Who Is Emerging Ideas?
We are Tim Bickers & Tommy Deuschle. We come from worlds apart, but a series of emerging ideas brought us together.
Tim (left) & Tommy (right)
Tommy was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. He spent his entire life seeing foreign aid organizations come to help place band-aids of relief on gaping economic and political wounds. In the early 1990s, hundreds of thousands of Mozambican refugees fled their country from civil war and many of them were in refugee camps in Zimbabwe.
Tommy and his family would venture into the Mozambican refugee camps to distribute clothes and rice, and live in the smoldered mud huts and bathe in rivers where crocodiles would lurk. His family not only gave food and clothing but also taught the people how to build small ventures that would keep their communities sustainably viable. Uneducated people became educated, and when they returned to Mozambique they were little entrepreneurs and not helpless people looking for work.
Giving people shoes merely empowers them to run for a short while, but results in people losing their shoes and going back to being barefoot.
Giving people shoes and then teaching them how to invent, create, and build something evolves an entire generation.
Tommy worked with his parents, who are pastors in Zimbabwe (originally from Colorado) to help facilitate foreign aid from large companies like the Coca-Cola Foundation, Celebration Health and Medshare. They built a state-of-the-art 4,000 seat church in the center of its capital to teach people how to grow in Christ and grow their ideas. (Celebrate.org). Out of this, large entities were birthed from the teaching such as Kingdom Bank and Econet Wireless. His family started and built up orphanages and schools around Zimbabwe and they continue to teach people about God’s love, entrepreneurship and vision principles.
Camping at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
Standing on the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro
Tim was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. Growing up, he spent his summers fly fishing with his grandfather on a lake in rural Mississippi. His grandfather was a pioneer and performed medical outreaches deep into the Amazon Jungle in the 1960s and built the systems that run the largest hospital network in Memphis, Tennessee. This love of people, love of new ideas, and love of adventure was instilled in Tim even at a young age.
During the summers of high school, Tim travelled to Central & South America. By college, he began leading groups of students on community and business outreaches. He travelled into remote locations like the desert of Western Argentina up into the foothills of the Andes Mountains to deep in the mountain jungles of the Dominican Republic—partnering with the local communities and focusing on business and economic development.
His passion for startups literally started under the mango trees of the Dominican...
The Great Connection
We met in college and connected with a mutual love of “the bean” (coffee), pull ups, wanting to impact the world through business, and empowering others to dream big.
In the words of Tommy, “Tim won the ‘The Wall Street Journal Award’ at Oral Roberts University. I thought it was cool so I offered him a coffee at Starbucks to talk about why he won the Award and I didn’t. It was actually a mockery at the time, because he said he had just started his own company. When we met I realized he had a brilliant marketing mind, and somehow even though we were from different villages (Tulsa and Harare) we saw the world as being laden with ideas waiting to be lifted up out of the eternal bliss of ‘what if.’”
Desk jobs were not on our radar, nothing about the US economy scared us, and we knew that Africa was a diamond field of ideas. We held idealism with both hands. Now we hold it with one. We both had dreams to facilitate the birth of ideas, and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.
We then had an idea to connect businesses on the ground in Africa via the internet. There is no online business network for Africa. So we built the largest business directory in Africa, allowing business owners to search via language, geography, and industry to find the relationships they needed to make business happen. It was a novel idea and did well for a few years. What we learned from this venture has inspired and led much of our discoveries over the recent years.
After our first startup attempt in 2009, we began to rethink how investments and startups were being conducted on the ground in Southern Africa. Corruption, lies, deceit, and lack of trust were destroying deals and opportunities that are unparallelled anywhere else in the world.
We asked ourselves, how can we build a small trust network that allows for powerful investment deals that also builds communities and impact people’s lives for the better?
Thus Emerging Ideas was born.
We would love to share our Manifesto with you. We wrote this short eBook to give you an idea of why we work with entrepreneurs and their ideas and why we're passionate about Africa. Please click here
to download The Manifesto: How We're Investing In Soccer Ball Sized Diamonds And How You Can Too
P.S. If you linked over to this blog from our About page and would like to go back to read our semi-boring bios, then please by all means, click here. :)
Posted on October 6, 2012
by Tim & Tommy filed under