The Unreasonable Institute Empowers the Public to Choose the
Next Wave of High‐Impact Social Entrepreneurs
Global donations will determine which entrepreneurs gain admission to esteemed mentorship program
BOULDER, Colo. –– Starting Jan. 20, 45 social entrepreneurs will showcase their ventures  in an online platform
called  the  Unreasonable  Finalist  Marketplace  (http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/).  For  50  days,
people from around the world are invited to vote with their wallets on the most viable ventures. The first 25 of
the 45 finalists to raise $8,000 in the Marketplace will earn access to the highly acclaimed six‐week mentorship
program  at  the Unreasonable  Institute. At  the  Institute,  these  social  entrepreneurs undergo  rigorous  training
sessions, including personal and entrepreneurial skill development, intensive workshops and hands‐on guidance
from leading thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.
The 45 finalists were selected  from more  than 300 applicants  in 60 countries. Each applicant had  to present a
financially self‐sustaining venture that has the ability to scale to serve the needs of at least 1 million people and
demonstrates customer validation through sales or pilots. The finalists this year include a Chinese engineer with
a prototype  for waterless  composting  toilets;  a  2010 CNN Hero  from  Kenya who has distributed over  10,000
solar lanterns; and an American inventor with a water purification system that can roll up to the size of a ruler.
“A huge part of being a  truly exceptional entrepreneur  is  to be able  to  rally excitement and  support  for  your
idea,”  said  Daniel  Epstein,  founding  president  of  the  Unreasonable  Institute.  “The  Marketplace  tests  these
entrepreneurs’ ability to do just that and, in the form of public support garnered, offers a real‐time measure of
success.”
In order to enhance the challenge, the Unreasonable Institute has imposed contribution caps, starting with $10
in  week  one  and  increasing  incrementally.  In  addition  to  preventing  single  underwriters  from  providing  full
funding,  the  caps  force  finalists  to  mobilize  the  support  of  hundreds  of  people  from  around  the  world,
mandating creative marketing, effective storytelling and  the power of social media  to garner support  for  their
ideas. In  2010,  the  inaugural  year  of  the  Unreasonable  Institute,  entrepreneurs  raised  over  $160,000  in  the
Marketplace from nearly 3,000 supporters across 130 countries.
“We  believe  that  absolutely  everyone  can make  an  impact,  and  the Marketplace  is  a manifestation  of  that
belief,” continued Epstein. “We encourage people  to visit  the Marketplace and  leave  their mark on  the world,
whether it is through a Facebook post, watching a video or donating $10 to an entrepreneur whose idea struck a
chord.”
Donors have an opportunity  to  test out  their own  social marketing  savvy  through a gaming element: a donor
receives one point for every dollar contributed and two points for every dollar that is contributed as a result of
sharing their vote via social media. Top point earners receive prize bundles from HP, which has come on board
this  year  as  the  Unreasonable  Institute’s  first  corporate  partner  and  as  part  of  the  company’s  longstanding
support  of  entrepreneurship.  In  addition  to  the  prizes,  HP  is  contributing  a  scholarship  fund  for  the
entrepreneurs and providing technology through which the entrepreneurs can tell their stories and ideas.
“HP believes in the transformative power of technology and entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s
largest social issues,” said Wayne Surdam, vice president of Media and Influencer Relations, Personal Systems
Group, HP. “The Unreasonable Marketplace is an incredible platform for high‐impact social entrepreneurs to
scale their ideas and connect with the world.”The 25 winning entrepreneurs become Unreasonable Fellows and, during the mentor program, will  learn from,
work  alongside,  and  live with  60 mentors  from  a  range  of  industries including  venture  capital,  international
development, social enterprise and marketing. Among the exceptional mentors and partners are Greg Miller, co‐
founder  of  Google.org;  David  Bornstein,  author  of  “How  to  Change  the World:  Social  Entrepreneurs  and  the
Power of New  Ideas”; Libby Cook, co‐founder of Wild Oats; Tom Reilly, head of TED Fellows; and Bob Pattillo,
founder of Gray Ghost Capital and First Light Ventures. In addition, the entrepreneurs will have a chance to build
relationships with  30  globally recognized  impact  investment  funds, such  as  Acumen  Fund,  Good  Capital  and
Echoing  Green,  and pitch  prospective  investors.  Last  year,  60  percent  of  the  Unreasonable  Fellows  seeking
funding received capital for their ventures shortly after the end of the Institute.
How can you take part and make a change?
‐ Visit the Marketplace at http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/
‐ Read the stories of the entrepreneurs and learn about their ventures
‐ Donate to the ventures that get you most excited
‐ Share  your  vote  via  the  email,  Twitter  (use  #givewings)  and  Facebook  links  from  the  entrepreneur’s
profile page
###
About Unreasonable Institute
Unreasonable Institute is a mentor‐intensive accelerator for startup entrepreneurs hungry to tackle the world’s
greatest social and environmental problems. Founded in 2010, the Unreasonable Institute annually unites 25
high‐impact entrepreneurs from around the world in Boulder, Colo. for six weeks. During that time, the
entrepreneurs live and work with 60 world‐class mentors, pitch their ventures to hundreds of investors in San
Francisco and Boulder, obtain legal advice and design consulting, form relationships with up to 30 impact
investment funds, and prepare to launch financially self‐sustaining, globally scalable ventures that can serve the
needs of at least 1 million people.
Contact:
Teju Ravilochan
Unreasonable Institute
Co‐Founder
303‐589‐2144
teju@unreasonableinstitute.org
http://unreasonableinstitute.org

