They say that some of the best ideas are found in the graveyard, buried with their originators. I have had my fair share of dances with hackathons and startup challenges, never seeming to crack the code that leads to winning, funding and eventual IPO!
I have had my share of sleepless nights thinking of the next best startup idea that will hit it rich here in Zimbabwe. Transport, energy, payments, classifieds and even sports have not failed to cross my mind. Some to the extent of me investing a few hundreds of dollars, building a team and only to let it go after bumping my head a few times.
So here I am. Sharing my ideas. In hopes that someone here can see the vision and run with it. You might be the next big thing after PayPal hitting to Zimbabwe but here’s hoping that eventually this will make a better Zimbabwe for us all. Better yet, why not enter it into the TechZim Surge StartUp Challenge to be held later this year.
The idea I would like to share with you today did not come from the recent announcement made by the power utility but from the frequent power outages that we are made to endure this side of the equator: www.IsThereZESA.com
A portal where one can log in to check the status of electricity in their neighbourhood and make the necessary planning arrangements (either to stay in town or visit a local pub to watch the FIFA World Cup 2014 soccer games or to buy a quick meal that requires very little cooking).
The website could sell a device or Android app or this nifty workaround that will send a SMS notification when power goes and/or returns. You could have these supplied for free and charge people per notification or you can get them to pay a monthly subscription that will include the cost of the solution.
The idea is to make sure that EVERY grid in Zimbabwe has at least one notifier that will advise you when power has gone in that area and the portal will be able to notify everyone who has signed up to the service, that’s connected to that grid to be notified.
The obvious better solution is that you directly integrate with ZESA so that when power goes in a certain area they can instantly advise you. Though I would advise for you to wait for hell to freeze before that can happen, you stand a greater chance.
The portal can also give tips and tricks of how people can save power, use alternative electricity and information on how and where people can buy prepaid electricity (for when it’s there) at anytime of the day.
Service providers that would want to partner (or at least advertise) with this portal are people that offer alternative power (Solar, Generators, Gas stove suppliers, etc), organisations that sell prepaid electricity and even fast food outlets that can deliver food should you feel the need not to get that fire going outside.
Having a classified section that will allow people to advertise their products could be an idea too. You could then charge them per advert size or duration.
Like I said, this is an idea, something I have had with me for a long time that I feel should not die but rather someone else can take it up and bring it to maturation. For what? No fees. FREE. Nada. Zilch. Oh, did I mention that you don’t have to pay me for such an idea?
How would you add value to such a service? What service would you like such a portal to provide? What prices would you be willing to pay for such?
Do share in the comments below, so if there is someone willing to take this up they can have a better grasp of the opportunity.