#23 of 100 - mifold
mifold is the most advanced, compact and portable booster seat in the world.
We are living through a transportation revolution: from car ownership to car usage (ride-hailing, car sharing, and other innovations). Research shows that children seated in booster seats are much less likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash. Yet still today at least 25% of child journeys are without a suitable child restraint.
Father of four, Jon Sumroy understood the reason: traditional, bulky booster seats are too large to carry from car to car. He saw this with his own children; carpooling, in taxis, with grandparents and on vacation in rental cars. He dreamt of a new solution. Now, as personal transportation embraces the sharing economy, this is even more relevant. Jon set about reinventing booster seats into ultra-compact, portable formats. Whereas regular boosters lift the child up to fit the seatbelt, Jon realized that by doing the opposite, pulling the seatbelt down to fit the child, he could create a product more than 10x smaller than a regular booster and ideal for travel, carpooling and ride shares.
In 2015, after two years of development (the first prototypes were created in his shed!) Jon launched the mifold range of grab-and-go boosters with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Pre-selling nearly three-million dollars worth of seats, still today it is the most successful campaign ever for a juvenile product.
Since the launch of mifold in 2016 more than one-million seats have been sold in 150 countries worldwide. mifold is the proud winner of numerous innovation, design and consumer awards: including the NASA TechBriefs ‘Create the Future’ award.
In 2019 the company launched its second major innovation, the hifold fit-and-fold highback booster: the world’s most adjustable and portable highback, which has been enthusiastically received in the US, Europe and Asia. This has won several awards, including the Gold IDA (International Design Award) and has been highlighted by Stiftung Warentest and ADAC in Germany as a new type of folding seat.
With more exciting innovations in the pipeline, Jon is getting nearer his vision: a child restraint for every child, in every car, on every journey, every time.
Jon is an interesting example of an entrepreneur who started his journey later in life. Here he explains:
“I became an entrepreneur and CEO of my own company relatively late, at the age of 46. The classic myth, is of young 20-somethings, straight from college have all the advantages for being an entrepreneur: time, energy, least demands, lowest cost of failure, etc. They are more able to commit and focus 110%. This myth states that, on becoming a parent your responsibilities make it impossible to succeed. I wish I had known earlier that this is not true. Older entrepreneurs actually have the advantage: experience (to make fewer mistakes), connections (to know who, what, how and where to get help) and support (from partners and older children). All of this more than compensates.”