The 2014 Unreasonable Institute

The 2014 Unreasonable Institute Global program for Entrepreneurs.

Application Deadline: November 7 2013

Location: Boulder, COLORADO USA

Institute Dates: May 30 – Jul 6, 2014

Each year, the unreasonble Institute unites 10-30 entrepreneurs (called “Unreasonable Fellows”) from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive training from 50 world-class mentors, ranging from a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, to the head of user experience at Google X, to an entrepreneur who’s enabled over 20 million farmers to move out of poverty. In the process, they form relationships with 25 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of potential investors at the end of the Institute. The goal is to accelerate these ventures so they can scale to meet the needs of at least one million people each.

The Unreasonable Institute Global program in Boulder, Colorado, USA is dedicated to tackling the world’s biggest problems by giving an “unfair advantage” to entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems. This is the founding program of the Unreasonable Institute.

 goal: Help each of these ventures scale up to meaningfully impact the lives of over 1 million people.


Open to ventures that:

  • Operate anywhere in the world
  • Have achieved significant traction in their market already, meaning they have many customers/users and have consistent revenues.
  • Have released their product/service, gained feedback from their target population, and then iterated their product to better meet the demand. In short, they have “market intimacy”.
  • Are for-profit or non-profit
  • Have a strong business model

How We Do It

These entrepreneurs are bringing bold vision to tackle big problems. They aim to make an outsized impact, often with a tiny amount of resources. But they face tough odds — as we know most startups fail within a year or two. Yet these entrepreneurs need to succeed. They deserve more than just a “reasonable” amount of support and resources. They deserve an unfair advantage to beat the odds.

We do this by selecting approximately 12 ventures from every corner of the globe to become Unreasonable Fellows. Each Unreasonable Fellow receives a deep, customized curriculum tailored to help their venture get the resources to overcome obstacles, build a stronger business, and go to scale. Specifically, we arm them with the mentorship, capital, and lasting, robust, global of support network to help them tackle any problem thrown at them. Then, we continue to support our entrepreneurs as alumni… forever, or at least until the world’s problems cease to exist.


Customized Mentorship

100+ mentors, ranging from a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, to the former head of user experience at Google X, to a founder of 19 companies who has raised more than $1 billion. Mentors are hand picked based on venture needs, and as your venture grows and faces new challenges, new mentors can step in to help!

Entrepreneurs around the world

A worldwide community of 82 ventures (and growing every year) in 37 countries, on 6 continents (we are hoping for Antarctica soon!) working in everything from water to agriculture, education to financial services, renewable energy to distribution, and more.

250+ Investors and Funders

We work tirelessly to put you in touch with the right funders from our network of personal connections, including angels, foundations, impact investors and mainstream investors. Spend quality time with funders who are well informed about your needs and want you to succeed.


You should be able to answer YES to the following questions in order to apply:

Keep in mind: While the following criteria reflect the kinds of ventures we overwhelmingly prefer, we do not believe in blindly following the rules. If you don’t meet one or more of these criteria, then convince us that you deserve a spot at the Unreasonable Institute and apply anyway! That’s what it means to be unreasonable!

Eligibility Criteria

You should be able to answer YES to the following questions in order to apply:

  • Is your venture addressing a massive social or environmental problem? By social or environmental problem, we mean things like global poverty, the spread of infectious disease, the oppression of women, etc.
  • Do you have a relentless entrepreneurial spirit and are you hungry to ensure your venture reaches global scale?
  • Are you a Founder or Co-Founder of your organization?
  • Are you able to make key, high-level, direction-shifting decisions (such as investment and major partnerships) on behalf of your organization? Typically, this is the role of a President or CEO, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.
  • Are you currently working full-time on the development of your venture?  A full-time commitment is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week.
  • If accepted, will you be able to attend the ENTIRE Unreasonable Institute from June 11th – July 25th, 2013 with no more than 4 days absence?
  • Do you have at least one team member who is currently full-time and will continue to work full-time on your venture while you are at the Unreasonable Institute? A full-time commitment is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week.
  • Is your venture a for-profit company?  While in the past we’ve worked with both non-profits and for-profits, we’ll only be accepting for-profit ventures for our 2013 Institute.
  • Are you preparing to scale? We do not select ventures at an idea stage. We are looking for ventures with a demonstrable impact and a business model that works.
  • Has your venture generated at least $1 in revenue from selling a core product or service? Although we make some exceptions to this criterion, we plan to select almost entirely ventures that have generated at least $1 in revenue. Why? We are looking for ventures that have market validation for their solutions and a strong business core as indicators of scalability. If you don’t have revenue you will have to demonstrate strong validation for your solution some other way.
  • Can you read, write, and speak in English fluently?
  • Are you 18 years of age or older?

Program Dates

The 2014 Institute will run from May 30th – July 6th, 2014.

Selection Criteria

Stage 1: Submit your written application.

OPENS: SEPT. 23RD 2013
CLOSE: NOV. 7TH 2013

Stage 2: Interview with us via Skype.

START: DEC 2ND. 2013
END: DEC. 13TH, 2013

Stage 3: Go deeper with experts.


Finally: Announcement of the Fellows!

BY JANUARY 20 OF 2014!

 Apply Now for the 2014 Unreasonable Institute Global Programme

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Unreasonable Institute Global Programme


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