Barclays and Unreasonable Group Launch Unreasonable Impact in US, Harnessing Capitalism to Solve Major Global Problems

  • Unreasonable Impact supports entrepreneurs who are collectively generating thousands of jobs on the frontier of the green economy

NEW YORK--()--This November, 13 ventures poised to generate thousands of future jobs in the emerging green economy will learn how to scale their companies at the inaugural Unreasonable Impact US program. Unreasonable Impact is a global partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable Group focused on scaling ventures that have the potential to employ thousands of people in industries that solve major environmental and societal problems.

Ranging from Thread, a textile company that transforms trash into fabric, to re:3d, a venture pioneering affordable 3D printing using waste materials, the selected companies have committed to creating 500 jobs or more in the green economy within the next five years.

During the two-week intensive program, the entrepreneurs will receive mentorship and advice from business experts and serial entrepreneurs, such as Hunter Lovins, president of Natural Capital Solutions and Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, Tom Chi, co-founder of Google Glass and Google’s self-driving car, and Steven Berkenfeld, managing director at Barclays, among many others.

The program will take place 70 miles outside of New York City at Cedar Lakes Estate and include two exhibition events in New York City, where entrepreneurs will showcase their innovations. Keynote speakers at these events include George Kembel, founder of the Stanford, Tim Luke, Vice-president of Technology, Media and Telecomms at Barclays, and Joe McGrath, CEO of Barclays Americas.

“Scale-ups are fundamental in driving economic growth,” explains Joe McGrath, CEO of Barclays Americas. “It’s an honor to partner with Unreasonable to create an accelerator program in the US to help alleviate unemployment and grow the green economy. By supporting ventures that have scalable solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges with our resources and mentorship, we will not only help to address significant societal and environmental issues, but we will also be facilitating in creating the jobs of tomorrow.”

Daniel Epstein, founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group explains, “Within the next four years, it is estimated that we will need 212 million new jobs to accommodate current unemployment and projected job loss due to new industries. By partnering with Barclays to support entrepreneurs who have developed scalable solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, we will not only scale up technologies that address significant societal and environmental issues, but we will in turn be accelerating the creation of millions of new jobs.”

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The participating US companies include:

Off Grid Electric: Off Grid Electric provides distributed solar power for the off-grid world, resulting in dependable energy services to over 50,000 people per month.

Semtive: Semtive offers distributed energy generation systems through renewable solutions such as low-cost durable wind turbines and solar energy streetlights.

Bitty Foods: Bitty Foods produces nutritious snacks made from the most water-efficient, sustainable protein on the planet: crickets.

BreezoMeter: BreezoMeter uses advanced algorithms and big data infrastructure to democratize air quality data for the masses.

Ciris Energy: Ciris Energy responsibly converts low-cost carbon-based resources into natural chemicals.

Altaeros Energies: Altaeros Energies delivers infrastructure including power generation, telecommunications, and technology enabled agricultural services to rural and isolated communities with tethered airborne platforms.

General Fusion: General Fusion develops fusion technology that could provide unlimited, economically viable, carbon-free clean energy to the entire world.

LanzaTech: LanzaTech gives off-grid communities access to clean, cost-competitive, and reliable energy through economical carbon capture and reuse. re:3D pioneers affordable 3D printing using waste materials with Gigabot, which rivals other industrial printers at one-tenth the cost.

Accio Energy: Accio Energy is the world’s first commercially viable electrohydrodynamic (EHD) wind energy system, using turbine-free technology to generate high-voltage direct current electricity.

Thread: Thread transforms trash from the poorest communities into the most responsible fabric on the planet.

d.light: d.light delivers affordable solar-powered solutions for the two billion people without access to energy.

View: View is an adaptable, intelligent window that uses technology to reduce electricity consumption by an average of 20 percent.

Highlighted Mentors and Specialists

Hunter Lovins - Hunter is President of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), and she has received the Right Livelihood Award, Lindbergh Award and Leadership in Business, and she was named TIME Magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and “Green Business Icon” by Newsweek. Author of 13 books and hundreds of papers, she has served on the boards of governments, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies.

Jigar Shah - Jigar is a serial entrepreneur and author of "Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy." Shah helped to unlock the multi-billion dollar worldwide solar industry with a business model innovation (Power Purchase Agreement). This model created SunEdison, the largest solar services company worldwide. Today, he's the president and co-founder of Generate Capital.

Will Bowmer - Will is a Managing Director at Barclays Capital and leads the firm's investment banking team responsible for managing relationships with the venture capital community. Prior to his current role, Will spent 11 years in Menlo Park as head of the firm's Technology Equity Capital Markets Group. In that capacity, he led over 200 equity offerings, raising approximately $100 billion.

