Summit15: Be Unreasonable
Unreasonable Institute has three locations—in Boulder, Colorado; Uganda; and Mexico—and runs seven programs for entrepreneurs who want to scale solutions to the world’s biggest problems. To do this, Unreasonable Institute identifies entrepreneurs with the potential to address problems like poverty, lack of education and social injustice at scale, and then connects them with hand-picked mentors, funders and partners to help grow their impact. The goal is to help each venture scale up to meaningfully impact the lives of at least one million people.
In an interview with Unreasonable Institute’s Co-Founder and CEO, Teju Ravilochan, he discusses why Colorado is a hub for entrepreneurship, why he is attending Summit15 and what is new and exciting at Unreasonable Institute.
What makes Colorado a special place for entrepreneurship?
Ravilochan—Colorado is interesting, because it is surrounded by nature. There is a certain feeling of gravity that comes with living in such a beautiful place. This beauty draws people to the state, so you have a lot of talent here with a lot of resources. Colorado is the most educated state in the country—combine this talent with our strong educational institutions and our open and connected community, and you have the perfect setting for entrepreneurship. Being so close to nature also creates a stronger connection to a person’s surroundings. People are more aware of both the environment and other people. They are also more geared to protect their communities and to solve big problems.
Why are you attending Summit15?
Ravilochan—I am excited to attend the Social Enterprise Alliance’s Summit for the first time this year. It is a great opportunity for us to learn how to better support entrepreneurs. Summit15 is a unique opportunity, and I look forward to collaborating with more entrepreneurs both during Summit15 and in the future.
What is the most important thing entrepreneurs should be thinking about today?
Ravilochan—Any entrepreneur is solving a problem. Whether they are trying to send money to a friend or providing another product or service a community needs. First, entrepreneurs should always be focused on a problem they can solve, and then they should be figuring out a way, as fast as they can, to solve and deliver a solution to that problem in a sustaining way.
How do you see entrepreneurship developing over the next few years?
Ravilochan—We need to get more people interested in solving the world’s problems. If we can get more people in the world to tackle the world’s biggest problems, then we’ve made progress. We need a majority of people to be thinking about how they can make the most impact and not about how they can make the most money.
What is new and exciting at Unreasonable Institute?
Ravilochan—We are expanding! This year, we are adding eight pilot programs. Now, not only are we in Boulder, Uganda and Mexico, but with Unreasonable Labs (five-day hyper-accelerators supporting local, early-stage entrepreneurs tackling their region’s most pressing social or environmental problems), we have expanded to Boston, France, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Japan, Morocco and New Zealand as well. Launching Labs will create widespread impact by working with over 100 entrepreneurs in 10 countries.
Written by Anna Upchurch from the fabulous team at JVA Consulting.