Start your own “Drones-as-a-Service” business
With the introduction of drone mapping technology five years ago, a large number of new small business ventures have since been created worldwide, tackling a variety of issues that were either addressed by very costly and difficult-to-deploy technology or had no solution. Tanzania is facing many of these issues, due to natural disasters, infrastructure and agriculture development and challenges related to climate change, creating a local market need where drone technology can provide solutions.
WeRobotics in partnership with Tanzania Flying Labs, the Tanzanian Data Lab (dLab) and the Dar Teknohama Business Incubator (DTBi) are hosting a business incubation program on how to leverage technical skills and readily available drone mapping hard- and software to create a drone-related service business in Tanzania. The program includes:
A call for business ideas from July 1 to August 20, 2017 where you present how you and your team will leverage drone mapping technology as a “Drone-as-a-Service” company. Four finalists will be chosen by a local panel of judges by late-August.
A five-day business development seminar, given by international business development experts, will be held in Dar es Salaam from September 18 – 22, 2017. During this week, the 4 finalist teams will learn how to turn their ideas into a solid business plan.
A four-week business plan iteration phase where each of the 4 teams will receive local mentorship and TSH 1’000’000 in cash. During this period, each team will iterate on and validate their business plan to be ready to participate in the business plan competition.
A business plan competition to be held on October 25, 2017 in Dar es Salaam where a final jury will elect the winning team based on their business plan and video pitch. The winning team will receive a business incubation fund of TSH 10’000’000 that will allow to kick-start the team’s business.
During the Ideation phase, 24 teams have put in their ideas on how to create a drone-related service business and 9 teams have pitched their idea in front of a jury made up of WeRobotics staff that then selected the four finalist teams.
From September 18 to 22, 2017, the four teams participated in our Business Incubation Seminar, held at COSTECH in Dar es Salaam, that helped them transform their ideas into a solid business plan. Currently, the four teams are iterating on their business model and finalising their business plan for the Final competition that will be held on October 25, 2017.
Our 4 “Drones as a Service” Finalist Teams
Agrosense offers advisory services, business insights and crop use cases to farmers , input suppliers and buyers in East Africa. Our mission is to take agriculture to the next level by using drones, sensors and computing technology in analysing crop health and support precision agriculture.
Disaster Management Society’s aim is to keep Tanzanian communities safe from floods. The team uses drones for flood risk reduction and management, producing and analysing images to support disaster management authorities and other actors in providing early warning and facilitate the evacuation process during floods.
iSURVEY intends to use drones for mapping purposes to help bring electricity infrastructure to rural areas of Tanzania. Providing topographic maps of rural areas where traditional mapping methods are too risky and costly will allow electrical engineers to design routes for transmission and distribution of electricity.
Zanzibar Drone Academy
Zanzibar Drone Academy’s goal is to provide and promote knowledge of drone technology and its application through consultations, mentorship, trainings, boot camps and publications related to drone technology. The team’s intention is to see youth and passionate people explore opportunities related to drones.
Participation in this program is free of charge, including the pitching workshop for all teams who have contributed with an idea and the one-week seminar for the 4 finalist teams. The program is sponsored by following partners:
I. Who can participate in “Drones as a Service Business” Incubation Program?
This event is for people who are interested in learning how to use drone technology in a service business. Your team should have people with following skills:
- Drone operator/pilot
- GIS/Imagery specialist (if idea involves mapping and aerial imagery)
- Business and Marketing/Sales
- A team should have at least one engineer
II. What is the minimum and maximum number of individuals allowed in a team?
The maximum members you can have in a team is 4. To be called a team, you need a minimum of 2 people.
III. How can I participate and submit my idea?
To participate, you need to register. To register, click here. Submit the necessary details and we will get back to you.
IV. Do we have to build our drone product?
No. The idea should take advantage of readily available drones (hardware and software) already on the market to start a service business.
V. Do we have to develop only a business idea?
To register, all you need is a business idea. Your idea will then be evaluated by local panel of judges. If your idea is selected, your team will then move on to the next step of the program, the one-week business seminar as one of the 4 finalist teams. The seminar will help you expand upon your business idea, and afterwards you will be given 4 weeks to create a finalized version for the business plan competition.
VI. Are there any criteria to participate?
You must live in Tanzania and you, together with your teammates, should already possess the necessary technical knowledge and skills to operate drones, acquire data and generate service products like for example maps, 3D models, indexes, etc. You also must be motivated to create your own business using drone technology.
VII. Can I submit more than one idea?
No. You can only be in one team and that team can only submit one idea for their business.
VIII. What happens after submission of idea?
We will closely evaluate your idea and team. If selected, you’ll receive an email soon giving you further details of the competition.
IX. Can I change or update details of my idea or team after submission?
Yes, you can until August 4, 2017. To do so, send us an email with detailed information on why you want to change the details and what changes you would like to make.
X. What if two teams happen to submit similar idea?
The idea isn’t the most important thing. The team, their experience, and their solution to the problem is what we evaluate. Teams will compete even if ideas are similar, unless there is foul play or cheating.
XI. What is the seminar for?
The goal of the one-week business seminar (September 18 – 22, 2017) is to provide you with the necessary business tools to convert your idea into a valid and sustainable business plan. The seminar will give you the necessary business skills to set up your own business. During the seminar, you will start creating the business plan that you will keep on working during the following 4 weeks (business plan incubation period) to prepare your final business plan and pitch for the competition.
XII. What are the place and dates of the seminar and business plan iteration phase?
Business seminar: September 18 – 22, 2017 (5 days, full day program)
Business plan iteration phase: September 23 – October 20, 2017
Final competition: last week of October 2017
The business plan seminar and final competition will be held in Dar es Salaam
XIII. Can all members of the team participate in the seminar, iteration phase and final competition
Ideally the entire team should participate. We require however at least always a minimum of two members for all parts of the program (seminar, iteration phase, final competition).
XIV. What are the judging criteria for selecting finalists?
The following criteria will be used to choose the four finalist teams:
- How well defined is the business idea and how applicable is it in Tanzania?
- How realistic is the idea in terms of using readily available drones and software?
- How appropriate are the skills of the team members to convert the idea into a business?
- How diverse are the team’s skills?
- What examples and experiences can the team already show for?
- How motivated is the team?
XV. What are the prizes?
The four finalists will be able to participate free of charge in our one week top notch business seminar. Upon successful completion, the teams will receive TSH 1’000’000 (one million Tanzanian Shilling) as well as local mentorship for the following 4 weeks of the business plan iteration phase.
The final winning team will receive mentorship and office space for a limited business incubation period of 4 – 6 months as well as a fund to kick-start their business for a total value of TSH 10’000’000 (ten million Tanzanian Shilling).