Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! Interview with Lily Born

By Victoria Feng, Assistant Editor and AKOM Editor


Lily Born is the founder of Imagiroo, a company that sells cups with three legs. When she’s not working on her business, Lily is a public speaker for the organization Independent Youth and travels around the country sharing her story with her peers.

Amazing Kids (AK): What inspired you to start Imagiroo?

Lily Born (LB): I came up with the idea to make a cup that’s less likely to tip over or spill for my grampa who has Parkinson’s disease. I was seven when I made the original drawing, so I was pretty young. Watching my grampa spill was pretty rough; it was embarrassing for him, and my gramma had to clean it up. So we made simple prototypes, and he loved them. That was really it for a while. After a while, my aunt took me to a pottery studio, and I made a cup for my dad (he was always spilling on the keyboard). A while after that, my dad asked me if I wanted to take them into production. I was nine years old; I didn’t even know what that meant. But I said, “Sure, why not?” We went to China and had more prototypes made; then we launched the first Kickstarter campaign, and Imagiroo was born.

AK: How are Imagiroo cups different from other cups?

LB: It has three legs, so it’ll be less likely to tip over. They also stack unlike normal mugs, and my favorite feature is that they don’t need a coaster because the base is held off the table by the legs.

AK: Can you describe your business journey, from a vision to a successful company?

LB: There were a lot of steps. To be honest, I sort of just stumbled into the business. One day I saw my grandpa spilling, and I came up with a simple handmade model. The next day I seemed to be at the White House and selling cups on Amazon.

AK: What has been the most challenging part of running Imagiroo, and have you sought to overcome it? 

LB: The most challenging part of running Imagiroo was probably trying to find a factory in the U.S. to manufacture cups. Balancing work for Imagiroo and my full-time job as a student is very challenging as well. Imagiroo is not a big business, but it still has all the functions of a big business: We have customer service, accounting, inventory, and sales. My dad helps me a lot, but it’s still really, really hard.

AK: Can you describe your work for Independent Youth?

LB: Independent Youth is great; I do public speaking to high school students about being an entrepreneur and my experiences with business. IY does these speaking engagements all over the country. I love talking to high school students because the kangaroo cup is such a simple invention that just about anyone can relate to it.

AK: When you aren’t working on Imagiroo, is there anything you enjoy doing?

LB: When I’m not working on things for Imagiroo, I’m doing schoolwork, hanging out with my friends, meeting with my school’s student innovators, or going to mock trial meetings.

AK: What are your goals for the future, both professionally and personally?

LB: My goal is to inspire people in any way I can. I love entrepreneurship, but I’m not ready to decide what I’ll do for a career; I still have a lot of school left. I’ve toured a few colleges, and some of them have entrepreneurship programs, so we’ll just have to see.