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Sustainability, superfoods, health: test your business creativity with Edition 136 of our weekly quiz!

This insightful feature from YourStory tests and strengthens your business acumen! Here are 5 questions to kick off this 136th quiz. Ready?

Sustainability, superfoods, health: test your business creativity with Edition 136 of our weekly quiz!

Saturday May 18, 2024 , 4 min Read

Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 136th edition of the quiz, we present issues tackled by real-life entrepreneurs in their startup journeys.

What would you do if you were in their shoes? At the end of the quiz, you will find out what the entrepreneurs and innovators themselves actually did. Would you do things differently?

Check out YourStory’s Book Review section as well, with takeaways from over 355 titles on creativity and entrepreneurship, and our weekend PhotoSparks section on creativity in the arts.

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Q1: Construction materials

The construction industry is witnessing a wave of innovation in sustainable materials. They need to balance eco-friendliness, affordability and versatility. Where are the entrepreneurial opportunities here?

Q2: Plastic waste

Disposable coffee cups, grocery bags, and gadget packaging leave toxic footprints behind. What new materials can be used instead that could offer the functionality of plastic without the environmental baggage?

Q3: Mental health

Cases of depression and other mental health issues are increasing rapidly. Unfortunately, many societies have a taboo or stigma about opening up to mental health problems. How can this be tackled?

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Q4: Sustainability

Global momentum is picking up to tackle climate change and forge collective action. Many startups are entering the fray here with sustainable offerings, such as EcoLine and Neeman's products made of recycled plastic. What are some other entrepreneurial opportunities in sustainability?

Q5: Superfoods

There is growing global demand for high-quality region-specific products such as Manuka honey from New Zealand or the Japanese Ponzu sauce. How can entrepreneurs from other parts of the world also spot and tap such opportunities?



Congratulations on having come this far! But there’s more to come–answers to these five questions (below), as well as links to articles with more details on the entrepreneurs’ solutions. Happy reading, happy learning, and happy creating!

A1: Construction materials

“Advancements in materials science have led to the development of innovative products like engineered wood, which offers the same strength and durability as traditional lumber but is made from sustainably sourced materials,” explains Parth Parmar, Director at PARÉ Innovations.

Bamboo and reclaimed wood can also be increasingly used as construction materials.

Read more here about how startups are developing sustainable panels for interior walls, exterior cladding, partition walls, and decorative elements.

A2: Plastic waste

“Bioplastics are a category of materials derived from renewable sources like corn starch, sugarcane, or even algae. Unlike traditional plastics derived from fossil fuels, bioplastics boast the remarkable ability to biodegrade,” explains Sandeep Kumar Tyagi, Co-Founder, Ukhi India.

“Farmers can benefit from the increased demand for crops used as feedstock, and waste management companies can find new outlets for organic waste, creating a more circular economy,” he adds.

Read more about the bioplastics promise for sustainability here.

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A3: Mental health

Founded in 2015 by Deepika Padukone, the Live Love Laugh Foundation works to remove the stigma and cut through misinformation about mental health. Its three key pillars are awareness, accessibility and affordability.

It makes mental health professionals and resources more readily available across the country.  and ensures that mental health treatment is not prohibitively priced.

“Existentially, we all need balance,” says Dr Shyam Bhat from the foundation.

Read more about their work here.

A4: Sustainability

Startups like Beyond Meat, Oatly and Blue Tribe are promoting sustainability in food through plant-based vegan alternatives.

“Simultaneously, the resurgence of millets indicates the numerous options among sustainable and healthier alternatives,” explain Santanu Paul, CEO, and Rithwick Mosalikanti, Senior Manager at TalentSprint.

Companies like Patagonia are ensuring complete transparency and a genuine commitment to using recycled materials.

Read more here about how startups like Angirus, Strawcture and RecycleX are creating alternate materials for construction.

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A5: Superfoods

Founded in 2019 by Kiru Maikapillai, Salem-based D2C brand Divine Foods offers a range of superfoods and health products made from turmeric, moringa, millets, honey, and skincare. Maikapillai quit his job in the US and returned to Tamil Nadu to set up his venture.

In Salem, turmeric has a higher curcumin percentage, ranging from 3 to 5%, he explains.

Read more here about Divine Foods’ other innovative products like organic coconut sugar, moringa honey spread, and millet baby food product Navalac.

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

Edited by Swetha Kannan