Have you ever experienced spilling half of your beer just after you bought it, because someone accidentally walked into you? Or only filling your glass half because you know carrying it in your wheelchair will make you lose 50% of your drink? With Drinksaver’s unique universal design, spillage is part of the past and an inclusive, non-stigmatizing drinking experience for all is now a possibility.
The inclusive solution
The Drinksaver is a low-tech drinking solution consisting of a reusable plastic cup and lid that enables an equal drinking experience for people with and without disabilities. With its universal design and attention to functionality, the solution minimizes spillage, while not compromising the drinking experience. The Drinksaver was originally designed for people who have difficulty drinking from regular cups, due to motor impairments like tremor, low dexterity, or difficulty swallowing, but the solution benefits a variety of user needs from wheelchair users to able-bodied festival goers dancing at a concert.
By focusing on accommodating a wide range of user needs, optimal functionality, and user-friendliness, Drinksaver is contributing to a more inclusive society for all and diminishing disability, by giving those with the biggest accessibility needs a chance to enjoy an equal drinking experience as everyone else.
The team originally got the idea on their first semester of their BA in Design & Innovation, where they worked with the challenge of making Roskilde Festival more inclusive as part of the course User-centered design. Since then, the team has been working on and off on the project and is now writing their master’s thesis on how to get their solution to market together with DTU Entrepreneurship.
The startup has three main target markets: nursing homes and hospitals, festivals, and private consumers. With their solution, they are looking to replace existing assistive technologies, like “nozzle cups”, with a more inclusive design, both in their design and business strategy. The team has achieved EU design protection; a key milestone on their startup journey, and gained valuable feedback from a variety of stakeholders, e.g., occupational therapists, on how to design for people with various cognitive and motoric impairments.
The team started out consisting of 5 engineering students, who met on their first semester at DTU. Since 2021, the startup has been comprised of two co-founders, Laila Sofie Midjord and Casper Gramhald-Nørland, both studying on their master’s in Design & Innovation. Casper is responsible for the technical and design aspects, while Laila oversees business development and user-feedback. The team members are motivated by the fact that they have created a unique and innovative design that creates value and minimizes spillage for those who need it the most. In 2018, the team was in the running for the finals in Project Plastic, have previously received funding from Bevica Foundation and Verner Overgaards Familiefond, and is part of the DTU Skylab Incubator this Fall. They will utilize the Bevica Seed Grant from Skylab Funding to realize the next steps on their startup journey, like developing a mould, setting up their test-production, developing and testing their market strategy, and obtaining trademark protection.
In the future, the startup wants to work on replacing all the ugly assistive technologies on the market, with cleverly designed universal solutions. They are also looking to expand their solution to market segments like boat owners or customers at football stadiums, who both experience issues with spillage. We wish the startup good luck on their journey and can’t wait to see this solution on the market.
Read more about and contact the DTU start-up Drinksaver here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/drinksaver/