Jane ni Dhulchaointigh: sugru
The innovative all-purpose putty that turns into a hard rubber overnight
Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, 35
Company: sugru (Formformform)
Although tech start-ups are all the rage these days, there is still room for a really good invention to take the world by storm, as the founder of Formformform – inventor of innovative putty product sugru – is amply demonstrating. Named after an Irish word for ‘play’, sugru starts life as a pliable putty that can be applied and shaped to the user’s will, turning into a tough and flexible rubber overnight, and its applications are virtually limitless – from repairing broken toys and appliances to adding hooks, rubber feet and other improvements to existing items.
Starting with a £35,000 grant from investments and grants charity Nesta, the East London based business has secured a total of £4.6m investment and now has over half a million users across 155 countries. Listed at number 22 on TIME’s index of the top 50 inventions in 2010 – the iPad was at number 34 – founder Jane ni Dhulchaointigh has ambitious plans to reach one million people in 2014 as well as expanding into North America. It seems the versatile sugru has serious potential to scale up into a household-name product if awareness continues to grow.