Ibrahim Dainkeh Aqua Tech

1. Tell us about your start-up/business. What’s your 30 second elevator pitch?

There are over 700 houses in Sierra Leone with bore holes, well, and water pumps system that uses overhead to store water. One of the biggest problems they all share in common, is the control of overflow that causes water wastage and lack of communication to know the status of water for both inside the well and water tank. There are lot of other sub factors that follow as a result of water wastage e.g. (concrete weakness due to excess moist in walls of the building, formation of leaches on walls and danger to electrical appliances due to seeping) As a company (Aqua Tech) to compensate for the above problems mentioned, Aqua Tech have designed a unique and smart device named “Aquatronic” that can be used for liquid level monitoring and pump control. It automatically communicates with users and switches on and off any water pump type without human labour or attention.

2. What need or problem are you solving?

Aquatech is designed to tackle the problem of water wastage. water kiosk systems have no way of detecting the water level of the container and often time this leads to spillage over time that create problems for owners. The ground is always wet and mold form and breed on the ground around the building. To avoid water wastage and save water, Water management Kiosk system is the solution.

3. How did you come up with the idea for the business?

There are lot of environmental factors affecting our lives and standard of living today one of which is global warming etc. One of which is my specific and particular concern (the aqua system). Based on research I discovered that the level of rainfall and underground water is reducing sequentially by a certain percentage. So as an innovator and Entrepreneur I understand it my responsibility to think beyond the ordinary as to bring about a solution on how to manage our water resources smartly by making use of the available materials I can find within the country, so I design a device (Aqua-tronic) that can automatically communicate with users and switches off water pumps so as to encounter the issue of water wastage.

4. How did you validate that your solution was viable?

I have been modifying my idea in three different ways, all of them are still active (2017—2020) with improve modification. Based on experiment data, I can say my idea is 80% validate and viable.

5. What stage are you at and what’s next?

I am presently targeting market standard and also working on six months guarantee field test MVP before putting forward as a business to the market. And it is currently analogy technology device. My next step is to upgrade my device to digital.

6. What is the biggest win you’ve had so far?

After a lot of field research and residential empathizing, the data collected from over 250 individuals that are in need of my yet to come product. I say it’s my biggest win.

7. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had overcome as a start-up founder?

My biggest challenge has been a start-up capital, lack of financial investment in getting my product ready for the targeted market. Also, the business expertise to launch into the market and a market strategy that works.

8. What needs do you have to grow and take it to the next level?

I have designed and built an electronic system that control and manage water distribution in a water kiosk system. My innovation ensures that the water level of both the water source and container are detected and controls the distribution process efficiently without any spillage and wastage this control mechanism is what I intend to craft into a better control system and put out to the market so it can serve it usefulness and I may be able to make money off my product. So, I need capital, investment money from investors who will want to partner in growing this business and taking it to the next level.

9. What’s your take on the local start-up scene / entrepreneurial community? What has been helpful?I had never known my innovative ideas and skills can be turn to a business, but I thank the Lord for the help of UNDP Accelerator Lab and Limkokwing University for their endless support in making it possible on developing my product to meet manufacturing and marketing standards. I believe is a driven tool of developing the mindset of youths for a better future. It will also serve as a means for solving the world most pressing problem.

10. What do you think as an entrepreneur would be more helpful to have here in the region?
As an innovator, Entrepreneur and start up founder. I believe smart water management system will be of great use to various users that are currently facing water wastage problems.

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