Just about everyone who has made it to the top in business and career has needed some help in one way or other – not just when starting out but even when they’re up there at the top. This help could range from something as simple as an encouraging word from a loved one, to something more structured like deliberate mentoring, monitoring and financing. With continued demand for improvements in different areas of daily life, brilliant ideas are coming up left right and center and this is evident in the huge numbers of applicants that are showing up at incubation labs like Nailab, as well as The Next Big Thing, which is organized by the Nation Media Group.
The Next Big Thing, which is now in the application stage of its 4 season, seeks to bring ideas to fruition by facilitating exposure of the top 10 winning ideas to business gurus and prospective investors. Everyone with original ideas that could address a need in society is encouraged to package it and apply for this potentially life changing chance by 5th February 2015. You can submit more than one idea.
“What is the value of mentorship and financing to a budding entrepreneur? I’d say it is absolutely priceless. The business and career world can look quite menacing to a new entrant, and even to seasoned and semi seasoned players since there is never an end to challenges. Many people with brilliant ideas peer into the business world, give it a few pokes, get scared and just coil back. With time, some of their ideas regrettably die, whereas a tip here and a guideline there would have saved the day and made a difference in that person’s life as well as in the wider economy. Mentors are people who have been there done that and know the possible pitfalls and how to get out of them. Most importantly, they know how not to fall into them in the first place and will guide a mentee around them.” Source.
We caught up with Piero Mbaabu of KejaHunt, a finalist in the 2014 chapter of The Next Big Thing. Kejahunt is an online platform that helps house seekers view houses without leaving their desks. The platform meshes geo-location and photography, so that users are able to get enough accurate locations and information about listed properties before they commit. It also gives details about nearby hospitals, hotels, schools, markets, police stations etc.
Here is what Piero had to say, “The idea for KejaHunt was brought about by the hardships my friends and I went through while trying to land a rental place to stay after completing college. It occurred to us that many more people were undergoing the same problems and so we decided to do something about it. Mentorship and incubation have impacted our growth a great deal as we have learnt about different aspects of business and how to handle each unique challenge. It keeps us from burning out. Since our appearance on The Next Big Thing, we have listed over 600 properties. The training at The Next Big Thing was outstanding, with professionals from various fields letting us onto the secrets of attracting investors and growing our business.”
To anyone who wishes to try their hand at this challenge, Piero says that you should believe in your idea, solve a real problem, and implement it in a better and more unique manner than your competition.
From the experience of Nailab’s Josephine Mwangi who has seen dozens of startups come and go, mentorship introduces to upcoming innovators an element of accountability as well as a reference point for when challenges crop up.
For something that could potentially change your life, take time and go through The Next Big thing site for details on terms, requirements, and how to apply.