Mountain landscape

Unleashing the green economy in Asia

04 May 2017

Barclays partnership with Unreasonable Group, ‘Unreasonable Impact’, is launching its global work in Singapore, rapidly scaling up selected entrepreneurs and helping them to create thousands of new jobs while addressing key environmental issues.

The Asia Pacific programme is an intensive two-week accelerator supporting growth-stage ventures across China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore. Successive programmes will continue to be run in the UK and US during the back half of 2017.

The ultimate goal of Unreasonable Impact is to create a global network centered around scaling impact entrepreneurs as job creators worldwide.

The Singapore accelerator

Asia’s 15 programme participants are an exciting, innovative mix. They range from Bakeys Foods, the maker of edible, nutritious and biodegradable cutlery; to Jeplan, a “closed loop for clothes” company, efficiently creating recycled polyester from old clothes; to Vitargent, a pioneer of safety testing technology that uses fish embryos instead of animals to test for toxicity in consumer products.

The participating entrepreneurs will receive mentorship from external business experts and serial entrepreneurs, such as Jeff Hoffman, one of the founders of Priceline.com, UBid and other successful startups; Tom Chi, co-founder of Google Glass and Google’s self-driving car; Keyur Patel, Silicon Valley-based investor and MD of Fuse Capital; and Christine Chan, former NASA Global Change Fellow and founder of Chan Environmental Consulting.

All the participants will be pushed to overcome the key business challenges they face to help realise their ambitions for positive change.

One of the participants from last year’s US Accelerator, Ian Rosenberger, founder and CEO of Thread, said this about his time at Unreasonable Impact: “Over the past four years, I feel like I’ve been walking on a high wire without a net.

"Slowly…I feel like for the first time, a net is being pulled underneath me. That not only makes you want to walk faster across the high wire, it also makes you feel like doing flips on it. When you feel like you have support and genuine people backing you up who have no outside interest other than to see you have an impact and succeed, it empowers you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. From a macro perspective, you can’t ask for anything more as an entrepreneur."

Thread turns trash into fabric, employing thousands in Haiti and ensuring a highly transparent supply chain. They also recently announced a significant apparel partnership with Timberland.

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