KCB’s Lion’s den presents budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity to showcase their business ideas to a panel of investors with the hope of securing an investment. I also use the show to learn valuable lessons on how to run a business and to also look out for the potential next big idea.
It is fairly easy for any business in Kenya to get the opportunity to pitch their ideas before the lions. In order to appear in the TV show, first fill out the application form found at Bankika.co.ke or pick the form from any KCB Bank branch.
I have keenly watched all the first 10 episodes of the series and made a number of observations on this post. Additionally, I have also been impressed by a vast majority of the business ideas presented in the show by local enterpreneurs. I had to highlight my definite top 5 so far.
The company manufactures a clean energy charcoal product that is made from paper sludge and biowaste. Any clean energy initiative always wins me over instantly. Besides the clean energy aspect, the business also provides employment for hundreds who collect the waste products.
In six months, the company had been able to recycle 120 tons of bio-waste generating 1.2m with a gross margin of 50%. To top it off the product goes at a very competitive rate which should allow the product to compete with charcoal which is the main source of energy in most Kenyan households.
Motorcycle theft is a very big problem; I know this because my boda keeps complaining about the same almost every time we meet. BTrack Global went to the Lion’s den to pitch their motorcycle tracker that has been customized to suit the local market needs. The tracker is custom designed locally to ensure it is waterproof and tamper-proof. If the tracker is removed the motorcycle becomes immobile until the tracker is re-inserted. What really sold me on the idea is the fact that the tracker can be controlled straight from a feature phone.
If the tracker is removed the motorcycle becomes immobile until the tracker is re-inserted. What really sold me on the idea is the fact that the tracker can be controlled straight from a feature phone. In fact, all commands, such as turning off, can be issued through a USSD code. The company has been able to recover 9 out of the 12 motorcycles that were stolen while fitted with the tracker.
This was a pitch for a locally produced silk textile company. Without a doubt, this was one of the most unique product pitch with a proven market that empowers up to 3000 households across the country. Likewise, the business was well managed, and only in need of a venture capitalist investment with their margins at around 24%.
The den has seen its fair share of tech companies, including an appearance from Mdundo, but bamba systems remains one of my favorites. Bamba systems is a tech company that aggregates data via sms across developing countries where the data collection landscape is still highly underdeveloped. The company received one of the largest deals on the lions’ den valued at Sh.25 million.
This was the very first pitch on the Lion’s den, and I partially blame this pitch for raising my expectations for the show too high. Enda atletics has designed the country’s first athletics foot wear. The product attempts to ride on Kenya’s success in athletics buy designing their shoes based on feedback received from the local athletes. I one month, the company already had Sh.12m in sales from across 33 countries. The shoes have unique design changes from the conventional running shoe to improve comfort.
I love the product, and strongly believe that there is a strong potential for growth. First, the sports market is one of the largest in the world with very good margins since sportsmen are rarely price averse. Additionally, there is potential for a buyout by one of the main players in the industry such as Nike.
You can purchase a pair on the Enda Website.
I had to exclude numerous other awesome ideas that barely missed the cut. Which is your favorite Lion’s Den idea?
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