Projects

Take a look at some of our projects below. These are companies and initiatives we have started, built, and positioned for the market through our incubation process. We also work with some incredible partners, you can find them here.

Cotrade

We invested in Cotrade Industrial Solutions in 2010. With the diamond “boom” in Zimbabwe, the Chinese, the local government, and huge private corporations are scrappling over mine claims, rights, and fortune in the ground. Instead of trying to fight the big guns, we helped Gift, entrepreneur and now CEO of Cotrade, start a business with a solution that every mine needed and that no one else was doing. Dust suppression!

Gift is the founder & owner of Cotrade Industrial Solutions—a Zimbabwean company that specializes in dust control in mining and industrial sectors. Gift started and operates Cotrade profitably and with zero debt. This is a remarkable feat in any economy, much less Zimbabwe.

Gift works hard to minimize cost and only carry what's necessary, Cotrade remains lean, trim, and flexible enough to adapt to the ever-changing scenarios in the marketplace. Gift's intentional and dedicated attention to building relationships in the marketplace has resulted in a solid client base and rockstar relationships with suppliers. His strength in analyzing relationships, client behavior, and their needs has helped him secure contracts ahead of his larger and better resourced competitors. His clientele include some of the leading diamond and platinum producers in the world. Cotrade has a very philanthropic hiring model, which you can read more about here.

Gift is married and has a daughter with his beautiful wife. He believes in the opportunity in Africa as an economic force and hopes to leave a legacy that allows his children to live in an Africa that continues to rise to its full potential.

Click here to partner with us​

C Media

Film/TV Production and Branding. Picture this: a production company that exists only to tell the best stories in Zimbabwe and southern Africa, and they use profits from commercial work to tell stories pro-bono for non-profits that help orphans and widows.

Voted Best of Zimbabwe, C:Media is one of the leading production houses in Zimbabwe. They use HD equipment (see our HD production studio buildout), state-of-the-art software and have an international team of writers and story tellers.

C:Media does high-end work for some of the largest companies in Zimbabwe and has produced a documentary on the bridge at the world famous Victoria Falls. "Sun, Steel and Spray" was developed in association with the Victoria Falls Bridge Company. The movie has now been distributed to many countries around the world. C:Media works with the best companies in Zimbabwe so they can give away their high-level production in branding and film, because often when it comes to the people who need their story told most, they don't have a budget. C:Media is passionate about stories that make and have an impact and compel people to take action.

Educate

We first met Terrance and Gerald from Educate in 2013. They were working on a micro-finance opportunity that would make a huge difference in the education sector by giving families payment terms when it comes to their children's education fees.

It's a bit of a risk, especially when liquidity in Zimbabwe is strangled like it is and has been, but we invested in this new company because of the entrepreneurs behind it.

This relationship was cultivated around sadza (local Zimbabwean deliciousness) and some slow-roasted, game meat. It took almost a year before we solidified everything, but there were three things that stuck out about these guys:

They care about the success of others more then themselves.
Their track record of relationships and goodwill. Their good reputations proceeded them.
Their experiences in life that prove their ability and capacity to start and build a company like Educate.

We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce the launch of Educate a new micro-finance, education lender. The potential to impact education in the nation and begin also deploying Philanthropic Investment thinking to this sector is something that we are excited to explore.

Startup Pitch Nights, Harare

Launched during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW),  the expanding world of startups in Harare, Zimbabwe comes closer together. Each month, early-stage innovators and startup business owners take to the stage to pitch their ideas in 4½ minutes. Every presentation is polished, tweaked and pre-vetted minimizing any boring factors. Each entrepreneur puts their best on the table (videos, handout's, free gifts) to get the audiences' attention and buy-in.

Then, the audience engages and forms a community springboard that accelerates these new companies like a combination of a think-tank and a marketing push. Questions, distribution channels, new relationships, ideas, engaged feedback (positive and negative), and an atmosphere that makes anything possible. There are only three pitches per night, so even if your idea is still in concept, or if you don't have an idea yet, come network, listen to pitches and offer your candid feedback. You will leave inspired. Take a look at what happened last time.

The Pitch Night's are hosted by Emerging Ideas in collaboration with the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers in Harare. Watch local/regional entrepreneurs face our distinguished panelists (you: the Audience) to explain why their ideas deserve the audience's financial attention, and how we can add value. It's an evening of networking entrepreneurial spirit at Emerging Ideas Pitch Night. Free coffee, snacks and networking with other entrepreneurs doing 'things that matter'. Venue: The Basement @ Celebration Center, 162 Swan Drive, Borrowdale, Harare Numbers are limited. RSVP required.

