Starting a business - how can we lower the barrier to taking the leap?

Today I was honoured to be invited to the Olympic arena of Torino in Italy to speak to a huge group of 800 people who work deciding the EU business support policy for small and medium sized companies and the people who deliver lots of the business support and funding programmes throughout Europe.

I told them the story of sugru, from idea through all our struggles and hard won achievements and the amazing community, and my experiences and reflections on the support we got and support we wished for but never got. As many of you know some of the pivotal ideas in the sugru journey were not mine. The importance of an informal community of friends, other entrepreneurs and creative people as well as building a great team has been so important, and as for official support there are some gems but I had to be honest and say that mainly there is not nearly enough seed funding available and bureaucracy in the process is something small companies just don't have time to deal with, it's crazy. Imagine if it could all be more open and smaller amounts of money to the right people, I mean hard working individuals with great ideas.

Amazing things can happen on a shoestring if you put the money in the right hands! It will not just transform the economy but peoples lives. The future is lots and lots of small companies not a few big companies and we need to lower barriers to all sorts of people taking the leap and not giving up before they get there! I was pretty hard on them but we had lots of laughs, so all I can hope is a few of the people in there will remember our story when back at their desks next week. Woop! Now for some yummy Italian food!

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11 ways to prepare for the ski and snowboard season with sugru

It's that time of year again where you prepare your snow boots, book your hotels and practice on the dry-slopes, but broken equipment can come at a large price and is the last thing you need on holiday!

We love being resourceful here at sugru, so we've put together a collection of some of the best ski and snowboard fixes and ideas we've seen!

1) Add bumpers to your skis

Don't you just hate it when people bump into your skis? Martin came up with a solution!

"I created ski bumpers at the front and back end with a little sugru to protect them from scrapes and damage."

2) Attach your camera to a ski helmet

Tristan wanted to mount his camera to his helmet but the attachments it came with weren't right for holding it on. So he made a base for the camera and added extra sugru to make it tough!

For lots more DIY photography hacks, check out our 21 DIY photography projects.

3) Repair a snowboard fixation

If your fixation breaks it can be quite a big issue and can cost you a lot of money when you least need it! Glue usually doesn't quite cut it, so this is where sugru can come in handy.

"I drew some ribbing material and stuck it to the sides of the belt. I then joined the cords with small segments of sugru and... that's it!"

4) Make a custom snowboard stomp pad

Roni was fed up of stomp pads hiding the artwork on his snowboard, so he made his own out of sugru making it match the artwork (and it looks pretty cool!)

"Now I have a stomp pad that doesn't look like a stomp pad, but works like one, only better."

If your board is full of lots of colour then don't worry, it's easy to mix sugru to make new colours.

5) Repair a snowboard binding

Anna's rubber boot bed ripped off last season, so she created a new one with sugru. She moulded a really neat fix here, check out these 12 steps to becoming a sugru guru to help you get the best finish :)

6) Fix a tear in your boot

C.Bulent was getting frustrated when his ski boots had a tear in them as shoe repair shops kept saying "This always happens with this kind of plastic material shoes. It is not possible to fix them."

He chose not to believe this and knew there must be another way other than having to buy new ones! "First, I used black one to cover the sides, then I used the yellow one on back and left to cure for 24 hours. Hope there will be no problem and I'll use my boots maybe for another 3-4 years."

If you want to match the texture of sugru to your shoe then check out the sugru texturing techniques!

7) Make supports for snowboard goggles

Simone was fed up of her goggles slipping when she slid them up onto her helmet, so she made two little horns to prevent them from slipping back down!

8) Seal leaky snow boots

Getting a leak in your boots is the last thing you need when you're out in the snow. Boris patched up his boots with some red sugru so that they look as good as new!

9) Fix your zip

A zip is such a small part of an item of clothing, yet it can be such a pain when it breaks! sugru is a simple but handy way to replace a zip pull or even make your zip easier to grab with numb cold hands!

Check out how to fix any zip with sugru:

10) Make a DIY action camera pole mount

Action camera pole mounts can be very expensive, but why pay all that money when you can make your own?

Ben repurposed his old broken ski pole by mounting his GoPro to it (you even get to see it in action!)

