Lateral Sparks, the weekly quiz from YourStory, tests your domain knowledge, business acumen, and lateral thinking skills (see the previous edition here). In this 70th 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.
Q1: Edtech enablers
Teacher creativity and student learning can be enhanced by digital tools and content, as shown by waves of innovation in educational technology. However, edtech costs are still high for many schools, and the use of open source technology and open content can help here. What else can help make edtech more affordable?
Q2: Smart cities
Governments of large cities and major tech firms are joining hands to create smart city solutions to make urban life more efficient, convenient and sustainable. Who else plays a key role to improve urban infrastructure and environment, and how can their involvement be scaled up?
Q3: Agricultural innovations
New innovations in seed quality, farming practices, and market distribution are transforming the agricultural sector. In addition, large agri-businesses are leveraging the digital technology edge. How can agritech benefit smallholding farmers as well?
Q4: Ecommerce trends
The retail sector has been profoundly transformed by the rise of ecommerce, particularly for D2C products and services. Visually-appealing catalogs, immersive media, and mobile shopping are some key drivers of ecommerce. What new shifts are taking place in this space?
Q5: Sustainable energy
Government and industry are key stakeholders in promoting and scaling the use of sustainable energy, to help avert threats like climate change. This requires new business models for generating, storing and sharing energy. What else must change to enable the shift to sustainable energy?
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: Edtech enablers
“GST exemption on the supply of goods and services to educational institutions and intermediaries can reduce the overall cost that is currently passed on to schools and parents,” advises Sumeet Mehta, Co-founder and CEO of LEAD. This will help make edtech more affordable.
India’s education policy aims to promote multimodal learning. “This can be enabled by increasing the penetration of digital infrastructure in schools and educational institutions,” Sumeet adds. Read more here about digital tools and content in classrooms.
A2: Smart cities
Cities can also attract startups to create and scale innovative solutions, as shown by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s plan to host City-Tech.Tokyo, a global event for startups to create sustainable cities and societies.
“From Japan’s point of view, we would like to connect global startups, improve cooperation to create new business opportunities and connect them to venture capitalists and large corporations,” says Yuma Saito, CEO, Deloitte Tohmatsu Venture Support. “Innovation is critical in creating a smart city,” adds Manabu Miyasaka, Deputy Governor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government. Read more about the initiative here.
A3: Agricultural innovations
“In 2023, we expect agritech innovations in three areas to gain momentum—agri deep tech, agrifood life sciences (AFLS), and rural fintech,” observes Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore.
“The digitally literate next billion is eager for affordable agritech innovations and we can see entrepreneurs responding to this demand with solutions tailored for smallholders,” he adds. Read more here about investments into startups offering marketplace and technology solutions.
A4: Ecommerce trends
“By controlling a product or service end-to-end, internet marketplaces are able to improve customer experience and create efficiencies by cutting out middlemen. This allows them to increase gross margins and benefit from higher rates of customer retention,” observes Anant Vidur Puri, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.
“In the next 10 years, ecommerce will no longer be catalogue-led,” he adds, pointing to the rise of live commerce, social media and influencer-led marketing. Read more here for examples such as the UrbanCompany marketplace model for service professionals.
A5: Sustainable energy
“The future of smart sustainable cities and countries is not about a single company or government but about a community coming together to instill a new way of thinking and a new way of utilising sustainable energy in an open and accessible way,” observes Horace Luke, Founder and CEO of Gogoro.
The Taiwan-based company plans to invest $2.5 billion alongside Indian automotive systems manufacturer, Belrise Industries, to set up an extensive network of battery swapping stations for electric vehicles in the state of Maharashtra. Read more about EV trends here.
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 Megha Reddy