At WeRobotics, we use a 4 phase framework to efficiently and methodically build up local robotics capacity in developing countries. Once needs have been confirmed and technical knowledge transferred, the last phase of our framework sets out to build up a local economy using robotics as a service. After Nepal earlier this year, we brought our “Drones as a Service” Business Incubation program to Tanzania Flying Labs this summer, in collaboration with our local partners DTBi and dLab.
Our program starts out with an ideation phase, motivating local teams to bring in ideas on how they already are applying / plan to apply drone applications to address local needs. Over 6 weeks in July and August, 24 teams signed up with a wide range of ideas. The best 9 ideas – one of our deciding factors being not only the idea itself but also the diversity of skills of the team – were shortlisted. Four finalist teams were then chosen through an online pitching contest and invited to attend a one week business seminar to learn how to turn their ideas into a solid and sustainable business plan.
From September 18 to 22, the four finalist teams met with our two trainers, WeRobotics Co-Founder Sonja Betschart and Business Development specialist Laurent Kohler. 15 eager and curious participants filled the empty-walled room at COSTECH in Dar es Salaam on Monday morning and turned it into a vibrant and innovative learning hub throughout the week, adorning the walls with hundreds of sticky-notes sketching out the details of their business plan.
By Wednesday, they were confident in explaining their business ideas, and eagerly did so during the “Drone for Social Good Info Night” we organized at COSTECH in front of local media, delegates of the World Bank, international NGOs and local stakeholders.
And by Friday, the four teams learned how to present their business in an Elevator Pitch, a presentation format that allowed them to present their business to Mr. Redemptus Bugomola, Director Safety Regulations at TCAA, later that day during a very appreciated open discussion session on drone guidelines and future regulations.
Now, the four finalist teams have a month to finalize their business plan and pitch to compete in the Final competition, to be held on Wednesday October 25, 2017 at COSTECH.
Learn more on our “Drone as a Service” Business Incubation program on the Tanzania Flying Labs website.