11) Repair ski poles

Erling was half way through his holidays when his ski poles broke, but luckily he had a packet of sugru on him, so was able to repair them and continue with his holiday! He even made a point of making it yellow to stand out ;)

Keep a packet of sugru in your luggage to prevent unwanted holiday panics! sugru's properties make it great for the outdoors, check out more ideas here.

21 DIY photography projects

Whether you're a pro or a hobbyist, you'll know that the cost of photography kit can really add up, right? Well... not necessarily! 

We're seeing more and more photographers using sugru to make their kit work harder. So whether you're taking photos for a living, prepping your kit for an adventure, or just want looking to adapt your kit to work better for you, you'll find something in here to help. 

1. Create a makeshift GoPro pole!

There's a definite trend of sugru-ers making their own DIY GoPro poles this summer —  and they're using them in some epic places!

How to make your own!

2. Make a macro photography lighting rig for compact cameras 

Another great sugru photography hack from Wildlife Gadget Man - a lighting rig made of LED lights found in a pound shop! Macro photography needs a lot of light on the subject, so with this hack you'll be able to get the perfect shot!

3. sugru + LEGO lens cap = awesome 

Get fed up of scrambling for your lens cap in between shots?  With sugru and Lego you can keep easily your lens cap with you!

4. Add a flash cable to your underwater camera housing

A lot of cheaper housings don't have ability to accept a sync cable for a flash, so you can't use the flash away from the camera. With this sugru project you can!

5. Make a DIY optical viewfinder

It can be quite frustrating when your camera doesn't have a viewfinder, but Hans came up with a clever hack by using a viewfinder he bought at a flea market!

"With a little hobby-store brass, some leather, a hotshoe mount from a dead flash and some sugru, I rigged this attachment and now I can frame pictures without the LCD screen." 

6. Make your wide angle camera adaptor fit 

Edward was gutted when his old wide angle adaptor didn't fit his new video camera. Using sugru he now has his adaptor attached and it works just the same! 

7. Make your GoPro float with a coke bottle!

GoPro's don't float, so if you lose your grip then you're a bit stuck! All you need is a Coke bottle lid, a 1/8th inch screw, some sugru, 2 nuts and you'll have a solution!

Build your own (thanks to sugru-ers Holly and James for the awesome video)

8. Mount your camera to your helmet using sugru + Velcro 

Patrick wanted to mount his Sony HDR-AS15 camera onto his bike helmet so he used sugru, Velcro® and two thin metal plates to create a clever removable mount

7 clever little ways to combine Velcro® + sugru

9. Mount an auto focus chip to a camera 

By mounting an auto focus chip to the manual focus lens, the camera will now be able to recognise the lens!

10. Make a low cost wildlife camera clamp 

Another great idea from Wildlife Gadget Man, who came up with a clever way of making a budget camera clamp so that you can capture the perfect shot at a variation of angles.

11. Make your Gorilla pod magnetic! 

Got a heavy camera that your Gorilla Pod can't hold, or a Gorilla Pod that has worn out? Instructables user Tinstructable' came up with this ingenious project using sugru + magnets. Check out the guide to make your own!

12. Create a DIY timelapse tripod!

Nejc used sugru and an egg timer to create his own DIY timelapse tripod

"The timer rotates for 1 hour which makes for a really nice and steady rotating timelapse."

Or make a 'tilting' timelapse tripod (using two egg timers!)

Jack took this idea one step further and made it so that you can tilt the camera up whilst rotating — genius!

13. Add a torch mount to your camera! 

When shooting in low light it can be hard to focus, so Instructables user Dinkfabrik came up with this clever hack of using sugru to attach a flash light to a dummy cold shoe!

14. Make your own neutral density filter 

ND filters can be incredibly expensive, but with some cheap welding glass, a step-up adapter ring and some sugru you can  make your own like Victor!

15. Stop your skyports getting switched on!

16. Fit a macro lens onto any mobile! 

It can be hard to get the shot you want using your phones camera as standard, so with some sugru, a small magnifying glass, cling film and parchment paper you can create a macro lens

17. Attach a new lens to a Polaroid camera

Filmwaster forum member Ludoo used sugru to attach an Angenieux 100/4.5 off a broken Kodak 620 Special 6x9 to his Polaroid, meaning he could get the perfect shot!

