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01.06.2012 Press Release


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Boulder, Colorado – May 10, 2012 – After seeing the success of the model of the Unreasonable Institute, it's founder, Daniel Epstein, along with George Kembel, co-founder of Stanford's, have teamed up with Semester at Sea to create Unreasonable at Sea: a 100-day experiment in transnational entrepreneurship that will set sail in January 2013. Enrollment opens today for 10 coveted positions for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Instead of uniting entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurial Hub of Boulder (as the Unreasonable Institute does), this inaugural program will be hosted on Semester at Sea's shipboard campus as it sails more than 25,000 nautical miles around the globe to 14 international destinations. In each of the 14 countries, including Spain, South Africa, China, India, and Japan, the entrepreneurs who participate in the program will explore the local economies and experiment in taking their technology to market. According to Epstein, the founder of the program, “we will also be hosting national events at each port to ensure the entrepreneurs take stage in front of, and build connections with, top government officials, foundations, venture capitalists, and local entrepreneurs. “

“We aren't looking for your typical Silicon Valley start-ups,” says Epstein. “The companies we work with will be leveraging technologies to address massive social and environmental challenges, such as inadequate access to healthcare, poverty, failing education systems, climate change, or the need to democratize information. We only want to work with tech entrepreneurs who are convinced their technology will change the world and we want to do this in parallel with the international learning environment of Semester at Sea.”

George Kembel, co-founder of Stanford's Institute of Design or, is Epstein's “co-conspirator” in the project. Kembel revels in the belief that “the teams we work with will need to master the agility of a design thinker. They will be taking their technologies into China one day to gain real-time insights into customer need; then, just four days later they will have adapted their products for customer feedback in the new contexts of Hong Kong and Vietnam. This experiment in transnational entrepreneurship and the chance to amplify the global impact of design thinking will be a transformative experience for everyone involved.”

Like the Unreasonable Institute, Unreasonable at Sea will be mentor driven. The program will be welcoming 25 mentors who are serial entrepreneurs and global thought leaders ranging from a Time Magazine Hero, to the CEO of Get Satisfaction, the former CTO at HP, the VP of New Products at Google, and the co-founder and Executive Producer of ER and Law & Order. According to Epstein, “these mentors will live with and sail with the entrepreneurs throughout their voyage around the world and they will serve as the pragmatic experts highlighting what it takes to scale a technology into new and emerging markets.”

Shipboard Education and Semester at Sea President Les McCabe describes the Unreasonable at Sea program as “a remarkable learning opportunity” for the more than 600 undergraduate students enrolled on the Spring 2013 voyage. “Our students will discuss the global issues and challenges of our time with some of the world's most gifted and innovative experts. The mentorship, learning, and inspiration that will result from this experience speaks to the incredible potential and mission of international education in the 21st century.”

To apply: Entrepreneurs may apply by visiting Application deadline is May 20, 2012. The program departs San Diego, California, USA on January 9, 2013 and will culminate in Barcelona, Spain on April 25, 2013.

About The Unreasonable Institute
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, the Unreasonable Institute selects 25 entrepreneurs from around the world for a rigorous six-week mentorship program with some of the world's most prominent innovators, entrepreneurs and investors. It is a mentorship-driven acceleration program for entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental problems. These entrepreneurs receive training from 50 world-class mentors, form relationships with 20 investment funds, receive legal advice & design consulting, and pitch to hundreds of investors and partners.

About Semester at Sea
Established in 1963, Semester at Sea is a global comparative study abroad program administered by the nonprofit Institute for Shipboard Education in Charlottesville, Virginia. Using a ship as its traveling campus, students, faculty, and lecturers live and learn together while exploring the globe each fall and spring semester and exploring a world region each May and summer term. Participants earn transferable credit from the University of Virginia (U.Va.), the program's academic sponsor. More than 2,000 undergraduates, representing about 300 institutions worldwide, study abroad with Semester at Sea each year.

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