2016 Institute

2016 Institute Overview  >  Our Results  >  Selection Process  >  The Cost  >  Eligibility  >  Apply

The 2016 Institute

The 2016 Unreasonable East Africa Institute is taking place between July and August, 2016 (exact dates to be announced). We will be uniting 12-15 carefully vetted companies from around East Africa, in Kampala, Uganda, where we will intensively work with them alongside our 80+ impressive mentors to get them into the best possible shape to grow. We will then expose and connect them to our network of 550+ funders so that they can raise funding. But it does not end there. We and the entire Unreasonable network will continue to support them for the life of their company and beyond… or at least until the world’s problems cease to exist. Our goal is to help each of these companies grow and eventually scale up to meaningfully impact the lives of over 1 million people each. Click on the links below to learn more below!!!

  1. What fellows get
  2. Why 5-weeks?


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A Solid Business Foundation

customized curriculum

         Customized curriculum

We work with you before the Institute to identify your top needs, and then customize our curriculum and support around your priority challenges.

actionable frameworks

Actionable frameworks

Whether you’re still finalizing your business model or going to scale, our workshops focus on delivering tangible outcomes that help you advance your company. Past workshop themes include:

  • Building Lasting Relationships
  • Story Telling
  • Designing for Impact
  • Rapid Prototyping

strategic planning

Strategic planning

We provide the training, framework and support for writing a 12 month strategic plan for your company, giving you an actionable game plan for growth.

An Inner Circle of Trusted Advisors

relevant expertise

Relevant expertise

Our mentors are proven entrepreneurs, executives and practitioners who have achieved what our entrepreneurs want to achieve or have a special skill relevant to our entrepreneurs.

Some of our mentors include;

  • Nick Moon, co-founder of KickStart that has lifted over 750,000 people out of poverty
  • Kamran Elahian, an entrepreneur who has started 10 companies, 3 of which have IPO’d between $700M and $1B  

See our ever-growing list of mentors here.

longterm mentorship

Long-term mentorship

We work hard with you and our network of mentors to design long lasting relationships between you and them. You leave the institute with an inner circle of 3-5 mentors who are your trusted advisory board as you scale your impact.

executive coaching

Executive coaching

We match you will an executive coach who works with you regularly to address the major challenges you encounter as a leader, from managing a team to having tough conversations thus unlocking your “inner game”.

Comprehensive Funding Readiness

We guide you through every step of the funding process.

financial architects

Financial Architects

We assign you a Financial Architect, who works with you to help you understand your financials, including investment needs and what accounting system is best for you. In addition, you leave with historical and pro forma financials, along with a working financial model to show investors.


Fundraising guidance from experts, including funding reality checks

Our fundraising curriculum gives you the knowledge and tools to identify the right funders, reach out to them, and how to make the ask. In addition, our Investor Mentors (a combination of impact investors, philanthropists, and lenders) will help you understand what you need to get funded, and help you get comfortable with the conversations you’ll be having with investors.

unreasonable capital

Unreasonable Capital

You have access to Unreasonable capital, a seed stage venture capital fund that invests exclusively in entrepreneurs that participate in the Unreasonable Institute by guaranteeing up to 25% of any round of financing you will be raising. Unreasonable Capital is run by Unreasonable Group and is currently in the process of raising Fund:One.

Unreasonable Capital is run by Unreasonable Group and is currently in the process of raising Fund:One.

loan fund

UEA Revolving Loan Fund

We set up the Unreasonable Revolving Loan Fund to provide our entrepreneurs easily accessible capital in the form of short-term loans used for revenue generating projects.

Access to strong local and global UNREASONABLE Network

Our network is made of values aligned individuals who want to help other entrepreneurs. Whatever your challenge or connection you need, there is a good chance someone in our network can help you.

brightest mentors

80+ of the best & brightest mentors

We have a rich, hand-selected network of some of the brightest, most influential and heavily networked minds in East Africa and globally. See them here. The Unreasonable Institute in Boulder that is our Founding Institute has built a huge GLOBAL diverse network of support! And we are backed by them! See their mentor network here.

connect with funders

Connect with over 550 funders

When you’re ready to raise capital, we’ll help you identify the most relevant funders in our network and give you personalized introductions. In addition, Unreasonable Global has supported the creation of Enable Impact, a database containing over 1,200 impact funders.

unreasonable family

Join the Unreasonable family

We currently have a network of 21 companies, 80+ mentors and 50+ funders in East Africa. In addition, over 128 companies from over 45 countries have graduated from The Unreasonable Institute in Boulder Colorado. They also have a network of 100+ mentors, 250+ funders, 100+ ventures and 250+ partners all rallying against the world’s biggest, most challenging problems.

Once you become Unreasonable, you’ll be part of much more than a network, you’ll be part of a family that shares best practices and has your back no matter what.

investor events

Admittance to Unreasonable’s exclusive investor events

At our most recent Investor Days events, we had 30 funders in Kampala and over 100 investors in Boulder from all over the world to meet with Unreasonable companies. In addition to exclusive access to these events, you get support in preparing your due diligence documents and we’ll help connect you to the most relevant funders.

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We certainly know that 5-weeks seems like a REALLY long time away. The Institute is 5 weeks long because….

At the Institute, you accomplish more in less time

Fundamentally, the Institute is designed to help you get done in 5 weeks what would otherwise take much longer. Our goal is to accelerate your efforts in building your business by converging the people and resources you need to grow in one place at one time so you don’t have to invest the time going out and looking for them yourselves. In these 5 weeks, you’re building relationships with 80+  mentors, hundreds of funders, 12 peers, and becoming part of a global network of hundreds that will support you long into the future.

You choose how to spend the majority of your time

Think about your schedule right now. You’re busy. Not just busy, but maybe even the busiest you have ever been, trying to make your company work while also trying not to lose all your friends and function like a normal human being. Here’s a typical day at the Institute: You get up, breakfast is made for you. You go to a workshop and re-work your marketing strategy. Lunch in made for you. It’s the afternoon and now the rest of the day is yours to structure. You can set up a meeting with one of our visiting mentors, you can have a skype call with your team, you can hang out with the other fellows and talk about how crazy your life was before coming to the Institute. Dinner is made for you, cleaning is done for you; we take care of the details so you can focus on you and your business. And, none of our 21 companies have failed because they left for 5-weeks, in fact, their teams grew as they had to step up during this time.

What a typical day at the Institute looks like

  • 9:30am-Noon: Optional workshop with a Visiting Mentor (examples include “How to Scale” with Paul Polak, who’s lifted 20 million farmers out of poverty and “How to have an Investor One-on-One” with Tom Suddes, who’s raised $1 billion and coached others to raise $1 billion)
  • Noon-1:30pm: Lunch prepared by the live-in chef
  • Noon-6pm: Protected Work Time. You can use this time to respond to emails, make calls, meet with Mentors, Funders, and other Fellows, exercise, explore Kampala…whatever you need to do..
  • 6-7pm: Mentor and Capital Partner Introductions. We do ask you to be present for visiting Mentors and Funders to introduce themselves to the community.
  • 7-8:30pm: Dinner prepared by the live-in chef. This is our chance to all get together as a family and spend time with Mentors and Funders in an informal setting. This is where the magic happens.
  • 8:30pm on: Free Time.

The flexible daily schedule means you aren’t required to attend anything before 6pm, giving you time to work on your venture. If you have additional concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Retsy directly at retsy@unreasonableeastafrica.org

Here’s what one of our 2014 entrepreneurs had to say about spending 5 weeks with us:

5-week quote (3)

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