18. Stop reflections on your lens 

Samull used his black sugru to stop reflections being caused by the lens mount. 

19. Protect your camera in space!

School teacher Matt was working on a science project with his class, to send a camera up into space! He needed to secure a camera in place for the journey, but found the glues they were using stopped sticking at low temperatures. good job sugru is resistant to -50°C then :) 

Check out the full space journey story.

20. Modify a vintage camera to fit modern batteries 

Instructables user pstrehle came up with this fantastic solution

" all you need is eight cents and a litle bit of sugru"

21. Seal your 3d printed camera so no light gets in! 

When Leo Marius created the world's very first 3D-printed SLR camera, he needed something to stop light from getting in. We were thrilled that he decided black sugru was best to fill the gaps! 

Check out our Photography section for loads more photography projects. And if you want to find out more about the materials sugru bonds to and tips for using it, head over to the sugru tips page.

Any excuse for a party

We were proud supporters of Waste Less, Live More week this year — a big fun weeklong campaign to get the nation to be more resourceful. We figured that if things make it to a ripe old age, then they deserve to be celebrated! So we made this little video to celebrate your stuff getting older.

Then we thought... hang on, this is the perfect excuse for us to throw a party ourselves! (more on that below)

We know people love to personalise their stuff, as a child we write our names on everything, remember that feeling of writing your name on a brand new exercise book?! :)

“Being resourceful is about finding new, creative and inventive ways to live better, within our means.” -  Keep Britain Tidy

So for our party we found 4 amazing illustrators to give everyone a chance to date their household appliances with their year of birth — people ended up bringing their toasters, laptops and microwaves... Jane got her Henry vacuum cleaner done!

Our illustrators included popular children's book author Chris Haughton, who was joined by three awesome London illustrators, Serge Seidlitz, Kat Flint and Tim Shaw, who were all kept busy all night dating items in their own unique style.

Loads of people commented on how they hadn't realised how long they had owned a lot of their stuff until they really thought about it. (Just what we wanted!)

We also had a Fix-It station run by experts from Restart Project who were using their super tech-saving expertise to help all kinds of items in need of a little TLC.

Plus we had some of the team from Fixperts - an amazing organisation that encourages people to use the power of fixing to solve everyday problems.

With so many people turning up, it meant we got to see loads of different illustrations, fixes and had a chance to meet so many awesome people! Here are some of the best from the night :)

Celebrating our stuff getting older!

“People just turned up with the most random things, it was brilliant. There was clearly a lot of love for everything people brought with them." Jane, sugru's inventor (with her 7 year old Henry hoover!)

But that was just the beginning... 

People began turning up with all kinds of things, from laptops to cycling helmets, a fencing foil, old toasters, old-skool walkmans, gaming controllers, hairdryers... we could go on and on :)

Here are some of our favourites. 

Thanks to everyone who came along on the night. We had such a great time and it was awesome how many of you brought along your stuff. Maybe we'll have to do this again? :)

When Dieter Rams met sugru

Yes! It is really him, and yes it is really sugru! :)

Here is Dieter Rams looking at a prototype of his re-engineered 621 Side Table earlier this year. He originally designed it for Vitsœ in 1962 but it has been unavailable to buy since the 1980s.

His original design for the 621 table included additional feet to allow it to be leveled on uneven floors. However, these were never made and it was Dieter's wish that they be included with Vitsœ's new production. The product development team at Vitsœ London used a variety of techniques to model the feet, including 3D printing and, of course, sugru! In the picture, you can see the black and white sugru feet laid out on the footstool in front of him!

Dieter is a nothing less than a design hero — his 10 design principles have influenced a generation of designers of every sort of discipline — including the hugely influential UK Government's Digital Service design principles

His iconic work with Braun and the awesome British furniture brand Vitsoe is legendary and some say he's the major spirit and influence behind Jonny Ive and all the apple products since the iMac that we know and love. 

Warm welcome to the sugru community Dieter, we're honoured! :)

The new production 621 Side Table is manufactured in Britain and is available direct from Vitsœ locations and

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