I am a student in the last year of university but would hope to get the application up and running by the time I finish university.
I thought I would send a response based on my experience in international trade, manufacturing, importing and sale of products based on niche markets and gaps in the market.
It would depend on a couple of things...
Are you going to make something?
Outsourcing to a country that has the experience in the foundation of the idea e.g. you want to make a certain type of teak wooden chair with legs that rock and a drink holder with an mp3 player in the arm rest.
Is it a technology or service idea you need help with the actual information needed?
Research with similar companies and competitors on the internet... nationally and internationally
Is it a brand new idea? or has it been done before?
If it a brand new idea then you could research similar industries and get information on their sources. You would then look for similar supplier companies you can test to your specifications and needs.
If it has been done before, then research on competitors in your local, national and international product markets.
Hope the above helps you in the right direction. I would be happy to discuss this in more detail or if you have any other questions you may have.
As it appears you are looking to build an app, the first question is: Are you technically proficient to build it? If so, build it first, without seeking a business partner.
If you believe you need specific industry knowledge relating to your app, I *guarantee* that you will find people willing to help provide their insights in exchange for a coffee or a beer. If you feel you need more of their time, you can consider offering them an advisory role (typically compensated in shares).
If you need someone to build your app, start making friends with the Computer Science students. I wouldn't focus on pitching hard, instead develop some real friendships where from time-to-time, you talk about app ideas. You might find that your idea is still the best, or find another idea that you are both really excited about.
Other than a technical partner, there is no other partner you require at this moment.
I'd be happy to talk to you about how to present your idea to potential technical partners and advisers and share some tips on how to recruit great advisers to your team.
Hate to answer a question with a question but...
How do you identify a gap if you don't have industry knowledge?