Most dads work full-time, but do they run high-profit companies they built from scratch? This Father’s Day, five motivated “dadpreneurs” are killing the game with businesses that not only help provide for their families, but serve to inspire them as well.
5. Jon Sumroy -- mifold.
Jon Sumroy ditched what he calls the 3 S’s -- safety, security, and salary -- a few years ago when he started a consulting business for multinational companies. His venture kept him perfectly comfortable -- and busy.
But along came a problem that many of you may be able to relate to. Sumroy realized his kids were struggling to ride safely in friends’ parents’ cars when the groups were short on booster seats. He wanted to provide his children with something they could take with them on playdates and trips with grandma, but existing booster seats were far too bulky. Plus, their logistics were a little backwards. Instead of bringing the seatbelt down to the child’s level, they rose the child up to adult height.
In his spare time, Sumroy started working on a product that could achieve the former. His first prototype looked a bit meager -- it was made with canvas mats, straps and mountain climbing clips -- but when he tested it at the Transport Research Laboratory in the United Kingdom, he was amazed. His lightweight, folding mifold provided an identical level of protection as a regular booster seat.
Having just passed final regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe, mifold has finally moved into production. When asked about entrepreneurial challenges, Sumroty offers an unconventional response -- skepticism.
“It is amazing how negative people can be and how difficult this makes it to remain motivated, especially in the early days" he said. "It takes both internal and external factors to keep going. Great determination, focus, belief and passion on the inside, and loving, caring, motivating support from the outside. I was incredibly lucky to have my family, my wife and four children who supported, encouraged and inspired me.”
Despite the extra time and energy it takes to build a business while caring for family, these five dadpreneurs built miniature empires for themselves without losing sight of what matters most. Which working dads are you honoring this Father’s Day?