Business Model Validation Lab Kabul 24-28 September 2016


Entrepreneurs interested to attend our Lab, need to submit an application answering a couple of questions about their idea and/or business.

You can also send us your answers in Word or Pdf with  to

Click here to access the application question in English or Dari

This Kabul Business Model Validation Lab is a 5-day accelerator for early/idea-stage, Kabul-based social entrepreneurs and social innovators who are tackling social, economic and environmental problems. It is designed to help these entrepreneurs and innovators rapidly identify and validate the foundational assumptions of their social ventures (ie. for-profit, hybrids, nonprofits with a social, economic or environmental mission).

The entrepreneurs and innovators attending our Lab all have one thing in common. They care deeply about a #BetterAfghanistan.

Why Kabul:
Very simple – because it has a growing, resilient and vibrant entrepreneurial community and home to some of Afghanistan’s most creative and innovative startups impacting Kabul. We want to support this incredible community, and connect them to mentors, to funders, to corporations, to government, to universities, and build a thriving ecosystem. This can only be done by opening up our mindset to collaboration, learning, sharing, failing, prototyping and growing as members of an inclusive community. Our 5-day accelerator does just that!

Plus, beyond supporting this community and their social ventures, we are partnering with some amazing organizations with the same attitude and mindset – just scroll down and see our growing community!

Get Involved: Apply to be an entrepreneur, become a mentor, be a sponsor, or help our Lab team find entrepreneurs. Read on to get involved!

We will host our Lab at Barlas Centre for Business Management
Location: Saleem Karwan square, opposite Munawar Plaza, Proja Taimani, Kabul

What is Unreasonable Institute?

The Problem

The early stages of a startup are marked with questions. Who is my customer? What problems do they have? Do I have a solution to their problems? What are they willing to pay? Will I be able to break even? An entrepreneur’s ability to quickly convert these questions into answers is one of the few characteristics that separates successful startups from failed ones. The problem is that few entrepreneurs know the rapid and systematic approach required to answer these questions. They go too slow, they focus on the wrong things in the wrong order, and they move forward without truly validating a business or organizational model.

The Lab & Curriculum

The Business Model Validation Lab is designed to do one thing: provide entrepreneurs with a step-by-step methodology to rapidly and systematically validate their venture’s business or organizational model. Entrepreneurs access:

  • i) Shared working space provided by our incredible sponsor Barlas Center for Business Management where our entrepreneurs collaborate, work together, create, prototype and learn.
  • ii) Hands-on support from our growing pool of world-class mentors who provide feedback, input and advice.

Identify the foundational assumptions that underpin your venture.

Design and run experiments to validate / invalidate the foundational assumptions (through customer discovery and rapid prototyping)

Meet with mentors to get feedback and develop next steps.

Daily Schedule

The curriculum of the Lab oscillates between in-classroom workshop time and in-market customer interaction time.

  • Connector.

    Day 1

    Starts with orientation and workshop on assumption mapping in the morning. The afternoon is spent interacting with target customers.

  • Connector.

    Day 2

    Starts with a workshop in the morning on how to rapidly prototype. In the afternoon entrepreneurs will physically build a prototype.

  • Connector.

    Day 3

    Starts with a workshop on how to build powerful, long-term relationships with mentors, funders, and partners. Entrepreneurs prepare for Mentor Day in the afternoon.

  • Connector.

    Day 4

    Mentor Day! 10-15 mentors will attend the Lab to work directly with entrepreneurs.

  • Connector.

    Day 5

    Begins with a workshop on how to validate the cost assumptions in the business. Afternoon is spent on strategic planning.

Tangible Outcomes

By the end of Lab entrepreneurs will have something to show for their work. They will have:

  • Learned a repeatable methodology for how to do customer discovery
  • Built 2-3 prototypes of a key element of their venture
  • Tested prototypes with real customers
  • Learned how to build and maintain mentor relationships
  • Met and received feedback from 10-12 world-class mentors
  • Conducted a break-even analysis of their business and identified the key cost and financial assumptions of their business
  • Built out a basic budget and financial model
  • Created a 6-month operating plan


This Lab will actively involve a diverse set of mentors. These mentors will be custom-selected after selecting the Lab ventures to assure mentors meet their needs. Interested in mentoring? Email

Feroz Rafiq
LinkedIn Profile

Sara Usinger
LinkedIn Profile

Farrukh Lalani
LinkedIn Profile

Ahmad Fahim Didar
LinkedIn Profile

Habib Didar – Founder Dinar Brothers Co.

Shuan SadreGhazni
Personal Website

Lauryn Oates
LinkedIn Profile

Pipeline Partners

Pipeline Partners are organizations that help us find the entrepreneurs. Like us, they support entrepreneurs doing good in the world. If you want to become a Pipeline Partner for this Lab, please Email



Here’s who made this possible.
Email to discuss sponsorship opportunities.


Our Team

Here is the team that is making this happen.

