Made It: Rod Butterfield of Funslinger Limited

Made It: Rod Butterfield of Funslinger Limited

Entrepreneur Rod Butterfield tells us how attending MADE Festival inspired him in his business Funslinger Limited and what the future holds for the business...

Tell me a little bit about your company?

Yorkshire based, Funslinger Ltd has designed, produced and is now marketing the dynamic, fun, high performance sports toy, Funslinger.  There are other exciting and innovative products in the pipeline and the Company intends to become a trend setter, with a focus on a fun healthier lifestyle.


What is your role?

Design and development


What was the inspiration behind starting up?

Desire to develop a great idea. The Funslinger concept started in the park with a ball throwing device. Rather than using a tennis ball we used a winged mini rugby ball. The result was an amazing throw (60 metres plus). Then following a lateral thought, by including a catching net and a friend or more, we have a brand new game to be seriously reckoned with.


Did you receive any support in setting up the business?

No. The business has from the outset been supported and run by the two founding directors and shareholders.


How has MADE inspired you?

MADE inspired us to think outside the box. As a business we took the opportunity to step back and become objective, imagining how the Made Festival featured entrepreneurs would address our situation. The seminars were encouraging and enlightening.

In particular, improving customer service and engaging properly with the client were highlights, reinforcing our own philosophy. 


What have you done in business since Made 2015?

Set up a manufacturing and separate warehouse facility in South Yorkshire. Updated the marketing plan and begun implementing the strategy. Continued with new product research and development.



What are some of your biggest achievements since Made 2015?

At minimal cost, we created a brilliant BBC Breakfast TV news feature, which aired on 28 May. We identified and by persevering, secured the services of a talented BBC presenter. He was passionate about sport and the health benefits of a fun outdoor activity.

We organised a filming session at a school in Newark and the students were instantly engrossed. As a consequence, sales have taken off, with orders continuing to arrive from around the world. Instead of badgering major retailers to stock Funslinger, now they are chasing us.

We have received extremely positive recognition from a number of national sporting organisations. They are enthusiastic about Funslinger’s potential as a valuable all empowering fun activity and indeed, sports training aid.



Why do you think other people should attend MADE?

MADE offers a variety of seminars, Master Classes and inspirational speakers to choose from. There are opportunities to interact, network and numerous chances to become inspired and re-engaged.



What were the benefits of attending MADE for you?

We took inspiration from the experts. It’s important to listen to and learn from those entrepreneurs who have been down similar paths and succeeded. The opportunity to benefit from their experiences and mistakes is invaluable. 



What are your plans for the future?

To invent and/ or help promote a whole range of innovative products and turn them into global phenomena. To encourage children and adults alike to become more active, through fun new activities.

Reach for the stars and we should at least hit the moon.