Global Institute

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

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 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 during the Summer of 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 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.
  • Do you have evidence of customer traction? , You have developed a prototype and have tested it on small groups of customers. You’ve received feedback about your product or service. For 2015 we will not be selecting select ventures at an idea stage or those that are trying to understand who their customers are. Read about why we’re focusing on this stage in our FAQs.
  • Do you have the beginnings of a business model? We are looking for ventures with a demonstrable impact and a business model that works. We look to customer traction and a strong business core as indicators of scalability. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your company has revenue. 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 cannot demonstrate customer traction.

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


Fit (with Unreasonable)


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.

Self awareness

You know what you need and you can articulate how Unreasonable can help you address those needs.


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



Addressing a BFP (Big F*ckin’ Problem)

Your venture addresses a widespread problem that seems impossible to solve and urgently needs to be addressed. 

Profound impact = depth x longevity

Your venture creates significant, lasting positive change in people’s lives.




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.


Your team has the necessary skills and experience to address the problem you’re confronting.


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. 



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 isn’t aligned with how they make impact. Your venture creates more impact with every dollar it makes.

Convincing path to changing one million lives

Your product or service has customer traction and you have developed a road map to scaling your solution. You can convince us that your venture is going to reach one million people. 

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!