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Business ideas are often hatched in unlikely places. But for Atsushi Nakanishi, an epiphany could not have hit him at a worse time.

On a fateful day in September 2013, Nakanishi, then a student at the University of California, Berkeley, was in the middle of moving house. He was hurriedly walking down the street, carrying carts full of luggage, when he felt the unexpected, unstoppable urge to, ahem, poo.

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