Kampala, Uganda // April 18-22, 2016
This Kampala Business Model Validation Lab is a 5-day accelerator for early-stage, Kampala-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.
For the past two years, Unreasonable East Africa has brought together companies from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania to surround them with resources to grow. We have been thrilled to see these 21 companies thriving in the incredible, growing entrepreneurial support community in East Africa. One thing that made us sad, though, was that we had to turn away some very unreasonable entrepreneurs because their companies were too early stage for our Institute. In response, we are launching a series of labs across East Africa, specifically for earlier stage social entrepreneurs, with the first lab to be held in Kampala. Why start with Kampala? In 2015, Uganda was named the most entrepreneurial country in the world. Even more exciting, more and more of these entrepreneurs are quite unreasonable! We can’t wait to work with some of Kampala’s most unreasonable start-ups!
Get Involved: Applications for entrepreneurs are now closed, but you can still apply to become a mentor, partner or sponsor for this Lab. Read on to get involved!
Unreasonables at our 2015 Institute
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.
Meet with mentors to get feedback and develop next steps.
FAQ’s & More About This Program
Application and Selection
- Committed to social and environmental impact with their company
- Early-stage in their venture’s development
- Based in Uganda (more on location below)
- For-profit or non-profit
- 18 years of age or older
Here’s a bit more on location:
- If I am an entrepreneur from somewhere close to Uganda, can I apply for this Lab? If you are outside Uganda, you cannot apply. We will be holding more Labs in East Africa – fill in this form to indicate your interest for a Lab in your location.
- 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
We do not want cost to prohibit engagement, but unfortunately cannot offer a lower price since this cost is already very discounted. The Lab Team will work with any entrepreneur who is accepted to attend the Lab but unable to pay upfront to create a payment plan.
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.
Be a Supporter
Click here to email Eve to discuss becoming a mentor.
Pipeline Partners are organizations that help us find the entrepreneurs. Like us, they support entrepreneurs doing good in the world. See the Unreasonable East Africa Pipeline Partners.
Interested in joining us in finding East Africa’s most audacious entrepreneurs for future programs?
Our friends making this possible coming soon…
You can still join us! Email Joachim to discuss sponsorship and partnership opportunities.
Here is the team that making this happen. We’ve already run two programs to support 21 East African companies that have gone on to raise over $5 million in funding and impact the lives of over 350,000 people. We’re so excited to run our first Lab to support earlier stage companies to reach their Unreasonable potential!
VP of Mentorship
VP of Finance