When the Boulder Entrepreneurial Community Unites…
It’s just another Saturday in Boulder. Companies are being built. Problems are being solved. 17 entrepreneurs from all over the world using business as a means to tackle the most social and environmental problems united with 100 Boulder community members and the Head of User Experience at Google. And what came out of it? Magic. And a legit business complete with product distribution channels…in 6 hours.
Those who were in Atlas Auditorium on the CU Boulder campus on Saturday got to experience this magic at the “Unreasonable Scrimmage”, an all-day event hosted by the Unreasonable Institute and ReWork (two Boulder-based companies). At the Scrimmage community members got to take an active role in rapidly prototyping marketing and distribution plans, user interfaces, new websites and sales pitches, and anything else the Unreasonable entrepreneurs needed. It was a “shake and bake” of ideas, expertise and passion that led to delicious and crispy results.
The 100 community members self organized into teams of 5 or 6 around the entrepreneur, committing to applying their skills to help tackle the obstacle the entrepreneur presented as holding their business back. It was at this point Tom Chi, head of User Experience at Google came out and revved up the crowd with his presentation on rapid prototyping, complete with real-life Google-made examples. The community practically busted the doors of the auditorium open to divide into classrooms to start the rapid prototyping process.
Iterating, testing, re-iterating and re-testing. This is how the rest of the day was spent until voila!, real, actionable solutions were born.
As Devi Prasad Rao, founder of Arohana Dairy publicly announced, “We got more done in 3 hours than expensive consultants back in India were able to do in a year.” By the end of the 6 hours, Prasad had a scaled model of the ideal pasteurizing/refrigeration machine to be implemented in the 29 villages where he supports and empowers female dairy entrepreneurs. Cameron Goldie-Scot, co-founder of the first cashless microfinance institution Musoni, came out with a complete user-experience to explain to his financially illiterate clients what impact the Musoni loan would have on their day-to-day lives. Lorna Rutto walked out of Atlas with financial projections that she will proudly present to investors for her company EcoPost, which takes plastic from landfills and makes them into aesthetically pleasing and durable fencing posts.
But the biggest impression was left on Sheikh Abu Turay. His team of 8 was able to completely legitimize his company that employs former child soldiers in Liberia to revitalize cocoa plantations in the war-torn country. They created a whole new branding, established a website, networked with a local chocolate producer in Lafayette, and established a distribution channel for the finished product…all in 4 hours! His company name even changed, now known as Liberation Chocolate. “It’s not only about business; it’s about revolution. It’s about changing the life from misery to hope. We started that revolution in Boulder with the birth of Liberation Chocolate.” On his team was community member and supporter of Unreasonable Michael Tracy who declared, “This time next week we will be serving Liberation Chocolate for dessert at events here in Boulder!”
And these relationships haven’t ended with Saturday. Mouhsine Serrar of Prakti Design has already continued working with two of the members of his Scrimmage team on the marketing and sales strategy for his affordable clean-burning stove. “Each of them wrote me a 2 page email with their views of what we learned and what to do next. They went home, thought about it and essentially drafted me a consulting report. They added very important value to our strategy that we will bring to our efforts in Haiti and all the places where we have stoves.
The Unreasonable Scrimmage is just one more example of the incredible community that exists here in Boulder and across Colorado, a community that supports the game-changing efforts entrepreneurs who come to Colorado year after year!
And the Scrimmage is not the last chance to hang out with the Entrepreneur class of 2012! The culminating event of the institute, the Unreasonable Climax, will take place July 20th and 21st. Join us at www.unreasonableclimax.org and make Colorado’s startup community even more Unreasonable!