Rob Katz

Are You Unreasonable?

Well, are you? If you are, then be sure to apply to this year’s Unreasonable Institute. The Institute is an social enterprise incubator / fellowship / peer-selected investment fund all rolled into one somewhat messy, completely brilliant ball.

OK, in truth, it’s not enough simply to be unreasonable. You must also be starting or running a social venture, and be wholly committed to it. Not only that, you must be willing to work with a cohort of like-minded social entrepreneurs to create an environment in which a rising tide lifts all boats – this is not just about you. To understand the full eligibility requirements for the Unreasonable Institute, check them out here.

So, what is this all about? Simply put, the Unreasonable Institute brings 25 high-potential, high-impact entrepreneurs for training, mentoring and cohort-building every summer. This is the incubator aspect. So what – just another incubator, right?

Wrong. The Unreasonable Institute has recruited a stable of top mentors – including Paul Polak (IDE), Paul Hudnut (The BOPreneur), Dennis Whittle (Global Giving), Lindsay Clinton (Intellecap) and Bob Patillo (Gray Ghost Capital) to name a few.

Beyond mentoring, the Institute builds a true cohort of enterprises during the 10-week program. And it’s not just a cohort – it’s a judge and jury. At the end of the Institute, the 25 entrepreneurs will vote on the best business plans – Apprentice-style – and the winner will take home $100K to help run the venture. 2nd place wins $50K. The Unreasonable Village Fund press release has full details (PDF).

For details on the program, I strongly recommend Steve Hamm’s post over at BusinessWeek, which gives a better run down than I’ll be able to.

Most importantly, apply! Applications are due December 15 and the process is neither onerous nor particularly long. Worth a shot, as they say…