Be Eligible, Be Competitive, Don’t Ever Stop
Read below about eligibility, becoming competitive, and what we find most important of all. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You should be able to answer YES to the following questions in order to apply:
Note: 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.
- Do you have a relentless entrepreneurial spirit and are you hungry to ensure your venture reaches global scale?
- Are you a Founder or Co-Founder of your organization?
- 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 June 11th – July 25th, 2013 with no more than 4 days absence?
- Do you have at least one team member who is currently full-time and will continue to work full-time on your venture while you are at the Unreasonable Institute? A full-time commitment is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week.
- Is your venture a for-profit company? While in the past we’ve worked with both non-profits and for-profits, we’ll only be accepting for-profit ventures for our 2013 Institute. If you’re curious, you can read about why we made this decision in our FAQs.
- Are you preparing to scale? We do not select ventures at an idea stage. 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 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.
- Can you read, write, and speak in English fluently?
- Are you 18 years of age or older?
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 not select ventures that are planning to rely on donations and grants as their main 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.
If you can show us the following, you will be an extremely competitive applicant. Show us…
You know your target population & that your solution works.
- Can you show us that you have a close personal connection to your target population and that you strongly understand their needs?
- Can you clearly articulate the thought process you used to go from identifying a need to realizing a product or service?
- Do you have evidence that your solution actually works in solving the problem that your target population faces?
- Can you provide evidence that your customers find your product or service valuable? Tell us how many of them have bought and how much they’ve paid for it. Do they keep coming back to you for your product or service?
That your company can make money.
- Are you profitable or do you have a strong plan for achieving profitability?
- Do you have a cash flow positive nucleus? In other words, do you make money when you sell one unit of your product or service? We find that ventures that are profitable at the unit level are most able to scale.
That you have the ethical fiber & grit to be Unreasonable.
- Can you convince us you will never give up? Do you show unyielding entrepreneurial spirit, including persistence through failure and past entrepreneurial experience?
- Do you possess the highest levels of personal integrity and transparency? Are you honest about what you do know and what you do not know?
- Are you self-aware? Are you honest about your strengths and your weaknesses? Do you learn from your failures, adjust, and move forward with greater strength?
- Have you been resourceful? Have you gained massive traction with minimal resources?
That your team can pull this off.
- Can you convince us that your team is uniquely qualified to implement your solution?
- Does your team work together as a cohesive unit and do you have a strong track record of working together so far? The number one cause of Unreasonable Ventures failing in the past has been difficulties between co-founders. We want to see that your team can last.
Most Importantly…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!