Twice a year we select cohorts of a city's most promising entrepreneurs tackling tough social, environmental and civic problems
Are you an entrepreneur based in Austin, Texas? Are you using an entrepreneurial approach to solve a pressing social, environmental or civic challenge? We're looking for you.
What to expect from UnLtd USA support
We know that startups don't happen over night, so we work with you for a full year. You will receive:
We provide seed funding to pay for your critical startup costs. In three years, if your venture is successful, you pay forward that funding, directly investing in another generation of UnLtd USA investees.
Coaching and Training
Drawing on the skills and expertise of our team, our network of Mentors and your own cohort members, we provide customized coaching and a series of trainings in key skills for startup and impact success.
Bringing together a city's top mentors, advisors and industry experts, we help you identify and pull in the talent you need to succeed, including customers, beneficiaries, potential partners, funders and talent.
We know that entrepreneurs often learn the most from other entrepreneurs, so we facilitate opportunities for you and your cohort members to share insights, resources, ideas and contacts.
Are you an UnLtd USA entrepreneur?
You have identified a pressing problem in Austin, and have a vision for how to solve it
You have the skills and background necessary to be able to deliver your solution
You have spent time with your customers, users and beneficiaries and intimately understand their needs and pain points
You are based in Austin, TX and want to learn from, contribute to and build with a cohort of locally-based peers
About Your Enterprise
You have identified a good Problem-Solution fit: your solution can actually have a meaningful impact on the problem
You have identified a potential revenue stream aligned with your impact
Your initiative fulfills a clear customer demand
You are able to measure your impact and track progress against it
You have a plan for the next twelve months with clear goals and outputs, fully aware that both are probably wrong
What You Need
A package of funding, mentoring and tailored support as you test and build your impact and business models
Specialist advice from other successful entrepreneurs and relevant experts
Powerful connections, including to customers, beneficiaries, potential partners, funders, talent and other locally-based peers like you
Help recruiting, building and engaging your board
How does UnLtd USA select entrepreneurs?
We make our decision about which entrepreneurs to work with on criteria that we bucket into four categories. Here they are, with a couple of things that tend to trip people up in each:
- Entrepreneur. This is always where we start. For a shortcut to how we think about this, have a look at the three Team domains from John Mullins' Seven Domains framework.
- Impact. Can you articulate a pressing social or environmental problem and a solution that would have a meaningful, measurable impact on it? Often tripped up here are organizations that exist to support or fund nonprofits; we would consider those our partners, rather than as investees. Also, this program is Austin-focused; if your impact and operations aren't here, we may not the best fit for you.
- Enterprise. Does this have a shot at working? Is the revenue model tied tightly to the impact the organization seeks? We don't usually interview folks with ideas but no customer or user validation because of the former; we are wary of buy-one-give-one models because of the latter.
- Trajectory. Are you in early enough stages that our work will make a meaningful difference in your growth? Do you have unreasonable ambition to scale and hypotheses for how to do it? Our program is not a good fit for consulting firms and small businesses.
UnLtd USA is part of a network with a fifteen-year record of success working with entrepreneurs
UnLtd-supported entrepreneurs have been recognized by the sector's leading programs and awards, including Ashoka, Echoing Green, Unreasonable Institute, Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs and the Hult Business Prize.
The impact of the UnLtd approach
- Lives Changed: 1.2 million total beneficiaries benefitted by UnLtd Award Winners in a year
- Venture Survival: 76% of UnLtd-supported ventures were still active 3 years after their award and 97% say that UnLtd support was important in getting their ventures to its current point
- Follow-on Funding: For each 1 rupee UnLtd India has provided in funding, each investee has on average gone on to raise a further 14.5 rupees
- Exponential Impact of Support: UnLtd’s work with social entrepreneurs demonstrates that each person they back goes on to help an average of another 5 entrepreneurial people