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Lessons from the Unreasonable Institute: Emily Kerr on team-building

   /   Sep 8th, 2010News

We asked this year’s Unreasonable Institute Fellows, who are in the early stages of developing innovative social ventures, to reflect on some key takeaways from the eight-week Summer Institute they attended. Here, Emily Kerr, founder and CEO of Liga Masiva, tells Dowser about her experience.

By Emily Kerr

The training I received at the Unreasonable Institute was not just venture-changing, it was life-changing. The fellows were the best of the best. The mentors were powerhouses of inspiration and knowledge. And the resources presented to us were unparalleled. Suffice it to say, the Unreasonable Institute rocked my world. In the spirit of spreading this Unreasonable experience, I want to share my three most Unreasonable Insights for other social entrepreneurs:

Don’t make an unintentional non-profit. Not all of the ventures at Unreasonable were for-profit, but mine is. The mentors helped us get our financial practices up to par so that we understood the profit drivers and cash budgets for our ventures… and didn’t end up with non-profit-making for-profit companies. The key insight? Be as relentless about managing your “cash budget” (actual cash in and out per month) as you are about managing social impact.

Teams beat individuals. We all know the team (not just the founder) of any startup is vitally important. The key insight around teams that I learned at Unreasonable, however, is that the “team” of a startup is more than the people working day-to-day on the venture. The real team is the group of advocates, investors, fans, mentors, and colleagues that will champion the venture and launch it to the stars. Your job, as the founder, is to do whatever it takes to cultivate those relationships and earn your team’s confidence.

Be Unreasonable. The founders of the Unreasonable Institute are incredible models for any entrepreneur: unreasonably honest, unreasonably kind, unreasonably effective and unreasonably visionary. Take their lead.

Photo: Emily Kerr

One Response

  1. What’s up, just wanted to tell you, I loved this article. It was practical. Keep on posting!