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the challenge
Paul Underhill, creator of Rumble drink. (Chad Hipolito For The Globe and Mail)

Cyclist wants you to try the drink that made him healthy again

Paul Underhill launched a nutritious drink that he says helps him cope with cystic fibrosis and a double lung transplant. An avid cyclist, Mr. Underhill, 44, wanted to create a nourishing beverage that was free of the artificial additives in the meal replacement drinks that his doctor suggested.

Originally concocted in a kitchen blender, Rumble is packed with 20 grams of protein in each 12-ounce bottle, along with kale, walnut oil, pomegranate and beet juice.

But how can his company market a tough-to-categorize product with a shoestring budget, and expand to the United States? Read the story here.

Rick Gibbs, right, owner and president of Neutron Factory Works, with Eric Hasselmann, left, owner of Century Pacific Foundry, and melting supervisor Harjinder Atwal, in Surrey, B.C. (Ben Nelms For The Globe and Mail)

How do you compete with $80 an hour?

In a high-tech world where a factory shutdown can cost up to $5,000 a minute, Rick Gibbs and his staff of technicians at Neutron Factory Works Inc. keep B.C. manufacturers running.

But they also have to cope with high wages in a resource-rich area. How can they hang onto their crew of electricians, millwrights and programmers? How do you keep skilled employees from heading off to higher-paying jobs? Read the story here.

Russell Oliver wants to bring his 43-year-old gold-buying business to new markets in Ontario. (Galit Rodan For The Globe and Mail)

He’s the Cash Man, oh yeah – and he wants a ‘mini-me’

Russell Oliver, known for his in-your-face television ads, wants to open gold-buying stores across the Greater Toronto Area and possibly other provinces. The problem? He hasn’t had much luck finding someone to head them up. “I need someone like myself,” he says.

What are his options? Read the article here.

Claudio David launched Office Coffee Solutions in 1996. (Galit Rodan For The Globe and Mail)

Trouble brews as coffee pods invade the office

Claudio David launched himself into the office-coffee business in 1996. Soon he was serving a network of law firms, advertising agencies and university staff rooms.

But the advent of the single-cup coffee makers by Keurig and Tassimo changed things. Some of his clients have started switching to single-serve machines to save money. How can he cope? Read the article here.

Tim Sherstyuk, head of Gbatteries, works from his home office in Mountain View, Calif. (Kim White For The Globe and Mail)

Long-life laptop battery the tech industry doesn’t want you to have

Tim Sherstyuk and his father developed technology that prolongs the life of the batteries that power our laptops and cellphones. The Ottawa pair hit an engineering bull’s-eye – by pairing batteries with their own special printed circuit board, they were able to increase capacity by 30 per cent.

But the big tech companies haven’t been too excited about it. In fact, they say they would play down the idea of a battery with a longer life. Read the story here.