Portfolio by Maddyness UK
24 January 2022
24 January 2022
Temps de lecture : 5 minutes
5 min

Meet Unrest, the accelerator for entrepreneurs challenging the status quo

We spoke to Orr Vinegold, founder at accelerator Unrest, about his vision for the programme, why he decided to focus on startups creating a positive world impact, and the exciting businesses in its very first cohort.
Temps de lecture : 5 minutes

What is Unrest?

Our vision is to unleash 540 founders tackling the world’s most pressing problems. These founders are turbo charged in the Accelerator, with their chances of success exponentially raised. We focus exclusively on founders building impact (social or environmental) startups that have the potential to be global in nature and serve millions of consumers. Brand and internal culture are today a competitive advantage and so we’ve teamed up with coaching schools Animas and Meyler Campbell to deliver executive coaching for each founder.

We work with creative agency Uncommon to enable all founders to leave with a fully formed brand by the end of the programme. This ultimately helps them to gain customers at a lower cost, hire top talent and raise more easily. 

We encourage all founders to apply directly on Unrest. We particularly love hearing from underserved founding teams with 91% of our current cohort led by diverse founders versus 8% across the industry. Applications are open now.  

What was the catalyst for launching Unrest?

It is clear that business as usual no longer works for society nor the planet. A whopping 80% of citizens around the world want the world to be more equitable and sustainable as we recover from COVID-19. Founders want to build impact companies and the next generation of talent wants to work within impact.

However, the VC and Accelerator space has been too slow to react. The UK is sleep walking into losing its status as Europe’s premier place to start companies. Early stage investments going into impact companies in the UK are at 5% whilst Sweden is at 60%+ and France and Germany invest six to eight more than us. 

Our mission is to readdress this and kick start an ecosystem shift. My cofounder Pan (formerly of Entrepreneur First) and I have spent the past eight years working with early stage founders and have seen what it takes to scale ideas. We’ve seen what makes up the key building blocks, the dangers ahead and so on. We built Unrest in a way that gives founders all the tools to build the foundations that a £100M+ startup needs. 

What does your 16 week programme entail? Who is in your first cohort? 

We offer the equivalent of a full time MBA in programming across only four months. Additionally, every startup has weekly office hours with our team to dive deeply in the challenges of the day. We focus on the personalised approach at all times. Our programme covers impact, legal, accounting, brand, hiring, tech, fundraising, personal values, coaching and more. Our learning principles are two fold:  

  1. We work with award winning partners across each topic 
  2. We believe in workshops rather than talks. That means in each session founders leave with the topic significantly moved forward. This saves hours of time that founders simply don’t have

We connect our founders to our venture partners with warm introductions and best practices on their raises. 

Our first cohort has an exciting breadth of startups including Kalda, filling a critical mental health care gap for the LGBTQIA+ community; Planty, helping make the move to plant-based eating delicious and easy thanks to their Michelin-level vegan meals; and Agnes Health, an AI-powered multilingual midwife platform on a mission to transform maternal and neonatal health.

Meet Unrest, the accelerator programme for entrepreneurs challenging the status quo

Orr Vinegold, founder at Unrest.

How can interested businesses work with you in the future?

Our process is simple and democratic. Apply at Unrest in less than seven minutes and we will be in touch to invite you to interview one of two. We will explore your business, team and impact together. We particularly look for founders to think boldly about their impact, build a team founding team with relevant experience, and see evidence of a coachable mindset. 

What is Unrest's USP?

We are working with partners in all the areas our founders flag is of interest. We pick award winning partners at the top of their game like Seedrs, Uncommon, B-Corp, Meyler Campbell, and Joelsons. These partners are deeply integrated into our programme and all run workshops and offer 1-2-1 time with each founding team. This highly personalised approach is about building longer term impact unicorns out of the UK. 

What’s in store for the future?

We are raising our Genesis fund right now, which will become the UK largest first check fund in the space. This will allow us to double down on our cohort companies and furnish them with capital to move quickly forward. We aim to launch our programme outside of the UK and become the UK’s leading voice for impact investment, ultimately influencing others to invest more and for the government to further support this sector. 

What one piece of advice would you give to other founders or future founders?

We want to become the global expert on the problem you’re trying to solve. In reality, that means a commitment to understanding your consumers with ongoing consumer testing, gathering experts in the space and being clear on how others – like competition or government – are attempting to solve the problem.

Orr Vinegold is founder at Unrest.

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Photo credit:
Unsplash © Nick Fewings
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