Blog Post

SimpliPhi CEO Selected to Join Elite Group of Social Entrepreneurs for Immersive U.S. State Department Accelerator Program

Recently, our CEO Catherine Von Burg was one of 16 entrepreneurs invited to participate in an exclusive program hosted by the U.S Department of State and the Unreasonable Group. This exclusive group of global business leaders were carefully selected as being the best positioned to solve each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. SimpliPhi was selected for their work on goal number 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

“We are hedging our bets on the true ‘black swans’ of our time,” says the group. “Entrepreneurs who have significant market traction, that are working in our fastest emerging markets, and are positioned to measurably bend history in the right direction. Through our research and experience, we have come to believe that entrepreneurs often times are on the bleeding edge of new solutions to societal and environmental problems we formerly thought were unsolvable. The challenge is that while there are brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs (and many of their models are already working at scale in market), to achieve global scale they need investment, mentorship, exposure, and strategic partnerships. This is where Unreasonable Goals comes into focus. We are creating productive, genuine, and strategic partnerships between the world’s largest institutions and the world’s most impactful entrepreneurs.”

Additional 2017 collaborators and mentors in the accelerator included USAID, The World Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe’s, Thomson Reuters, Bluescape, Amazon Web Services, and PeaceTech Lab.

“Conversations and workshops ranged from learning how Tom Chi developed a discipline around rapid prototyping at Google to develop ideas for swifter, and more exacting decision making based on empirical data, not 'conjecture', to forward-thinking techniques on hiring, personnel management within the context of corporate culture, and taking advantage of market forces tied to sustainability goals,” said Catherine. “The wealth of knowledge and experience Unreasonable assembled for us was truly remarkable, and it doesn’t stop at the end of the two week immersion program. They have opened up a global network we can tap into for financing, partnerships, and other access points we might need to reach our goals of scaling SimpliPhi to bring energy storage solutions to global people and communities who need it most.”

The inaugural program concluded with a public event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. At the event each entrepreneur participating in the program pitched their company in a 4 minute presentation highlighting how they planned to impact the world through 2030.

Unreasonable’s mission is to drive resources to and breakdown barriers for entrepreneurs solving key global challenges, such as ensuring access to renewable and sustainable energy to reach the 1.2 billion people currently without electricity, to 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 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.

Unreasonable and the U.S. Department of State plan to run the accelerator program annually until 2030.