Unreasonable Institute Global

Be Eligible, Be Competitive, Don’t Ever Stop

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Sean Kuusinen, Program Manager of the Global Institute, at sean@unreasonableinstitute.org

NOTE: These are eligibility criteria for Unreasonable Global only. Unreasonable East Africa and Unreasonable Mexico have different criteria.

Are You Eligible? For Which Institute?

Take this Eligibility Quiz to find out!

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!

  • 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.
  • Does your team have a relentless entrepreneurial spirit and is your team hungry to ensure your venture reaches global scale?
  • 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 May 28th – June 30th, 2015 with no more than 4 days absence?
  • Are there are at least two people working full-time on your team? In order to be accepted to the Institute, attending teammates must be working full-time on the venture.
  • Can you read, write, and speak in English fluently?
  • Are you 18 years of age or older?
  • Are you a for-profit, non-profit or hybrid organization that is generating revenue from sales? For 2015, we will be considering for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid ventures. We are less concerned about the legal structure you’ve chosen for your venture. Instead, we’re more interested in selecting ventures with a strong economic, cash-generating engine for growth, regardless of their legal incorporation. For example of a non-profit with an engine for growth, consider BRAC. BRAC is the largest non-profit in the world, but it generates 80% of its annual budget from sales revenues, not donations. For more explanation, you can read more about this in our FAQs.
  • Do you know who your customers/users are? We do not select ventures at an idea stage, ventures that are in the early stages of understanding who their customers are, or ventures who are still determining if they have a product that fits in the market. We are looking for ventures with a demonstrable impact and a business model that works. Read about why we’re focusing on this stage in our FAQs.
  • Has your venture generated at least $1.00 (yes, this is just one dollar) 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. For example, we had a 2013 venture that didn’t have lots of revenue, but had 45,000 users on their platform.

Your application will likely not be considered if:

  • Your proposal is for a research project.
  • Your proposal is for lobbying activities.
  • Your proposal is for a charity based and/or foundation based organization. We do select revenue generating non-profits, but we do not select ventures that rely on donations and grants as their exclusive source of revenue.
  • Your proposal is for a faith-based initiative. In this context, faith-based implies that your venture is associated with a religious institution or is promoting a specific faith. If your work has a spiritual basis but is not tied to any specific religion or faith, you may be eligible for consideration.
  • Your venture has not generated revenue.

Evaluation Criteria:
We will evaluate applicants based on the following criteria…



You are honest when it’s hard to be. You don’t negotiate by withholding. You are confidently open about what you do and do not know. Read more


Self awareness
You know what you need and you can articulate how Unreasonable can help you address those needs. Read more


You are eager to receive feedback and change course if that’s what it takes to achieve your mission. Read more




Addressing a BFP (Big F*ckin’ Problem)
Your venture addresses a widespread problem that seems impossible to solve and urgently needs to be addressed. Read more


Profound impact = depth x longevity
Your venture creates significant, lasting positive change in people’s lives. Read more


65% of startups fail due to co-founder conflict. We want to know that your team is loyal to the vision, to each other, and has the ability to have hard conversations. Read more


Your team has the necessary skills and experience to address the problem you’re taking on. Read more


Some people make excuses. You get results, time and again, no matter the circumstances. You never give up. You are ferocious in your quest to acquire the resources necessary to grow your venture. Read more


You make money the same way you make impact.
You have an impact model, which is how you create change. You have a business model, which is how you make money. Some ventures make money in a way that is at odds with how they make impact. Your venture creates more impact with every dollar that it earns. Read more


Convincing path to changing one million lives
Your product or service has been market validated and you have developed a roadmap to the impossible. You can convince us that your venture is going to reach one million people. Read more

Will You Ever Stop?

  • Are you completely obsessed with meeting the social or environmental need you are addressing? Do you refuse to allow any setback, any criticism, and any seemingly insurmountable obstacle to prevent you from measurably improving the lives of at least one million people? If so, welcome! We are excited to read your application!