Project Updates Q4 2015 :: Year in Review (Part 2)

Project Updates Q4 2015 :: Year in Review (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our end of year review, we discussed the extreme deflation that’s happening in Zimbabwe. This post will be formatted as our quarterly review with each project listed and an update. If you don’t see a previous project listed here, it’s because there’s nothing to report or no movement.

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, and build companies of our own, we think it’s important to inform you about what we’re working on, as well as 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
2015 Q1
2015 Q2
2015 Q3
2015 Q4 Part 1

So here is our 2015 Quarter 4 report. Enjoy!


We just ripped up the carpet! With the rebrand complete, we’re now adding some new flair to the studio. Rugged wood, painted steel, new lighting and a few special extras is being plugged in. A few campaigns are already lined up and production on a t.v show for innovators and entrepreneurs will be kicking off next month. We see 2016 being a pivotal year for CMedia Africa and the genius hooligans in that are rocking that company. A small piece that they worked on captivates Harare city skyline in a way that will send goosebumps to your unborn children. Take a look below.

We Are Zimbabwe from CMEDIA AFRICA on Vimeo.


With little to no rain this wet season - you’d think that the mines would really be faced with dust issues. As far as we know there’s still indecision on the final signatures needed but all verbal notions have been a “go” for two mines. The waiting game is hard on this one.


Tectonic plates are moving under the surface. A new loan offer from a local bank is a done deal and a significant partnership looms behind the curtain. What makes this company work so well is their customer experience and internal culture. It’s more important than desks, chairs or cars. This team has it, and the demand for their culture (and their service) is growing rapidly in both high school tuitions and tertiary fees. A big year ahead for our team at Educate.


Pixar came out with the “Good Dinosaur” but GDV is the “Steady Dinosaur.” This definitely isn’t a startup, but it holds multiple startups within the big engine. There are so many players involved and we’re just happy to be at the table helping coordinate the internet penetration into rural areas in Africa.


Pitch Nights has had another successful year! 2 years in a row the team has managed to fill up the basement and caffeinate the innovators in the city of Harare. Last pitch night clocked in 310 people, and ended up having people standing outside the doors. The sustainability of Pitch Night seems to be an issue though. Our previous partners Telecel got bought out by the government and our current sponsors are meeting the need but it’s not enough to do what we really want to do. We’re re-considering the future of pitch night due to the amount of time we are spending on focused projects.


The branding has started and now that the rains have come and gone (or just really never came), the ground-breaking ceremony looks to take place after the first quarter of this year.


We told you about a concept we were working on in downtown Tulsa, OK, USA. The timing was good and we had a list of great tenants to go into the space, but things didn’t pan out with our main partner. Deals fall apart. That happens. The cool thing is, the conversation around a workspace like this in the city spurred on other groups to take up the idea. We should see some new work spaces, accelerators and collaboration hubs opening soon. Like this one.


One of our co-founders, Tim, has had the pleasure of being involved with a new foundation that launched last year in Oklahoma. We helped structure the foundation, build the granting process, generate ideas to invest in, and then pick the grants that we gave out. There were a number of really cool projects that launched as a result. Check out this video to learn more.


We’re really passionate about the orphan crisis in the nation. Did you know nearly 7% of Zim are orphaned? Tommy is in a band called Celebrate Young. They launched a 4 track EP album on New Year’s Day to benefit Project Relocation. Our Kilimanjaro documentary won a few awards and to continue the momentum, we’ve launched a music video to raise awareness and funds for the new cluster home development for these kids. You can learn more and see the music video on this page.

Good To Great 

You have to be realistic about survival. There's a story in the book Good to Great about a prisoner of war in World War II. The man survived his POW stint by maintaining a positive, but realistic attitude toward release. His inmates died because they put expectation and timelines on success, rather than determining to get out no matter what the time, like he did.

You have to be realistic. Our goal is still 100 companies and 500k people impacted by 2025. But when 2025 rolls around, we won’t stop building companies and solutions to local problems in sub-saharan Africa. We’re called to this. If you aren't called to what you're doing and have purpose behind it, you won't stand the test of time and you'll give up in the camp before you see your vision realized.

2016 will be a big year for us. Lots of projects on the cusp of hitting and funds being raised. Stay tuned for our next update and follow along with our journey.

Thanks for reading and supporting! 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 & the growing Emerging Ideas team

(photo via brian wolfe)