Jeff Hoffman - Jeff is a serial entrepreneur and founder of,, CTI, and others. Recently, Jeff was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Entrepreneur’s Hall of Fame by the CEO Council. Currently, Jeff is a co-founder and partner at ColorJar, the Idea Accelerator that helps entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses.

Steven Berkenfeld - Steven is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Barclays. His current roles include chairing the Equities Commitment Committee and the Fairness Opinion Committee, co-heading the Firm’s Cleantech Initiative, leading the banking effort for Emerging Industrial Technology companies, and serving as a senior advisor to the Industrial Group and the M&A Group. He also is chair of the Investment Bank’s Reputational Risk Committee.

Pascal Finette - Pascal has spent the last two decades in the IT and Internet industries. Today, he is the Managing Director of Startup Lab @ Singularity University, where he grows startups tackling the world’s most intractable problems leveraging exponential technologies. He also founded the non-profit organizations Mentor for GoodPOWERUPThe Coaching Fellowship, publishes The Heretic newsletter, and leads the charge of the GyShiDo movement.

Tom Chi - Tom is one of the founders of Google Glass, Google X and Google’s self-driving car. He has worked in a wide range of disciplines from astrophysical research to F500 consulting to developing new hardware and software (web & client) products and services.

Additional Program Details

The daily structure of a two-week Unreasonable Impact program is designed to help each of the participating entrepreneurs achieve breakthrough realizations faster. This is achieved by uniting attending CEOs with a targeted group of serial entrepreneurs, funders, and global experts in a close community bound by a remote sense of place, and dedicating to support entrepreneurs in overcoming any obstacles to scale. Given the selected ventures are at a high-growth rather than early-stage in their companies’ development, their needs are often precise and specific to their team and business model. Unreasonable identifies their specific needs beforehand and connects them with world-class mentors, leaders, funders, and specialists who have been specifically brought into the program based on the aspirations of the participating entrepreneurs.

Each day is composed of one-on-ones, issue-based deep-dives, feedback sessions, occasional workshops on design thinking and rapid prototyping, intimate fireside chats with mentors, and family dinners. Accordingly, the schedule adjusts for the needs of the entrepreneurs in real-time using rapid feedback loops. Through this fluid, custom programming, Unreasonable creates the conditions for attending CEOs to solve their key challenges in real time among a community of world-renowned leaders.

Workshops of note will be held by Tom Chi (November 7 on rapid prototyping), George Kembel (November 18 on design thinking).

The Braintrust Event (November 15, 3:00-6:00 p.m. with cocktail reception 6:00-7:00 p.m.) is a showcase event in which the 13 featured US companies will present their ventures to the Barclays network at Rise New York. The event goal is to use the Barclay’s brain trust to solve each entrepreneur's key challenges. The event will feature breakout sessions with the companies, keynote speakers, and networking.

The Exclusive Forum (November 16, 3:00-6:00 p.m. with cocktail reception 6:00-7:00 p.m.) is a showcase event in which the 13 featured US companies will present their ventures to a room full of invited guests at Rise New York. Each guest will have the opportunity to experience the companies as if they were a member of the presenting companies’ board and were exploring new opportunities for scale and growth. The event will feature breakout sessions with the companies, keynote speakers, and networking.

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in its two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

Barclays recognizes the role finance and banking can play as a key driver of social and economic progress, growth and development. Barclays’ Citizenship plan, the Shared Growth Ambition, ensures this focus is at the heart of its business activities, ultimately making decisions and doing business that provide its clients, customers, shareholders and the communities it serves with access to a prosperous future. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website

About Unreasonable Group

Unreasonable’s mission is to be the most effective platform in the world for entrepreneurs solving key global challenges (i.e. ensuring renewable energy reaches the 1.3 billion people currently without electricity, reimagining the future of healthcare, or addressing the global unemployment crisis). Through running worldwide accelerator programs, a globally oriented private equity fund, an extensive network of over 300 serial business leaders as mentors, and advanced storytelling and media activities, Unreasonable is designed to exclusively support entrepreneurs positioned to solve society's toughest problems. For further information about Unreasonable, please visit our site,

About Unreasonable Impact, created with Barclays

Unreasonable Impact is an innovative new partnership between Barclays and Unreasonable Group. The global partnership helps scale high-growth ventures addressing key global challenges with the ultimate aim of creating the jobs of tomorrow. Over the next three years, Unreasonable Impact will work with over 100 of the world’s leading entrepreneurs by supporting them with the resources, mentorship, and the global network needed to rapidly scale their companies and in turn create new employment opportunities across targeted geographies.

Each accelerator program is an intensive two-week gathering designed to support growth-stage ventures with bespoke advice and guidance from a global community of mentors and industry specialists, including experts from Barclays. The first program took place in the UK, with successive programs running in the US and Asia annually over the next three years.


Brittany Berliner, 212-526-4894


Brittany Berliner, 212-526-4894