'Pan In Education' on a roll!
Friday, 22 July 2011 02:10

Global Innovation

Cool ideas from around the world

What’s the background?

At the YTEPP entrepreneurship session on July 16th, one of the participants asked what would be examples of innovative ideas that young people could turn into businesses. This month we look at some ideas from around the world that are very unique and stimulating and help answer that question.

Waste becomes an eco-hotel

In Mexico one innovative group has built an eco-hotel out of large concrete pipes that no longer had a commercial purpose. The pipes are stacked in mini-pyramids and each pipe-room features a queen-sized bed and space for personal use. The business is called Tubohotel and is aimed at the eco-responsible tourist. The pipe-rooms cost US$ 42 a night.

Juices on subscription

This is a highly innovative home-delivery service for fresh pressed juices that recently started business in Los Angeles. Basically, customers can choose the type of juices they want and the frequency of delivery they prefer. The juices are produced hydraulically thus minimizing any loss of nutritional value. They have a shelf-life of three days and can be included as part of a 3 - 5 day juice only ‘detoxifying digestive cleansing regime’ to help improve personal health and wellness. All the products are delivered on a regular basis to the customer’s door for a monthly subscription rate that varies with the volumes ordered and the frequency of delivery. It is a high-value proposition with each bottle of juice costing around US$ 8.00 delivered. It’s not the cost that is important but the value that customers place on both the product and service combined - plus the personal benefits they receive.

Smart stick

Lithuanian designer, Egle Ugantaite, has developed a walking stick for the elderly that continuously monitors their health status - their pulse rate, blood pressure and body temperature. All three vital signs are displayed on an LCD screen that is built into the handhold section at the top of the stick. But there is more to this smart stick. It also provides the user with directions to a place which they have pre-selected so they avoid becoming confused and lost. If this does happen, an additional function links them to a call-centre which helps them find their way.

Indoor camping

Many people enjoy the camping experience but are not so keen on the vagaries of the weather or the wildlife and bugs that can sometimes lessen the enjoyment of such experiences. With so many people living in highly urbanized environments these days, the desire is to go camping but avoid the less desirable aspects of the experience. A hotel in Germany, the Hüttenpalast Hotel, has come up with a unique customer offer. They have built a large indoor camping ground complete with old caravans and small wooden cabins for those who want to ‘rough it’ in safety. To make sure that the non-campers are catered for, they also offer a small number of traditional rooms. The offer is complemented by an in-hotel café which offers regional and seasonal menus - to add to the authenticity of the ‘camping experience’.

What might this mean for T&T?

All these entrepreneur-led innovative business concepts have been built around satisfying a unique customer requirement. That’s one of the main ways entrepreneurs achieve success - by identifying a space that no-one else has looked at and coming up with a novel solution. There is a ton of opportunity here in T&T to do this - locally and globally.

Useful links:Tubohotel The smart walking stick Indoor camping

Key question: What are some really innovative outside the box ideas that we could develop into high value