Questions about the Unreasonable Marketplace
What is the Unreasonable Marketplace?
The Unreasonable Marketplace is a crowd funding platform that our entrepreneurs use to raise part or all the upfront tuition they need to attend the Unreasonable East Africa institute. All entrepreneurs on the platform have their own profile, describing their company and their team. The platform also displays how much the entrepreneur has raised, how much more they have to raise and how long they have to raise the full amount. Read more about the Marketplace here.
What is the cost of the 2016 Unreasonable Institute in East Africa?
We have three cost options for entrepreneurs to choose from this year. They include:
The upfront payment is paid before the institute and balance is tied into a signed revenue share agreement with each entrepreneur. The terms of the revenue share agreement are that we take a small percent(in brackets based on cost option) of the annual revenues of the company until we accummulate a total of the revenue share balance. This is payable after the institute. Because most of our entrepreneurs cannot afford the upfront cost, we created this platform so that they can crowd fund this.
This tuition cost is designed to cover some of the costs while at the Institute, including housing, food, training, flying out the mentors, staffing, and all excursions. We owe tremendous thanks to our funders and in-kind sponsors who help us keep the costs of the program manageable for entrepreneurs. Read more about the costs of the Institute here.
Why is each entrepreneur raising a different amount of money?
Entrepreneurs who use the Marketplace to raise funds for the Unreasonable Institute in East Africa are raising an amount equivalent to the upfront tuition cost plus their travel costs (if they choose to raise them via the marketplace). Some entrepreneurs are looking to raise an even more significant amount of their tuition from the marketplace. This is the reason for the different fundraising goals for each entrepreneur.
Does the amount raised cover roundtrip airfare and visa costs?
No. The entrepreneurs are expected to cover their round trip airfare andn visa costs. Some of them are raising these cost on the marketplace, explaining why some of the entrepreneurs have varying funding goals.
What if an entrepreneur raises more than the upfront tuition?
If the entrepreneur raises more than the upfront tuition, the extra fee is meant for either their travel expenses or to cover part of the revenue share tuition as well. For some of them, we consider this extra fee as a grant to the venture. The entrepreneur would have to submit a formal grant proposal to us that we would have to put to our board for review and if approved, we would transact the money to the entrepreneur.
What is the timeline of the marketplace? How much time do entrepreneurs have to raise this money?
The Marketplace is open 30 days from April 20th to May 13th, 2016.
Are contributions made on the Marketplace tax-deductible?
Yes, contributions made to entrepreneurs who will ultimately attend the Institute will be tax-deductible for U.S. tax payers because these funds will be donated to the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, which is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Can a non-East Africa citizen sponsor an entrepreneur on the Marketplace?
Absolutely. Our payment systems use WePay, which is set up to handle credit cards from around the world. We also accept cash contributions in any currency. See the next question for details on this.
What forms of payment can be used to sponsor an entrepreneur?
We utilize WePay for all online payments. WePay a Level 1 PCI Compliant Service Provider (the highest level). You can read more about how WePay ensures the security of your payment here.
I'm interested in sponsoring an entrepreneur, but how do I know that my credit card information will be safe?
For all online payments, we use WePay, a Level 1 PCI Compliant Service Provider (the highest level). You can read more about how WePay ensures the security of your payment here.
I am not sure about which entrepreneur to support, BUT I want to support Unreasonable East Africa?
Please reach out to our CEO, Joachim Ewechu through firstname.lastname@example.org or +256779698906 in case of this. He will be more than helpful.
What happens to the amount an entrepreneur raises if, after being accepted to the Unreasonable Institute, they are forced to drop out due to extenuating circumstances?
If the entrepreneur is unable to attend the Unreasonable East Africa Institute for extenuating circumstances (like not getting a visa, family illness, etc.), we will take their specific circumstances into consideration and determine if a refund is warranted. If the entrepreneur voluntarily chooses not to attend Unreasonable East Africa, he or she will be able to either defer attendance by one year. However, if the entrepreneur chooses not to attend Unreasonable East Africa and does not want to defer admission, the money raised will be retained by Unreasonable East Africa so as to dissuade participants from using our platform and our network to raise funds for their organizations. Additionally, by the time entrepreneurs participate in the Unreasonable Marketplace, they will have already signed a commitment to attend the program. If they raise the money on the Marketplace and then withdraw from the program voluntarily, it will be too late for us to accept another entrepreneur, leaving us, most importantly, without the opportunity to serve another entrepreneur as well as out the amount raised. For this reason, we will not refund the money to entrepreneurs who voluntarily withdraw from the program.
How has the marketplace gone in the past?
In the past four years, 82 entrepreneurs from 36 different countries have raised the funds required to attend the Institute, totaling more than $600,000. Entrepreneurs who have succeeded in raising funds on the Marketplace include a former child soldier from Liberia, a Congolese refugee, a Nigerian farmer, a Pakistani villager, a Venezuelan scientist, as well as two MIT graduates.
For the case of East Africa, we had 12 of our 21 past companies in 2014 and 2015 have raised their full tuition on the marketplace. We have so far raised a total of over $50,000 through this platform.
If I sponsor an entrepreneur, what information does he or she receive?
When you sponsor entrepreneurs, you will have the option of sharing your contact information with them, or remaining anonymous. If you decide to share your contact information, they will see your name, your email address, and the amount you contributed. They will not have access to any additional information. If you decide to remain anonymous, entrepreneurs will only see the amount you contributed but will not have access to your name or email address.
If I sponsor an entrepreneur, is my contribution amount publicly displayed?
When you sponsor an entrepreneur, you will have the option of requesting that your contribution is anonymous. If you chose to be anonymous, your name will not be displayed publicly as a sponsor and your name will not be shared with the entrepreneur. You will have full control over this when you make a contribution.
Can I sponsor an entrepreneur anonymously?
Definitely! You always have the option to make any contribution to an entrepreneur anonymously.
Does the Unreasonable Institute take any steps to protect the intellectual property of entrepreneurs displaying their information on the Marketplace?
Entrepreneurs will have the final say on what information is shared on the Marketplace. It is their job to ensure that sensitive information is protected and only information they consider appropriate for the public is shared on the Marketplace.