Starting Jan. 20, 45 social entrepreneurs will showcase their ventures  in an online platform called  the Unreasonable Finalist Marketplace (http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/).  For  50  days, people from around the world are invited to vote with their wallets on the most viable ventures. The first 25 of the 45 finalists to raise $8,000 in the Marketplace will earn access to the highly acclaimed six‐week mentorship program  at  the Unreasonable  Institute. At  the  Institute,  these  social  entrepreneurs undergo  rigorous  training sessions, including personal and entrepreneurial skill development, intensive workshops and hands‐on guidance from leading thought leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.

The 45 finalists were selected  from more  than 300 applicants  in 60 countries. Each applicant had  to present a financially self‐sustaining venture that has the ability to scale to serve the needs of at least 1 million people and demonstrates customer validation through sales or pilots. The finalists this year include a Chinese engineer with a prototype  for waterless  composting  toilets;  a  2010 CNN Hero  from  Kenya who has distributed over  10,000 solar lanterns; and an American inventor with a water purification system that can roll up to the size of a ruler. “A huge part of being a  truly exceptional entrepreneur  is  to be able  to  rally excitement and  support  for  your idea,”  said  Daniel  Epstein,  founding  president  of  the  Unreasonable  Institute.  “The  Marketplace  tests  these entrepreneurs’ ability to do just that and, in the form of public support garnered, offers a real‐time measure of success.”

In order to enhance the challenge, the Unreasonable Institute has imposed contribution caps, starting with $10 in  week  one  and  increasing  incrementally.  In  addition  to  preventing  single  underwriters  from  providing  full funding,  the  caps  force  finalists  to  mobilize  the  support  of  hundreds  of  people  from  around  the  world, mandating creative marketing, effective storytelling and  the power of social media  to garner support  for  their ideas. In  2010,  the  inaugural  year  of  the  Unreasonable  Institute,  entrepreneurs  raised  over  $160,000  in  the Marketplace from nearly 3,000 supporters across 130 countries.

“We  believe  that  absolutely  everyone  can make  an  impact,  and  the Marketplace  is  a manifestation  of  that belief,” continued Epstein. “We encourage people  to visit  the Marketplace and  leave  their mark on  the world, whether it is through a Facebook post, watching a video or donating $10 to an entrepreneur whose idea struck a chord.”

Donors have an opportunity  to  test out  their own  social marketing  savvy  through a gaming element: a donor receives one point for every dollar contributed and two points for every dollar that is contributed as a result of sharing their vote via social media. Top point earners receive prize bundles from HP, which has come on board this  year  as  the  Unreasonable  Institute’s  first  corporate  partner  and  as  part  of  the  company’s  longstanding support  of  entrepreneurship.  In  addition  to  the  prizes,  HP  is  contributing  a  scholarship  fund  for  the entrepreneurs and providing technology through which the entrepreneurs can tell their stories and ideas.

”The 25 winning entrepreneurs become Unreasonable Fellows and, during the mentor program, will  learn from, work  alongside,  and  live with  60 mentors  from  a  range  of  industries including  venture  capital,  international development, social enterprise and marketing. Among the exceptional mentors and partners are Greg Miller, co‐founder  of  Google.org;  David  Bornstein,  author  of  “How  to  Change  the World:  Social  Entrepreneurs  and  the Power of New  Ideas”; Libby Cook, co‐founder of Wild Oats; Tom Reilly, head of TED Fellows; and Bob Pattillo, founder of Gray Ghost Capital and First Light Ventures. In addition, the entrepreneurs will have a chance to build relationships with  30  globally recognized  impact  investment  funds, such  as  Acumen  Fund,  Good  Capital  and Echoing  Green,  and pitch  prospective  investors.  Last  year,  60  percent  of  the  Unreasonable  Fellows  seeking funding received capital for their ventures shortly after the end of the Institute.

How can you take part and make a change?

‐ Visit the Marketplace at http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/
‐ Read the stories of the entrepreneurs and learn about their ventures
‐ Donate to the ventures that get you most excited
‐ Share  your  vote  via  the  email,  Twitter  (use  #givewings)  and  Facebook  links  from  the  entrepreneur’s profile page

###

About Unreasonable Institute

Unreasonable Institute is a mentor‐intensive accelerator for startup entrepreneurs hungry to tackle the world’s greatest social and environmental problems. Founded in 2010, the Unreasonable Institute annually unites 25 high‐impact entrepreneurs from around the world in Boulder, Colo. for six weeks. During that time, the entrepreneurs live and work with 60 world‐class mentors, pitch their ventures to hundreds of investors in San Francisco and Boulder, obtain legal advice and design consulting, form relationships with up to 30 impact investment funds, and prepare to launch financially self‐sustaining, globally scalable ventures that can serve the needs of at least 1 million people.

Contact

Teju Ravilochan
Unreasonable Institute, Co‐Founder
teju@unreasonableinstitute.org

http://unreasonableinstitute.org