Have you seen yclist? It’s a listing of Y Combinator’s alumni; the dead ones, thriving ones, those exited and those trundling along.
What I noticed going through this list is, some of the startups on here could easily be replicated in Africa, contextualized and be executed the hell out of.
So you are probably thinking, “oh, this is just fraud, this is stealing someone else’s idea.” Well, actually, no. Nobody owns ideas, unless the idea is an invention has been patented. But even those have geographic limitations.
I’ll go right ahead and pick out four ideas on here (which definitely do not have patents on them) that should totally be cloned in Africa and immediately too:
There is only so much of your wardrobe you wear in a day, a week or even a year. Why not rent out those not on your rotation at any point in time and make money while at it? Or you are cash-strapped and need a dress for that all-white Yoruba Boys owambe? Jump on the app and find a fit you can rent. There will be hangups and I can already imagine a couple of those. Like when that guy got a spill on the white Dashiki of this other guy at the Saturday shinding. Well. Time to apply the mind. This will obviously thrive as a hyperlocal service.
Possible name: Fashionab.ly
Social meals. The idea is to share a meal with a group of people – most likely, strangers. It’s very much like a carpooling services for restaurant tables. Say it’s a Friday evening and you don’t want to hit the club.You are tired of your same old friends and the Friday routine. Put up a meal invite on grubwithus along with details like the kind of people you are hoping to spend the evening with, venue, time and other non-freaky deets and see how many take you up on the offer. This is very much like Eat.Drink.Lagos’ lunchclub but with an app and accessibility to a lot more regular folks with its less prohibitive pricing. @smallbigchops on Twitter, also does something similar with #TwitterGrubMingle. I see a lot of practical emergent behaviours on here.
Possible name: FoodCourt
High-end restaurants are known to begin making meals after patrons had placed orders. After which these patrons go back, take a seat and wait another 45 minutes for their meals. Usually, there is WiFi so the wait is bearable even sometimes worth it. But what if you want to pop in and out. You know, there is a huge desk full actual paperwork back at the office you need to get back to. OrderAhead to the rescue. I know loooots of people who will use this app. Of course, this could always integrate pickup and delivery like some local startups already do, but this particular substrate has not been explored yet.
Possible name: Timelee
What are your kids doing this weekend? Definitely not home watching the Aveggies. That’s fine, but they could be doing more. Like learning how to rig up Rasperry Pis or making model trains, or learning to code, or doing any of the number of things at mini-events listed on Camperoo, or its Nigerian brother that we will call, KidsTakeOut. The last summer vacation in Nigeria saw a lot of kids stay home for three months stretch with only the boring summer classes to go on. Of course, there were cool creative and geeky activities going on across town, but they were simply not curated in one easily accessible place. An app like this listing all activities around town could give parents more options on where they want their kids to be. They can even hire a chaperone to help look out for them.
There could also be grownups version of this. Why not? A list of creative weekend engagements that could help corral a person’s creativity.