From a young age, Teju wondered what we could to tackle problems like global poverty. Frustrated that this BA in International Affairs wasn’t preparing him to do so, he obtained a University grant to conduct research about the effectiveness of non-profits in India. He learned that traditional charity-based models are not effectively combating poverty. He became inspired by Paul Polak, whose entrepreneurial work has lifted over 19 million farmers out of poverty, and began working with him as his assistant at D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, eventually leaving to co-found the Unreasonable Institute.
The Unreasonable Institute is a mentorship program for entrepreneurs tackling global challenges. Every year, Unreasonable handpicks 25 entrepreneurs from around the world to unite in Boulder under 1 roof for 6 weeks. There, they receive guidance from 50 mentors, like Tom Chi, the head of user experience at Google; Paul Polak, who’s lifted 19 million farmers out of poverty; and Hunter Lovins, a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet. They build relationships with over 25 investment funds, scores of other funders, and a network supports them as they work to scale to 1 million beneficiaries.