Friday, 15 May 2020 13:41

TechStart: Building a Startup in 90 Days | The Idea

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Dominica has a crap-load of problems. But actually, this is not so much of a bad thing…

Because if you’re the type of person who loves solving problems, as outrageous and far-fetched as this is going to sound, you will start to see Dominica as the Land of Opportunities.


Finding a “feasible enough” problem to solve in Dominica, one that won’t have you running around in circles, is the hard part.

Nonetheless, the idea I will be tackling throughout this series is within the Education Industry. The industry, both here and abroad, has a few issues and in my opinion, some missed opportunities that can be taken advantage of. One such opportunity is access and distribution of used textbooks.

An e-marketplace for used textbooks

I have been giving this idea some thought, and here are a few observations I’ve come up with:

  1. Textbooks are expensive
  2. A lot of parents prefer buying used (in good condition) textbooks for their children
  3. Textbooks do not rotate that frequently
  4. There’s a better way to selling used textbooks (rather than the traditional, roadside vending)
  5. If I were to buy used textbooks, I would want to be able to go online at my leisure and browse a catalog of available items, by term and curriculum, etc.
  6. I am sure there are a lot of parents who have used textbooks that they would like to get rid of

Most of what I have observed above is pure speculation, but I would argue that I am not 100% wrong.

The “fun” part about building a start-up is that you can test speculations quicker and more efficiently through various modern approaches.

To aide with this, I will be using a tool called the Business Model Canvas. The Business Model Canvas is the new Business plan (but not a replacement), it is a simple visual guide to structure your Business model for any new idea.

In this post, Building a Startup in 90 days | The Idea, I will only be using:

  • The Value Proposition
  • Customer Segments
  • Customer Relationships
  • Channels and
  • Revenue Stream of the BMC.

Based on my notes, here is the entire essence of this new e-Marketplace venture.


The used Textbook e-Marketplace will have a two-sided customer base. For Parents and Students, the value of such a market would be to help find a wide range of used textbooks for sale at their convenience. For Vendors and or Parents/Past Student sellers, to sell their books through a targeted platform which will increase their product visibility, sales, and management.


The marketplace will be entirely online but will reach customers through referrals and direct marketing. And maintain a relationship with customers through workshops, newsletters, and strong brand experience.

Finally, the e-Marketplace will generate revenue through a small percentage of used textbook sales, advertisement/sponsorships, and a premium subscription to parents and students who would like first access to limited books.

Join me on this journey. Start your week with TechStart!

Who am I?

My name is Austin Lazarus and I have been in the Startup scene since 2014. My first experience came through the Digital Jam 3.0 App competition in Jamaica. Since then, I’ve been to other regional Pitch competitions and worked and collaborated with both local and regional entrepreneurs. My most proud moment came from placing 2rd at the NCB Digital Innovation Challenge in Jamaica for Innovation in banking solutions.

Now, apart from my day job, I develop and operate the software solution for Restaurateurs and local vendors, BudgEat.


Read 988 times Last modified on Wednesday, 23 September 2020 12:23

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