If you can't see the video above, click here.

Tulsa Start-up Village

The Tulsa Startup Space is a startup center offering new and developing startups and SMEs access to office space, workshop space, and retail storefronts. Utilizing the untapped building resources along historic Route 66 in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, the Startup Space provides a place to collaborate, work with, and engage with other entrepreneurs and accelerate the growth of startup businesses. Complete with an incubator in the back, the space is taking entrepreneurs and their ideas from concept to market in one physical space. Opening in 2015.

1 Million Cups

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and Foolish Things Coffee Company, Emerging Ideas is thrilled to bring 1 Million Cups to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The format is simple but effective—every Wednesday morning, 2 companies present for 6 minutes each, then a 20 minute question and answer session ensues for each company. The Q&A with the entrepreneur community is centered around learning from one another and accelerating the startup's efforts, as well as promoting them locally and regionally.

It’s for the community and by the community. It’s entrepreneurs supporting other entrepreneurs. It’s great coffee. What could be better than that?

Want more info? Click here.

The Basement

Our team was asked to fundraise and manage a new youth hall building project in Harare, Zimbabwe with a budget of zero. We took on the task of turning an old basement into a vibrant community youth hall in under 12 months.

With an economy that doesn't work, with banks shutting down, and almost every business owner complaining about how tight things are, we needed to get the youth in Harare to buy into the project and take chunks of the fundraising pie through little projects.

It's a challenge to get young people who are constantly lit up by social media to think about a longterm project and get their hands dirty. Music albums were launched and proceeds given to the basement. Cars were washed, fashion shows (although really small) were put on, cocktails were held, and numerous other efforts to contribute to this community space where people could share, develop, and connect in a safe and amped environment.

It also couldn't be just a normal space. Atmosphere sets the stage for momentum—whether it's a youth innovation hall, a non-profit trailer, corporate offices or a studio. It couldn't be a place that had old chairs, minimal lighting to save on energy costs, a broken ping-pong tables, or weird signs. This place had to carry its own identity.

Considering the longterm impact of what this space could do for the education of teens, local entrepreneurs, and aspiring young careers, we knew this was worth it. Besides bars, pubs and a few coffee shops, this is a different space that formulates a community springboard to people’s lives and ideas, and helps them to grow in all aspects of life.

It's already packed out every weekend and has started to generate revenue from month one. This is also the home of our monthly Startup Pitch Nights.

Click here to read the announcement of the grand opening.

Earthstruct

There is currently a waiting list with over 200,000 families waiting for homes in Zimbabwe. We've partnered with Homelux Holdings, one of the largest property developers in the nation, to provide medium-income housing to this increasing demographic. Earthstruct is literally building communities and providing homes for families.

Blu Nile Water Co., Ethiopia

With Africa in desperate need of water and Ethiopia sitting on some of the world's largest aquifers, we're partnering with the Ethiopian government to initiate a deep-well, water drilling company. The demand is great and the supply is there, but it's not being maximized to its potential. Working with local organizations in Ethiopia who're dedicated to empowering their communities, we'll be supplying fresh water as well as sustaining local townships economically and via business development training.

Impossible Forgiveness (Film)

In conjunction with C:Media on this project, we are working on a film detailing the story of forgiveness, restoration, and inspiration through the life of "Winnie." This powerful woman overcame losing her entire family in a civil war, having part of her body mangled from a land mine, and now runs and operates the largest prison ministry in Zimbabwe. Her story is in production and will be soon told on the big screen. Check out the trailer below:

Can't see the video above, here's the link: Impossible Forgiveness

Big Africa

Big Africa is a project that aims to create referral and trust networks in Africa. It helps people find trustworthy people, who represent efficient businesses, filtering out the mediocrity and high prices. Everyone is on one platform, and you see the businesses your friends have used, creating a competitive referral network. This is a pending project.

Zimbabwe Granite International

With the rights to a new granite mine obtained, Zimbabwe Granite International (ZGI) needed to secure the appropriate investing and mining licenses. Emerging Ideas was been brought on board to get the licenses, import the mining equipment, advise through the various Zim investment law issues, and facilitate the starting of this large granite mine. ZGI has a strong philanthropic push as they'll be building housing for all of their staff, providing good paying jobs to the local community, and preparing local infrastructure surrounding the mine site.