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Startup Story: Starting Small At Sustainability

As food and plastics are two main threats of our climate, what better way is there than solving both issues at one go? Crunch Cutlery is one such innovative startup that aims to reduce waste from single-use plastic cutlery through edible ones, conceived by SUSS students and co-founders Anna Lam and Sean Neo. 

Before the pair worked together on Crunch Cultery, they also tried their hand at other sustainable concepts. For Anna, she had experimented with the idea of edible cutlery which was featured in the news several times. Sean, a graduate of SUSS part-time Bachelor of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management Programme, also tinkered with his own idea – the rental of reusable Tupperware via vending machines. His foray into sustainability began when he managed his family business in crockery rental. At that time, he introduced the use of reusable crockery in large-scale outdoor dining events, such as Earth Hour 2019 and DBS regatta 2019, saving more than 200,000 pieces of disposables from becoming landfills.

Wanting to make more impact and intrigued by the idea of edible cutlery, Sean became connected to Anna through the SUSS Entrepreneur-in-Residence – the rest became history. In about a year, their startup boasted a sales figure of over $5000 and won several consignment relationships with food outlets and suppliers like An Acai Affair, Treatsure, Uglyfood, Cornercove, Hatter Street Bakehouse & Café and WellSmoocht. The pair also went on to win the top spot at the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Demo Day!

When asked about what inspires them, the Anna and Sean felt that it is their belief that people can make a difference starting with a small change. They also encourage everyone to consider their own environmental impact by beginning from a starting point that is not intimidating.

Sean receiving the Bronze Award, University and Open Category, at the NationalYouth Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony.

Beyond their goals of helping to reduce single-use disposable cutlery, Crunch’s spoons also incorporates superfoods as healthy snacks that allow people to obtain nutrition in every bite. 

Both co-founders are thankful towards SUSS for granting them access to valuable mentorship and visibility for their brand. Also, the university, in its capacity as Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP), had recommended Crunch Cutlery for the SG Startup Founder’s grant. It has since successfully received the grant which is currently funding their product development and advertising. 

As a product with few or zero competitors, educating the public on edible cutlery is a slow yet important process. In the future ahead, they plan to partner with educational providers to promote greater knowledge in sustainability via workshops.


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