and willing to give the idea a shot.

Turning a Dream into a Reality

Lily’s father took her to visit the capital of pottery, Jingdezhen, China, to start creating more cups, and they started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project. And as Imagiroo launched and started attracting more consumers, Lily needed to find a company in America to help her manufacture her products, which was one of the company’s biggest challenges.

This is an early prototype of the Imagiroo cup.

Of course, it’s been a long journey from a prototype to a functioning business. Being an entrepreneur is never easy. Even though Imagiroo is a small business today, they have all the components of a big company, including customer service, account, and inventory sales. Lily’s father is a big part of their business.

Today Lily has been featured on CNN, at the White House Science Fair, and on Business Insider.

Lily is a public speaker for Independent Youth and travels around the country sharing her experiences and inspiring kids. She says that because kangaroo cups are such a simple idea, “just about anyone can relate to it.” She enjoys participating in Mock Trial, hanging out with her friends, and exchanging ideas with other child innovators.

One Idea Can Make a Big Difference

There are about 10 million people worldwide with Parkinson’s disease. One of the major symptoms of the disease is uncontrollable hand shaking.

It can start with something small, like Lily’s first drawing of her cup, and become something bigger along the way with hard work and persistence. This November, think how you can make other people’s lives better. It may be one small thing to you, but to someone else it can make a huge difference.

To the people who have bought Imagiroo cups, Lily says it has made a significant impact in their lives. Some have emailed her saying how much Imagiroo cups have helped them, and that is what drives Lily every day: knowing she is helping people through Imagiroo and that she has “found something that makes me feel I’m making a difference.”

To the kids who are thinking of starting their own companies or projects, Lily advises them not to be afraid to fail and to ask for help when they need it.