Istanbul // November 1 – 5, 2016

Applications Open // Apply until October 1!

Unreasonable Labs Turkey, Business Model Validation Lab is a 5-day accelerator for early/idea-stage, Turkey-based entrepreneurs that are tackling social and environmental problems. It is designed to help these entrepreneurs rapidly identify and validate the foundational assumptions of their business.

Why Istanbul:
Istanbul is perfect: entrepreneurial and unreasonable…
Turkey is an attractive market for entrepreneurship. It is strategically located between key markets in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. Turkey has a young and educated workforce. Turkey’s level of entrepreneurial activity is significantly increasing. Not only did the number of entrepreneurs increased in Turkey; the quality of entrepreneurs improved too. Turkey’s goods and services are improved through increased investment in infrastructure and a business-friendly environment. Today in Turkey, however, we have social and environmental problems facing our communities with no clear economic solution.
Istanbul is on its way to become a city where social entrepreneurs are part of the solution to social problems and where social businesses get invested in to operate in a sustainable way.
As Impact Hub Istanbul, we directly support our local ventures and help them tap into this rich ecosystem of support.

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!
★ Workshops will be both in Turkish and English
★ You can fill out an application in Turkish as well

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 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 model. Entrepreneurs will:

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

Mentors & Trainers

Meet our mentors and trainers!

Ali Erhat Nalbant
Co-founder of WeDecide , Co Director of iNEO: Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office, Director of Founder Institute Istanbul

Arzu Balkuv
Project Administrator at WWF-Turkey, runs the Green Office Program

Baran Korkut
Strategy Designer & Partner at Business Models Inc.

Dani Benreytan
Founding Member & Managing Partner of insparkus, Board member of Professional Association of Industrial Designers (Istanbul ETMK)

Doğan Taşkent
Technology Transfer Accelerator Advisor at TTA Turkey , Business Mentor at Mentors Network Turkey, Advisory Board Member at Business Angels Association of Turkey

Emre Danacı
Co-founder of FonZip
Co-founder of Yuvarla

Emre Karabekiroğulları
Investment management professional, Impact Investing Funds Consultant at Innpact

Emre Özbek
Founder of Kovvan – Collaborative Innovation Platform, Founding Members at Mentors Network Turkey, Member Board of Advisors at Nuvia Smart Energy Technologies

Eray Erdoğan
Co-founder of Lala Education Technologies, Global Engagement Certificate Program Coordinator at
Koç University, Istanbul Ambassador at Another School is Possible Foundation / BBOM

Eren Öztürk
Sustainability Consultant/Practitioner at S360, Country Focal Point at Eradicating Ecocide

Kıvanç Onan
Regional Sr. Director, Middle East & North Africa at
PayPal, Angel investor

Mehru Aygül
Co-founder of Things Project, Founder and board of trustee member of Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG), General Manager
at Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation

Melih Ödemiş
Founding Member & Angel Investor at
Galata Business Angels (GBA), Co-Founder of yemeksepeti.com

Mert Salur
Co-founder of Getir
Co-founder of BiTaksi

Ozan Yılmaz
Founder of SVC Partners, Strategy and Innovation Expert

Patrick Bosteels
Co Founder of
CoderDojo Turkiye, Adviser and Project Leader
at Depark Izmir Dokuz Eylül University , Founder – Chief Connector/Enabler at

Rana Babaç
Founder of Cats of Istanbul, Head of MarCom at
Impact Hub Istanbul, Managing Partner at BrandCritique

Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer at
Creators for Good Co-founder of Changemakers Association

Tolga Şaşık
Business Development, Management and Sales Consultant

Yaprak Kurtsal
Sustainability Consultant at S360


Meet our Startups!

Biz Evde Yokuz
Encouraging people to live a more experience-oriented life.

Raising children who will become the best tenacious/stubborn entrepreneurs in the world.

A platform based on artificial intelligence algorithms to plot more efficient employee and school service routes for companies, schools, and municipalities to take a step in making more intelligent platforms for humanity and earth.

Producing mobile games to provide funds and create awareness for vital needs such as; water, food, energy, education, health in undeveloped regions of the world.

Improving the urban environment and health of residents by offering a new way of connecting with nature, community & self.

Shifting fashion consumerism to something that could improve human life, environment, and eventually create a better world. “Every purchase is an endorsement. What do you want to endorse?”

Creating a secure future through shared value for different generations with different skills set and to help the society develop by use of entrepreneurship and collaborative creativity.


FAQ’s & More About This Program

Application and Selection
Applications open . You are able to apply at the top of this page. There is a pink button that says “Applications Open // Apply Now”.

Entrepreneurs who are eligible are:

  • Committed to social and environmental impact with their venture
  • Idea-to-early-stage in their venture’s development
  • Based in Istanbul (more on location below)
  • For-profit or non-profit
  • 18 years of age or older entrepreneurs.

Here’s a bit more on location:

  • If I am an entrepreneur from an adjacent to Istanbul. Can I apply for this Lab? If you are outside Istanbul you can still apply. But please know that we will prioritize entrepreneurs from Istanbul. But if you can make a compelling case, we might consider your application.
  • My venture’s headquarters are here in Istanbul, 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, 8-10 ventures will be offered a spot in the Lab.
It’s free for entrepreneurs to attend!
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.

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.

Click here to email istanbul@impacthub.net
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 istanbul@impacthub.net
to discuss becoming a Pipeline Partner.
We would love to explore sponsorship opportunities with you. Click here to email istanbul@impacthub.net
to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

Core Supporters

Here’s who made this possible.


Email: istanbul@impacthub.net
to discuss sponsorship opportunities.




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 Impact Hub Istanbul

Our Team

Here is the team that made this happen!