Where it all began.
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Working on a scrappy budget the first accelerator was held in a vacant, slightly dilapidated fraternity house (we called it the “Unreasonable Mansion”) in Boulder, Colorado. It was perfect. The cohort of entrepreneurs who joined were preventing “honor killing” in Pakistan, revolutionizing how we finance clean energy in the US, and inventing DNA diagnostic tools in Venezuela. By day two of the program we were a family.
There were a number of “firsts” throughout the 10-week program. In partnership with Village Capital, we launched an experimental fund where the 22 entrepreneurs selected amongst themselves who would get investment. We jumped on a rickety bus and road tripped over 1,500 miles to San Francisco for a last-minute pitch event that attracted the Bay Area investment community. By the end of the first Institute a number of the entrepreneurs had gotten a tattoo of the Unreasonable logo, the first true Unreasonable family was forged, and we were convinced our model had legs. And we documented it all – you can see the 10-episode series below.
Photos courtesy of Sughar, a 2010 venture providing women in tribal areas of Pakistan with opportunities for launching small businesses.
Watch: Unreasonable TV Season I
These 22 ventures (selected from 300+ applicants from 50 countries) took the leap of faith that first year.
Early Unreasonable Videos
Searching for Unreasonable People
This video was our unveiling to the world and was our first call for applicants. 284 ventures ended up applying from 45 countries that first year. We were blown away.
We charged our ventures to come but didn’t let them pay. Instead we asked the world to vote with their dollars (3,000 of them did!) which ventures would come to the inaugural accelerator.
Unreasonable TV Trailer
We wanted the world to experience the Unreasonable Institute, so we hired a media team to document the 10-week program. This media team would go on to launch Unreasonable Media.
The MentorsSomehow in that first year we convinced an incredible crew of mentors to join us!
SupportersThis inaugural accelerator was made possible by these great supporters.
A huge THANK YOU to them believing in us before anyone else.