Ajmal Paiman

Azadeh Tajdar

Basir Azami

Farman Bismullah

Interested in joining our team?
Send an email to and let’s talk 🙂

FAQ’s & More About This Program

Application and Selection
ATTENTION ENTREPRENEURS!! Apply by 31 August 2016!!

Entrepreneurs interested to attend our Lab, need to submit an application answering a couple of questions about their idea and/or business.

You can also send us your answers in Word or Pdf with  to

Click here to access the application.


Entrepreneurs who are eligible are:

  • Committed to social, economic or environmental impact with their social venture
  • Idea-to-early-stage in their venture’s development
  • Based in Kabul (more on location below)
  • For-profit or non-profit, or whatever legal structure makes sense in your ares.
  • 18 years of age or older

Here’s a bit more on location:

  • If I am an entrepreneur from an adjacent to Kabul. Can I apply for this Lab? If you are outside Kabul you can still apply. But please know that we will prioritize entrepreneurs from Kabul. But if you can make a compelling case, we will consider your application.
  • My venture’s headquarters are here in Kabul, but my operations are elsewhere? Can I apply? It depends. The Business Model Validation Lab is designed for ventures to interact directly with their target market during the Lab. For example, during the Lab entrepreneurs will go and do “customer discovery” by interviewing people (in-person) in their target market. If you are unable to do this because your venture’s operations are elsewhere, then the Lab will be less valuable to you. In any case, please feel free to reach out us if you have specific questions about this.
This Business Model Validation Lab is designed for idea-stage to very early-stage entrepreneurs who are trying to figure out:

  • Who their target customer is
  • What, exactly, is the problem their target customer has
  • What their product/service offering looks like (they haven’t built a prototype yet or have just begun building prototypes) and if it meets the needs of the target customer
  • Entrepreneurs are too late if:

  • They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) who their customer is
  • They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) what problem their customer has
  • They know (with a very high level of confidence and specificity) that their solution solves their customer’s problem
  • They have a product/service that is in mainstream production
  • They have substantial sales
Entrepreneurs will complete the short online application (link above). Then the Unreasonable Lab Team will review all submitted applications and schedule 30-minute interviews with those who move on. After the interviews, 7-10 entrepreneurs will be offered a spot in the Lab.
There is no fee! What we do request in exchange is for you to volunteer with us on a project, or next Lab!
Lab Details
If you are accepted to attend the Lab, we will ask that you attend the Lab in its entirety. The curriculum is cohesive and builds upon itself, meaning that if you miss a day, you will be at a significant disadvantage.
Each Day is different!

The Lab will feature both time in the classroom (learning principles of how to validate your business model) and time in market with your customers where you will be interviewing them and having them interact with your prototypes. There will also be one entire day dedicated to working with mentors. Throughout the course of the Lab, you will have plenty of time to work and rest. Taking time to digest the material is an important piece of acceleration!

Day 1: Day 1 starts with a brief orientation and workshop in the morning, followed by an afternoon interacting with target customers.

Day 2: Day 2 starts with a workshop in the morning on how to rapidly prototype. In the afternoon, entrepreneurs will physically build a prototype and then go out again to meet with target customers.

Day 3: Day 3 starts with more time interacting with target customers before having an afternoon workshop on how to build powerful relationships with mentors, funders, and partners.

Day 4: Day 4 is a mentor day when 10-15 mentors will attend the Lab to work directly with entrepreneurs.

Day 5: Day 5 begins with a workshop in the morning on how to validate the cost assumptions in each venture before spending the afternoon working on strategic planning. Then the Lab concludes.

We cannot accommodate lodging at this stage.
You will only gain access to the network of mentors and entrepreneurs who attend this Lab.
Be a Supporter
If you are interested in being a mentor we would love to share a conversation with you.

We are always on the look out for amazing, incredible, inspirational and driven individuals. Mentors play a crucial role in the development of a startup community. They support entrepreneurs and innovators developing their ideas into viable ventures . Our mentors are/have but not limited to:

+ Proven social and/or business entrepreneurship track record.
+ Demonstrated a strong entrepreneurial attitude and spirit.
+ Bringing in unique knowledge, skills and abilities to the mix of mentors portfolio – providing fresh and new perspectives.
+ Pragmatic, open-minded, transparent, action oriented and hands on in bringing ideas into action.
+ Take part in attracting new pools, or networks of future advisers, mentors and investors.
+ Acting as future facilitator, speakers, lecturers at our Labs

Click here to email to discuss becoming a mentor.

We call the people who help us find venture Pipeline Partners. If you are interested in helping us find ventures we would love to share a conversation with you. Click here to email to discuss becoming a Pipeline Partner.
We would love to explore sponsorship opportunities with you. Click here to email to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
Interested in joining our Hero Squad and build our startup community?

Click here to email to discuss opportunities to join our amazing Squad.

We offer regular internships building the skills, attitudes and resources of Afghanistan’s next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.