Are you passionate about enabling entrepreneurship in your region to bring about social and environmental change? Then this new venture is sure to pique your interest.

Unreasonable Labs from the Unreasonable Institute is searching for like-minded individuals to take part in a Bristol-based or Bath-based Lab, but you need to be fast, you need to apply by 29 November 2015.

What is Unreasonable Labs?

unreasonable labs logoIf you’re unfamiliar with the institute behind Unreasonable Labs, here’s a brief explanation: Unreasonable Institute is a global movement of multiple, local experiments each designed to help contribute to a body of knowledge around how to best solve the world’s toughest challenges, while accelerating hundreds of entrepreneurs in local markets around the world in the process.

The first cohort of Labs included eight teams from countries such as India, Morocco, Ecuador, and New Zealand. Unreasonable is now looking for its second cohort of Unreasonable Lab Teams, to scale the programs to further ends of the globe.

As Teju Ravilochan, co-founder and CEO of the Unreasonable Institute asserts: “Centuries-old problems, like poverty and pollution, persist in our world because we simply aren’t getting enough people to engage in trial and error of solving them.

“And when you’re talking about problems like these, you don’t have time to waste. Children are dying of malnutrition. Youth are languishing without education and jobs. Violence is brewing under oppression and discrimination.

“Whether in science or startups, the only thing that solves problems that no one knows how to solve is relentless trial and error”

 

“Solving problems ten times to a hundred times faster saves lives… Whether in science or startups, the only thing that solves problems that no one knows how to solve is relentless trial and error.”

Each Lab team gets access to the Unreasonable Playbook, brand, network, and headquarters support to run a great Lab in their respective city, country, or region.

Unreasonable Labs: solving the world's problems through trial and error

Unreasonable Labs: solving the world’s problems through trial and error

We caught up with Banks Benitez, SVP of Global Expansion for Unreasonable Labs, to find out more about the scope of the Labs project, and to ask him how people in Bristol or Bath can get involved.

“Unreasonable Labs was born out of the Unreasonable Institute, a global accelerator based in Colorado that has worked with 93 entrepreneurs committed to social and environmental impact from 41 countries,” says Banks.

The Unreasonable model: helping entrepreneurs to reach their goal

The Unreasonable model: helping entrepreneurs to reach their goal

“For the last six years, we’ve run one accelerator programme in Colorado, and as we considered how we might scale Unreasonable to meet the needs of hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, we were faced with a question: is scaling Unreasonable more a function of replication or evolution?

“We asked ourselves, if we were to replicate, what exactly would we replicate? And how? And what we learned was while replication was one route for scale, it was predicated on the conclusion that we had the last and final answer for how to accelerate social ventures.

“Replicating meant that we had figured out how Unreasonable could be an unfair advantage anywhere and everywhere. But if we were honest with ourselves, that wasn’t true. We hadn’t nailed it yet. There was still so much to learn,” says Banks.

“Unreasonable Labs is a global experiment to establish five-day accelerators in dozens of locations around the world with the goal of impacting hundreds of entrepreneurs”

 

“If the last five years had been one experiment on how Unreasonable could be an unfair advantage for entrepreneurs, then how much better to have 10 experiments trying to solve for the same unknown simultaneously.

“That is Unreasonable Labs. A global movement of multiple, local experiments each designed to help contribute to a body of knowledge around how to best solve the world’s toughest challenges – while accelerating hundreds of entrepreneurs in local markets around the world in the process.”

It's time to be Unreasonable: help to solve the world's toughest challenges

It’s time to be Unreasonable: Get involved and start an Unreasonable Lab in Bristol

“Unreasonable Labs is a recognition that we don’t have the answers. And with that recognition, our job is not to find the answers but to simply design the experiments that will help us arrive at the answers quickly and effectively,” says Banks.

How can you get involved in Unreasonable Labs?

Unreasonable Labs is looking for a team interested in running a Lab, local entrepreneurs eager to attend the Lab, and available mentors, investors and partners. So what are you waiting for?

“The ethos of Labs is of evolution, rapid prototyping, and the virtue of multiple experiments happening simultaneously”

 

How does the funding work?

Each Lab Team pays a small amount ($295) for the curriculum, brand, and Unreasonable support. “They are responsible for raising the remainder of the budget to run the Lab,” Banks explains.

To get a clearer view, watch Unreasonable’s inspirational and uplifting trailer:

About Unreasonable Labs’ mentors

Unreasonable Labs mentors include some stellar individuals, inlcuding: Phil McKinney, former CTO of HP; Hunter Lovins, Time Magazine Hero of the Planet; John Elstrott, Chairman of the Board at Wholefoods; Libby Cook, founder of two companies with $1B+ exits; Tom Chi, former UX Lead at Google X and co-creator of Google Glass Tom Suddes, founder of 19 companies. He’s raised $1B+.

Why is Unreasonable launching Labs around the world?

  • Create major impact by working with over 100 entrepreneurs in 10 countries in 2015
  • Explore the potential for scaling Unreasonable to dozens and eventually hundreds of locations
  • Experiment with and learn from multiple, connected laboratories asking the same question: “What does it take to support entrepreneurs tackling the world’s greatest challenges?”
  • Provide an opportunity for teams interested in potentially running full Unreasonable Institute to get a better understanding of what it takes
  • Establish deeper pipelines of entrepreneurs who might eventually be interested in attending an Unreasonable Institute somewhere in the world.

Unreasonable Labs has been involved in some very successful ventures

Mosaic (US), a kickstarter for solar energy, which has raised over $12 million.

Eneza (Kenya), a mobile phone ‘Khan Academy’ for children in rural Kenya, reaching 350,000 children. They’ve become Africa’s fastest growing mobile education app.

MANA (Global), which treats children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) using nutrient-enriched peanut butter. So far, they’ve cured over one million children of SAM.

Get involved by 29 November

So if you’re passionate about empowering entrepreneurs for social change then why not submit an application to run an Unreasonable Lab by 29 November 2015 via the Unreasonable Institute website. Many thanks to Banks for taking the time out to chat to us.