By D E Wasake, Principal,

Basic information


Start ups – But primarily not every start up. They are: targeting entrepreneurs creating solutions to the world’s biggest social and environmental problems.

You might want to take their “eligibility quiz

Sector focus:

Any sector where the entrepreneur is providing solutions to East Africa’s biggest social and environmental problems.

Amounts provided:

It’s hard to estimate as they mainly provide a “boot camp” but from their results, their 65 “fellows” have raised $53.45m which averages $823k per fellow.

Funding type

Do not directly provide funding. What they provide is:

·         Guidance from mentor(s)

·         Connection to 100 + funders

·         Assistance in building a business toolkit (akin to business plan)

Key criteria

Ventures that:

  • Operate in Kenya or Uganda
  • Are early-stage ventures that are actively prototyping or iterating their product or service
  • Are typically not yet profitable, but may have generated some early revenues
  • Are for-profit or non-profit
  • Have a strong business model

Further information

Who is behind the venture?

It is supported by 3 types of partners.

Capital partners – top funds, foundations and angel and capital focused funds to provide guidance

Funding and corporate partners – including Halloran Philanthropes, HP, Small Foundation and the Unreasonable council.

Pipeline partners – Akin to a network, they help attract high impact entrepreneurs to the institute.

What is the application process like?

In summary, in their own words:

“Each year, we match a dozen carefully vetted ventures from around the world with 50 mentors (including the Chairman of Whole Foods, a guy who’s helped over 20 million people out of poverty, and a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet) and 100+ funders at 5-week bootcamps."

For East Africa, this is what they do:

“We accelerate ventures that will define progress in our time. Annually we unite 10-20 high-impact entrepreneurs from around East Africa in Kampala, Uganda for 5-weeks. There we provide them with world-class mentorship, access to capital, intensive skill training and access to a global network of support that the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, CO has built!”

A summary of the process is below:

  1. A written application is submitted in line with the Fund’s time table. There is an annual time table so perhaps subscribing to their newsletter is key to get notifications.
  2. Initial Interview via Skype to assess if the applicant is a good fit
  3. Additional interview with a sector expert – might include field visit to your venture
  4. Success – you then get to join their “boot camp” with mentors

Our view/tips for success?

1. Read the profiles of those who have succeeded before to give you an idea. Perhaps even contact them. The Ugandan “fellows” who have succeeded are below:

2. Build your “business plan” using the exact guidance from their tool kit.

If you start with the end in mind, according to their guidance, once you finish the “boot camp” you will have a number of things including:

-A plan to scale by 10 x

- Strategic management

- Dealing with failure

- Developing an “investor summary”

Knowing what you will “end up with” means you can start planning for the content of your pitch before you apply.

3. Start saving for the $3,000 fee.

Once successful, there is a cost of attending the institute. This covers food and housing and the administration running costs. If you can’t afford, they do give you a platform to raise the money via crowd funding platform.

Otherwise best of luck!  If you need further assistance or guidance, contact our team


Inachee is not an agent or connected to this entity. It is an independent thought leadership and advisory firm.

The information provided is based on our research, experience and if we are able to contact them, by speaking to this entity’s personnel. Whilst we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, there can be no guarantee that it will remain accurate.