Project Updates (Q1 2015)

Project Updates (Q1 2015)

It’s that time again for our quarterly review. For those new to our tribe, we write these updates every few months to show you what we’ve been working on.

The disclaimer: One of our guiding principles that we seek to implement as a group is transparency. As we work with entrepreneurs and their companies, we think it’s important to inform you and be open about what we’re working on and how it’s going. At the end of each Quarter, we’ve written reviews showcasing what projects we’re working on and the status of those. If you’ve followed closely, you’ve noticed that some projects went very well and some have flat-out failed. We think that’s part of it and we’re not going to hide those stories from you, no matter how failure makes us feel in our personal lives (read more about our thoughts on fostering failure here and here and here and here).

Here’s a list of some of our past project updates:
2012 Q4
2013 Q1
2013 Q2
2013 Q3
2013 Annual Review
2014 Q1
2014 Q2
2014 Q3
2014 Annual Review

Due to our growing portfolio and list of things our team is cooking up, we’ll give you updates on the things that have had movement this quarter. If no movement, then you won’t see it in the list. For a full list on the projects we have going, click here.

So for example, we built The Basement exactly a year ago, it’s the first modern youth hall in Zimbabwe. There’s not much to update you on with a physical building space other than it’s still runs, hosts weekly events, and is cash flow positive. So we’ll file that in a list of projects on our site.

Ok enough of that…

So here is our 2015 Quarter 1 report. Enjoy!

CMedia. The workload is staggering. The new relationships have edged us on to more meaningful projects. Every week we're attempting to do things we've never done. This quarter, we’ve told a 75-year old story on the leading seed company in Africa known as Seed Co. We also pulled off a punchy national pride video for the cell network Telecel. Two of our team members are headed to Las Vegas for the NAB Show next week to keep pushing ourselves to better work. Our new Ronin (who we've nicknamed The Girlfriend) was an added equipment expansion in January. This quarter we also launched Kilimanjaro, The Documentary which packed out the local movie theatre in Harare and will be showing in at least 3 cities in the Midwest USA as well as Johannesburg and London.

Cotrade Industrial Solutions. Cotrade has opened up two brand new mining contracts and a new product line. The jobs start in the next two weeks and we'll be updating with a few pictures.

Global Digital Village (GDV). We've officially joined a team of strong entrepreneurs and businessmen to do something that reaches the entire continent. More to come on this later this year but remember the name GDV.

Educate. The first loan repayments have started and the demand far outweighs the capital at this point. The good news is that we’re helping hundreds of students stay in school and get a world class education. The next capital raise starts this week. Wish us luck!

Pitch Nights Zimbabwe. As of February, Pitch Night is fully sponsored! Pitch Night is poised for expansion. We've got to give a shout out to our friends at Telecel who are actively engaging in the startup and idea world in Zimbabwe by supporting these dreamers. They’re all about empowering local innovation and so it was a natural and fun fit when we met and they joined via sponsorship.

Our humanitarian efforts this quarter helped launch the new website. We’ll also be starting a solar paneled, deep borehole for some orphans at Kadoma this month. We’re very excited about this!

As our deal flow continues to increase, we are sensing the increased need and possibility of a funding mechanism. We’ve been thinking about this for years, but believe in the next 18-24 months, we will see this as a reality in our strategy.

Tulsa Entrepreneur Village (TULEV) (USA)—we announced this project at a recent 1 Million Cups event and will be putting together a full write-up when the investor package is ready (early this year). There are a number of old buildings along the historic Route 66 road in downtown Tulsa. They are all brick, in need of some love, but perfect to allow entrepreneurs to build their companies there. This will be a space for collaboration, incubation, and will give entrepreneurs a cheaper place to test their companies and extend that startup runway until their companies can take flight. We have a final board meeting with the landlord in two weeks to discuss next steps, interior demolition, and buildout.

As is the nature in anything when you’re starting out, it just takes time. It will take time for outside investors to trust entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe and as financing happens, it will take consistent good results for that trust to be strengthened. It’s a long-term play, but building, developing, and ultimately sustaining is not easy or quick work.

A notable mention & a few speaking engagements:

We’re playing host to a business conference in conjunction with the Victory Business Forum on 25-26 of May. We have an executive coach, trained psychotheraphist, and human success guru who will be headlining the even. This annual conference in Harare is always a must and never a dull moment.

Tim is speaking at the Social Entrepreneurship Forum at the University of Oklahoma on April 22 in Norman, OK. As well as a progressive dinner on entrepreneurship in June.

Our model is beginning to gain traction in Tulsa as well. As we have a holistic neighborhood development group interested in deploying the Collaborative Brilliance working model into an entrepreneurship center in North Tulsa, which has many untapped storefronts and much needed business growth.

Last but certainly nowhere near least, we are playing host to the 95% Market Share Conference in Chicago, IL, USA. Jim Niekamp and his business partner took their company from startup to 95% market share and in this 2 day event, we’ll be hosting executives, entrepreneurs, and small business owners from the USA and southern Africa. It’s hands down the best conference we’ve ever encountered. Dates 25-26 June. Hit reply and inquire for more details.

Deals deals and more deals. There are lots of deals, lots of chatter, lots of talk. Talk is cheap. We’re operating this next quarter under the motto of show me, don’t tell me. Let’s see the plan, let’s see what you’ve done with it, and let’s see where you’re going. Don’t talk to us, show us.

Things continue to move forward at a nice pace. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to drop us a note by hitting reply (if this is in your email) or by hopping over to Twitter and saying hello. We look forward to connecting with you.

Cheers everyone,

Tommy & Tim and the rest of the growing Emerging Ideas family

(photo via a.steinhof)