Remember all those parents, teachers, bosses, and friends who asked you to be reasonable – and you refused? Maybe it was when you were launching your business, or pitching venture capital firms, or pointing out that something could be done when everyone around you thought it couldn’t.
This is the time for unreasonable entrepreneurs just like you to shine on like crazy diamonds. The Unreasonable Institute is in the midst of its annual search for early-stage businesses that are harnessing all their unreasonableness to address the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.
Beyond the chance to change the world, however, the prize for the 10 to 20 lucky companies selected is the opportunity to attend the Institute’s six-week acceleration program with other unreasonable brethren. The 2013 “Fellows” program, held in Boulder, Colorado, is scheduled from June 12 through July 24, 2013, and is essentially a crash course in taking your concept to market – on steroids, live, and in-person with some of the best minds in business.
Mentors for 2013 include Hunter Lovins, a Time magazine “Hero of the Planet,” and Tom Chi, head of User Experience at Google X. Businesses selected will also be part of a global network of 70 early-stage entrepreneurs, and the Unreasonable Institute’s 140 partner organizations, including HP, Teach For America, and TED Fellows.
Live together, launch together, change the world
While the program is totally dedicated to launching “ventures that define progress in our time,” it also requires total dedication from the businesses selected.
In those six weeks, up to two team members from the winning companies live and work side-by-side with a virtual who’s who of business mentors, getting unprecedented access to 25 major impact investment funds and social capital partners interested in financing your business, plus advice from those who have done it successfully.
In short, the Institute is compressing the time it would normally take to develop these kinds of valuable connections and get funding into a screaming roller coaster ride of idea to funding to launch. But being one of the unreasonable few isn’t just about getting people to give your company money.
“The truth is that funding is only the beginning, only fuel to grow your company,” says Unreasonable Institute COO Tyler Hartung. “But our whole goal at the Institute is to find companies that have the potential to improve millions of lives and get them the funds, connections, resources, and training to scale up.”
Ready to be unreasonable?
Past entrepreneurs have launched businesses devoted to tackling such issues as income generation in Brazil, anemia detection in India, renewable energy in the U.S., sanitation in Africa, education in India, and clean water for the world. All total, the businesses selected have raised more than $23 million to finance and grow non-profit and for-profit ventures that are making a difference.
Now it’s your turn.
Applicants have until October 25, 2012 to submit written applications for the chance to attend the Unreasonable Institute’s fourth annual acceleration program. The Institute will choose the lucky entrepreneurs by December 23, 2012, and the program will be completely customized depending on the ventures chosen – i.e. specific mentors, funders, and partners. For more information, visit http://unreasonableinstitute.org.