I have some business ideas that I would like to develop in the areas of property, agriculture, consulting, energy, sustainable development, mobile apps, and waste. I’m looking for co-founders. The key part of developing these businesses is assessing demand or product-market fit. Feasible ways of doing this would be no to low cost, e.g. doorknocking, flyers, and online marketing with a free WordPress website and social media.
For property, I’d like to better utilise vacant properties through caretaker leases. Hurdles with this concept include finding vacant properties (this shouldn’t be too difficult–just go for a walk around Sydney and you’ll see some–the last census was around 144,000 vacant dwellings), negotiating with stakeholders (e.g. building owners, local council, and developers) to organise a caretaker lease (this is more difficult), and finding people who would be willing to pay rent that is well below market rates (this shouldn’t be too difficult, but I may have optimism bias).
For agriculture, I’d like to develop a consulting business that helps people to grow food-bearing plants at their home, and/or at a community garden. The business could be educational, but could also actively help with agriculture. The business could run workshops, or organise bookings at people’s homes.
For energy, one idea is to develop solar energy projects at railways, roads, or bus shelters. The projects could be funded by loans, community investment (of which there are several business models to use such as a shared company or a co-operative), or purchase. The energy could be fed to daytime loads like lights in tunnels, trains, or just fed to the grid (this latter option is less viable). Depending on how viable existing energy storage options are, the energy could be stored and fed to night-time loads.
For sustainable development, there are numerous products that could be used in developing countries, such as refrigerators (which are particularly important for storing medical equipment like vaccines), agricultural equipment, mechanical equipment for trades such as textiles and woodwork, DC electric appliances (e.g. stoves). The products that are community-scale (everything mentioned previously except for DC electric appliances–although some high-cost appliances like fridges and washing machines would be more suitable for a community-scale) would need to be lent rather than sold for more affordability for poor people in developing countries. Lending requires raising lots of capital. So, my understanding is that lean start-up principles don’t work well, since such principles work well for tech startups that have minimal financial resources and can sell their product. Products such as lighting, mobile charging, agroprocessing, and others are currently on the market with companies such as M Kopa, d.light, Barefoot Power, and Village Infrastructure, but I haven’t seen the products mentioned on the market in developing countries.
There is a mobile app with a patent in Japan that compares prices of groceries between different retailers, products, and times. Here is the link:https://www.google.com.au/patents/US20140195323…
I don’t think there is any mobile app on the market that does all of this, particularly for between retailers.
Finally the idea for waste would be increasing the uptake of the use of compost bins, worm farms or bokashi bins. This could be done in tandem with the in-home agriculture consulting business.
Another waste management business idea is to pick up waste (focusing on furniture) throughout the year (but focusing on at the end of university semesters) at or near universities and apartments, store it, then sell it at times of high demand, namely before the beginning of university semesters. There is a company in the UK that is doing this, which started from a fresher student finding a thrown out couch. More information about that initiative is here.
If anyone is interested in helping to develop these ideas, feel free to get in touch with me.