Thank you BrainStore for being my first in-kind sponsor! They responded to my IdeaFactory request and gave me 10 ideas for free, at a value of CHF 10 (MYR 30). However, the ideas themselves could be worth a value.

Here they are, with my commentary:

10 ideas that help Tiara become a Kaospilot

Idea 1
Work at BrainStore
Come to BrainStore as a Trainee. The first three months you will be payed CHF 3000. Get used to live of that, so when your salary gets raised up to CHF 4500 a month you will be able to save at least CHF 1500 a month. That sums up to CHF 18’000 a year, raises not included. After 3-4 Years you will not only have enough money to become a KaosPilot, but also massive working experience as a ProjectManager. Use BrainStore as a good reference. BrainStore will connect you with new Contacts.

I’ve actually been offered a 12-month traineeship in Switzerland with Brainstore. This may work if I don’t make it to the KaosPilots in 2008 but need a job after graduation from uni. I’m already accepted as a NetScout (Internet researcher), which is freelance, so at least I can make some cash that way!

Idea 2
Sell your manpower through auctions
On eBay you offer companies your future knowledge (when you will be a perfect project manager) in the form of an auction; the company with the highest bid will get you as an employee for specified time.

EBAY. WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT. This does put an interesting twist on the “employ me for a short time” thing I was thinking of offering as a sponsor deal. One company (or a few) can get higher priority on the list, and I can make my way down the list, offering short-term consultations for the future. I have a feeling GoldenPalace (the casino that buys up unusual eBay auctions for marketing purposes) would end up being the biggest bidder, but hey, it’s still money.

Idea 3
Be a courier
Work as a courier and carry important documents for private persons and companies from Malaysia to Denmark, so you can travel for free because they have to pay your flight.

This could work, at least for the Application Workshop because those are specific confirmed dates so planning would be easier. This also just inspired another idea: take orders for items that can only be found in one country and send it to those that want them back home. For example, kaya and kuih for Malaysians living in Denmark, or caviar in tubes for Danish people in Australia (or Mark), or Vegemite to Australian exchange students. I could charge a small fee + cost of item. Heck, I could even start a small-scale export business – mi goreng (instant noodles), for example, are HUUUUUUGE amongst Australian students and they’re super cheap in Malaysia. Also, kaftans sold in the West are way overpriced – I could put a small markup on locally bought kaftans and still make a profit. Promoting local crafts worldwide!

Idea 4
Chaperone an unaccompanied minor
Work as a chaperone for a child from a rich family and take care of the child during the flight, let the flight be payed as a fee.

Haha, I remember begging my parents to let me fly home alone from London when I was 12 because I wanted the Unaccompanied Minor experience. It was fun! I could perhaps accompany groups of youngsters together, like small school groups or exchange students or something. I know in Australia there are a lot of kids that travel alone between states, presumably because their parents are divorced. Airlines do take care of the kids pretty well but some sort of personal assistance would be good. Hmm…

Idea 5
Earn 50 Dollars a day by doing different jobs
Translate between Bengali and English; teach Bengali to KaosPilots; work as a fundraiser; run a Bangladeshi café.

Change “Bengali” to “Malay” and some of it might work. I could make quite good money teaching English to the KaosPilots – particularly with editing papers and learning the nuances of the language. If I could get a job as a fundraiser then I wouldn’t have such trouble fundraising. 😛 haha.

Idea 6
For free accommodation
Make a deal with a Danish person: swap your flats, so he / she can live in your accommodation in Malaysia, Bangladesh or Australia and in return you can live for free in Denmark.

I live either with my parents in Malaysia or in rented/student accommodation in Australia, and I don’t actually live in Bangladesh, so this would be a mite difficult if taken literally. However, I love host family living, and I’m looking into connecting with some UWP alumni in Denmark to see if I can stay with them for a while. I couch-surfed in Aarhus with a lovely artistic and spiritual woman named Pia – her apartment is a bit small to stay there long-term, but she’s a good example of how Couchsurfing works well! (Ah, someone else I could contact!)

Idea 7
A penny for Tiara
Create a Facebook entry called “A Penny for Tiara” and find persons and companies that pay you at least 1 Dollar to your PayPal account. In return, you will place the company’s logo on your page. Make an interesting documentation about your sponsor search and sell it as art.

Ha! Like the Million Dollar Homepage only a bit different. I already have the Facebook group so this is something I can incorporate – pay me a dollar and I’ll advertise you for a week, or something. The more you pay, the longer you get featured. The documentary idea was suggested before, but it can be extended into a video podcast or something. Though it would get a bit boring if it was just me typing!!

Idea 8
Rent out your knowledge
Change your knowledge against money. Look for interesting companies and they will pay for your education and in return you will give them your KaosPilot knowledge.

This was how I planned to sell my project to potential sponsors, but they phrased it more succinctly. Rent My Knowledge. Rent My Networks. Rent My Experiences. I like that. I can build on that.

Idea 9
Use your cultural background
Sell your knowledge about Southeast Asia to development institutions. Or advise travellers on Southeast Asia. Apply for a column or a blog at «The Economist» or similar newspapers and describe your experiences as a Bangladeshi student in the EU.

As mentioned previously, I am a geek for internationalization and cultural diversity, so this is a good angle for using my knowledge, interests, and what comes naturally. A cultural diversity consultant, if you will. The writing-a-column idea is awesome and yet so “duh” considering I am a young journalist!! It seriously should have been something I thought of ages ago! I did try writing an alternative education column for The Sun but that kinda fizzled after the first one. Maybe I can restart it, and look at magazines too – European ones would be good.

Idea 10
Exchange items with others, so that every next item you get is more valuable then previous one. For example, you exchange a cup for a lamp, then the lamp for a wheel and so on. In the end you will get very valuable items you can sell.

Also known as the One Red Paperclip project. A friend tried to do it with a blue hanger but he didn’t get anywhere. This may be the least feasible idea (only because its main value lies in its novelty, and it’s already been done) but it can be expanded to a jumble sale of some sort, or a barter-exchange system.

Bonus idea
Convince people to work for you for free
Like we work for you almost for free because we find you an interesting person, maybe other people would be willing to do so too.

Awww *blush* 😀 Though isn’t that the whole point of sponsorship, to get people to give you stuff for free?! Hahaha.

Those weren’t the only ideas though. After I sent them a thank-you note, Samuel Muller (the Director of IdeaFactory) suggested I check out Maersk, a big company in Denmark that apparently does a lot of social and community support. Approaching service clubs in Aarhus would be good too.

So! 12+ ideas for the price of 10, which came for free. AWESOME. Thank you BrainStore!

If you need ideas for anything – from a pet name to a new way to develop a product – check out BrainStore and hire their IdeaFactory. Seriously, it’s so much fun and totally worth it.