The ship MV Explorer will serve as a Semester at Sea and Unreasonable at Sea's tech incubator floating campus beginning in 2013 (Click Image To Enlarge)
Last year, we wrote about Blueseed, an incubator-on-a-ship that is anchored near Silicon Valley.
We think we’ve found something cooler. Check out Unreasonable at Sea, an accelerator program geared towards tech entrepreneurs who want to take their products to different shores.
They are doing it quite literally too: Ten teams from around the globe will participate in a 100-day program aboard a ship that will port at 14 different countries (subject to changes):
- EMBARK: San Diego, CA, USA
- Hilo, Hawaii
- Yokohama, Japan
- Kobe, Japan
- Shanghai, China
- Hong Kong
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Penang, Malaysia
- Cochin, India
- Port Louis, Mauritius
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Tema (Accra), Ghana
- Casablanca, Morocco
- DEBARK: Barcelona, Spain
Curious? Watch this 3-minute trailer:
If you think this is some kind of extended cruise trip, you’re wrong. Teams will be expected to perfect, tweak, and adjust their business model and product. Daily workshops will be held by mentors on the ship.
When porting at the different countries, events will be held to put these entrepreneurs in front of their land-based peers, as well as investors, politicians, and philanthropists. An opportunity will also be presented for them to test their products in various markets.
Which is a lot of hard work.
General Requirements To Quality
To be eligible for this accelerator your company must meet the following requirements:
- Your company must be for-profit.
- Your company must be technology-based.
- Your company should consist of at least two people.
- You must also have a prototype, and prove that it is highly-scalable and has the potential to gain user traction.
- Being revenue-generating is a plus.
This accelerator, a collaboration between Semester at Sea and Unreasonable Institute, will start in January 2013. Applications close on 15th May 2012.
I guess spending 100 days out at sea is an experience very few have gone through, so expect some tough competition for a place.
Here’s the kicker: The cost of attending the program, estimated at US$120K per team, will be sponsored. On top of that, you’ll get a US$500 stipend for the whole trip.
But if you’re prone to sea-sickness, perhaps you should look elsewhere.
COMMENTARY: If you read through the Unreasonable at Sea website you will find that this is a very serious incubator program, and it is going to be very selective. You will be expected to meet ALL the criteria (see below) in order to quality for selection.
Unreasonable at Sea is looking for entrepreneurs using technology to address massive social or environmental problems and using certain types of technologies. This incubator program is not for social networks, mobile app developers, game makers, and so forth.
The selected entrepreneurial teams will be quite unique and will undero brutal schedules that will include long hours in the class room and mentoring, meetings and presentations at each port of call, and very little sleep. This is not your normal party boat.
This would be a perfect situation for a reality TV program. Wish I had the time and financial resources to do it myself.
Full Criteria To Qualify
You Must Answer YES to All The Following
- Is your company using technology to address a massive social or environmental problem? We are looking for ventures focusing on telemedicine, mobile banking, clean-tech, democratized education, disaster relief…etc. In short, we are searching for companies leveraging technology to have significant impact.
- Is your company at a stage where it is strategic to work internationally? Unreasonable at Sea presents an incredible opportunity to leverage technologies that are already working in one market, and help move them globally. We are looking for companies who can convince us that their company will benefit wildly from the experience of an international accelerator at sea.
- Are you currently working full time on your venture? A full-time commitment is defined as a minimum of 40 hours per week.
- Do you have at least one team member who is currently working full-time with you? We believe in the power of teams and will only accept applications on behalf of teams that are at least 2 people in size. If you have 100 employees and individuals on your team, that is ok with us, but if you are going at this alone, we will not read your application.
- At minimum, do you have a prototype to market or have you run a pilot? We do not select ventures at an idea stage. You must have a prototype or have completed a pilot program at minimum to be accepted. As noted above, we prefer to work with companies ready to scale internationally and who have already gained significant traction in at least one market.
- Is your venture a for-profit company? We are capitalists at heart in that we believe in the power of markets to solve needs at scale. Consequently we do not work with NGO’s or non-profit organizations.
- Has your venture generated at least $1 in revenue from selling a core product or service? We hold all companies who apply to this standard unless there is a compelling reason they have not yet sold their product or service (for example, many bio-tech companies need to run years of trials before they can sell a product).
- Do you have a relentless entrepreneurial spirit & are you hungry to take your venture to global scale? You get where we are going with this.
- Are you 18 years of age or older? You could be 80 years old, but due to a number of legal issues, we can’t accept applications under the age of 18.
- Are you a Founder or Co-Founder of your organization? Although we will be accepting 2 to 3 individuals from each company selected, we insist that the founder or co-founder joins us on the voyage.
- Are you able to make key, high-level, direction-shifting decisions? (such as investment and major partnerships) on behalf of your organization? Typically, this is the role of a CEO or CTO, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.
- Can you read, write, and speak in English fluently? The entire program will be taught in English. English doesn’t need to be your first language, nor do you need to be prolific in English, but you will need to be able to read, write, and speak in English.
If accepted, will you be able to attend the ENTIRE Unreasonable at Sea program from January 6, 2013 –April 25, 2013.
Semester at Sea
The mission of Semester at Sea is to educate individuals with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of our interdependent world. Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is the only study abroad program of its kind in the world. Using a ship as a traveling campus, undergraduates, lifelong learners, faculty, and lecturers live and learn together while circumnavigating the globe each fall and spring semester and exploring a world region each May and summer term. To date, Semester at Sea has launched 100 voyages, educated more than 50,000 students from 1,500 universities, and traveled to more than 60 countries.
The Unreasonable Institute is a mentorship-driven acceleration program for entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental problems. Each year, the Institute unites 25 entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe to live under the same roof for six weeks in Boulder, Colorado. These entrepreneurs receive training from 50 world-class mentors, ranging from the Former Director of Google.org, to the CTO of HP, to an entrepreneur who’s enabled over 19 million farmers to move out of poverty. In the process, they form relationships with 20 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of investors and partners.
After seeing the success of the model of the Unreasonable Institute, it’s founder,Daniel Epstein, is eager to launch Unreasonable at Sea with a new approach. Instead of uniting entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurial Hub of Boulder (as Institute does), this accelerator will take place on a ship as it travels more than 25,000 nautical miles around the globe to 14 international destinations.
Courtesy of an article dated April 18, 2012 appearing in SGEntrepreneurs