FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Teju Ravilochan, Co-Founder and VP Partnerships and Communication, The Unreasonable Institute
303-589-2144, www.unreasonableinstitute.org, email@example.com
46 ENTREPRENEURS OVERCOMING GLOBAL CHALLENGES PROVE THEIR METTLE THROUGH CROWDSOURCING
Boulder, Colorado – January 2, 2012 – Forty-six entrepreneurs hailing from 25 countries including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Netherlands, Chile, Palestine, and the United States, vie for twenty-five spots in the Unreasonable Institute, a six-week accelerator for companies overcoming social and environmental challenges. These forty-six finalists have already gotten through two rounds of vetting, outlasting over 300 applicants from 55 countries. And they face one final test: raising the $10,000 it costs to attend the Unreasonable Institute in 50 days in successively increasing small increments. The first 25 to succeed gain admission to the program.
Getting into the Unreasonable Institute program means living under one roof with two dozen entrepreneurs from around the world for six weeks, while learning from 50 mentors ranging from HP’s CTO Phil McKinney to Paul Polak, who’s enabled over 19 million farmers to move out of poverty. It means being able to form relationships with 20 major funds like Acumen Fund, Calvert, and Good Capital and dozens of angel investors. The six-week program culminates with a massive pitch event in front of hundreds of potential funders and supporters, after which entrepreneurs join a network of nearly 200 partner organizations. Nathaniel Koloc, one of last year’s “Unreasonable Fellows” said of his experience: “we got more done in 6 weeks than we would have in a year.” His venture, ReWork, quadrupled its monthly revenue, scaled to a second city, and secured two mentors for its board.
But why ask entrepreneurs to crowdfund $10,000 to get in? “If you’re going to hire someone for a sales position at your company, you ought to look at their sales record or ask them to sell you something,” explains Unreasonable Institute Director Megha Agrawal.
The Unreasonable Institute is asking its entrepreneurs to show them that they can make the ask, that they can mobilize hundreds of supporters, that they can raise capital. That is why we at AMIS-Cameroon shall need your support with effect from January 17th 2012.
The 48 entrepreneurs that have gone through the Unreasonable Institute so far have raised $375,000 total on the Marketplace just within 50 days! So you see, it works. “We’ve had former child soldiers from Liberia, Nigerian farmers, Pakistani villagers, Congolese refugees, McKinsey consultants, and MIT grads raise the money successfully,” says Agrawal.
To make sure to the challenge doesn’t fall prey to the “Rich Uncle Problem” – where a wealthy benefactor dumps all the money on an entrepreneur at once – there are weekly contribution caps. “In the first week, the entrepreneurs cannot receive contributions larger than $10,” says Agrawal. That limit goes to $50 in the second week, $100 in the third week, and so on. “So entrepreneurs have to form a small movement of hundreds of people to get in.” Would you go this journey with AMIS-Cameroon and enable us seal the deal within the first 3 weeks of the MarketPlace Lunching?
In the Unreasonable Institute’s last Marketplace, Ugandan entrepreneur Moses Sanga was initially skeptical of his ability to raise $8,000 (the cost in 2011). He started his company, Eco-Fuel Africa, enabling villagers to turn agricultural waste into a clean burning fuel source, with only $500. “How do these people expect a guy like me from a remote village in Africa, with no rich friends or relatives and with limited access to the internet to raise $8,000?” he said he wondered at first. “No one in my entire village even knew what a credit card is and the nearest place to access internet was 17 kilometers away.” Despite his father telling him not to waste his time, Moses decided to give it a try anyway. He walked the 17 kilometers and spoke with CEOs of local businesses. “I simply shared my honest life story. One person heard it and he was touched. He told a friend and that friend told another friend. Before I knew it, I had many supporters around the world.” Moses not only succeeded in raising the $8,000, he went on to raise $60,000 at the Unreasonable Institute and to win a spot as a TED Fellow.
The story of Moses is not unique. AMIS-Cameroon does not have very wealthy friends, but we are confident that your desire to enable us provide Market information to Farmers throughout Cameroonwould move you to support us at the Finalist Marketplace
If you’re keen to support Unreasonable entrepereneurs striving to change the world like Moses Sanga, you’ll have your chance on at www.unreasonableinstitute.org/marketplace when the Marketplace goes live on January 17, 2011.
Specifically you can follow life report of donations made for AMIS-Cameroon towards in the Race to Raise $10,000 by following us on Twitter: twitter.com/AMIS_Cameroon and on facebook at facebook.com/AMISforCameroon
Mankind is very kind indeed. Whether it is greed or folly, we dare not judge the wisdom of human kindness that would bestow Millions of Dollars to a pussy-cat while hundreds of hungry humans roam the streets of our world every day.
I have nothing against cats or any other pet that pet lovers decide to keep. One thing I know for sure is that the person who willed their fortune over to a cat did so because they possess the moral faculty to do so.They reached a reason decision before writing that will which negates anything human in them.
So, the big question that begs for an answer is this: Who shall the Cat will its inheritance to, since it doesnt have the same mental and moral disposition of its benefactor?
When humans die of starvation all over the planet, and we spend billions of dollars for unworthy causes, someone should stand up and address this folly or exit the stage.