Uncommon's newly-launched Unrest is a modern and progressive start-up accelerator providing 16 weeks and over 161 hours (equivalent to an MBA) of structured support delivered by world class experts to founders and teams at purposeful, consumer-facing start-ups. Building brands that need to exist not just because of what they do but how they look, how they behave, and how they make you feel. Brands that will define their categories from day one.
The programme is backed by key bodies SEEDRS, the highest-grossing European equity crowdfunding platform and B-Corp, the leading certifying body for sustainable business practices. As well as Uncommon Creative Studio bringing brand and purpose to the programme from the get-go.
A recent study, conducted by Kantar Consulting, discovered that purpose driven brands grow at twice the speed — Unrest backs a progressive programme that will create up to 30 new purpose driven brands a year. Every start-up will be aligned to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Unrest’s key focus for each cohort
Unrest presents a different premise — a modern accelerator with a focus on disciplines such as brand, founder wellbeing and impact, not usually seen in these programmes. This emphasis will be baked in from the start with key partner Uncommon Creative Studio on board to help grow brands in the cohort that people actually wish existed.
Orr Vinegold (Unrest) & Nils Leonard (Uncommon)
Orr Vinegold, Founder at Unrest said: “The momentum of every industrial revolution has been underpinned by a distinct cultural shift. As the 4th revolution embraces AI intelligence, robotics, and other technologies — we predict in the next 30 years every consumer company will be impact driven.
"Unrest is an accelerator programme that will aim to launch the most successful of these, focusing on exponentially growing the right businesses that deserve to make a difference. We’re dedicated to building the next generation of mission-driven companies, in the belief that we can turn business into a force for good. We can’t wait to help accelerate more start-ups that will change the world.”
Unrest launch first official cohort of 11 ambitious & purpose-driven start-ups
Unrest will be based in Uncommon’s offices in the heart of Clerkenwell — offering a base for every cohort. This month, Unrest conducted their first official application process — the cohort consists of 11 unique and ambitious start-ups ready to make a dent through the programme. The businesses are across numerous industries in health & wellness, food & beverages and retail & marketplaces.
Here’s more about a some of the businesses joining the programme:
Agnes Health is the world’s first AI-powered multilingual midwife — on a mission to transform maternal and neonatal health indices globally. Millions of mothers and newborns are dying needlessly due to lack of practical pregnancy guidance and continuous health support. Abisola Oladapo, Michelle Ijomah, Noel Abotti and Inioluwa Atoyebi founded Agnes Health to help change the way women of low-income communities in Nigeria access and experience healthcare using telemedicine and end preventable maternal and infant deaths.
Another incredible start-up joining the cohort is Kalda — a mental health platform developed for and by the LGBTQIA+ community. The apps mission is to create a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community where anyone can access affordable daily peer support and weekly group therapy.
Planty also joins the accelerator — offering 100% plant-based meals, cooked by chefs and delivered straight to our front door. The subscription service aims to encourage more people in the UK to eat a plant-based diet — as reducing meat and dairy intake is one of the most powerful things we can do to reduce our impact on the planet, in terms of energy required, land usage, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Cornrow is an affordable, vibrant, home and lifestyle edit that puts the modern Black aesthetic on the front row. The Cornrow was founded by two sisters, Kemi and Lara, as a love letter to their dual African and Caribbean heritage. The sisters have a passion for both sourcing and creating homeware and lifestyle products that represent themselves as modern Black British women.
The Liverpool-based start-up, Peepl is on a mission to radically change how money is made, through a new financial platform built for the real value creators in local economies. The recently-launched service takes a community-driven, ethical approach to food delivery, connecting a local, low-carbon delivery solution with local restaurants and customers. The Mayor of Liverpool announced £700k investment in the platform earlier this month to support and encourage socially conscious and independent businesses to band together and thrive using this next-generation mobile payments and rewards app.
Diversity in the cohort
Unrest is committed to investing in diverse founders, supporting founders that reflect the society we live in. In this first cohort launching this month, 91% of the start-ups are made up mixed or female only teams. Currently, VCs share of capital going to female only or mixed teams is at a staggering low 5%.
Unrest has already proven their premise with success of their pilot programme
Unrest originally trialled the accelerator with a pilot programme, of which the alumni has already raised over 2 million pounds in pre-seed investment. Not only that, 80% of the first cohort raised and exceeded the valuation needed for their model to be profitable. This includes Béa Fertility, the first at-home fertility treatment, making ICI fertility treatment accessible and affordable. The business was cited as one of WIRED’s 2021 100 Hottest Start-ups in Europe and since leaving the programme, Béa has gone on to raise $1m in funding.
GRIDDLE paving the way for modern bakery with the UK’s first plant-based waffles sourced responsible — who recently announced stockists at Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods, and Selfridges. And Outtrip, who are harnessing the rental market to help create more sustainable ways we can travel and experience new places. First launching in Argentina where the brand went viral — selling out — Unrest playing a key role to launch the service to the UK market. Both brands are currently raising again to support their next stage of growth.
More about the key partners supporting the accelerator
Key partners include award-winning creative studio Uncommon, commercially-focused law firm Joelson, recruitment experts JBM, accounting and finance recruiters Harmonic Finance, Uncommon Experience Studio, LloydsDirect CFO Connie Cha and founder of BALANCE, the award-winning UK wellness media brand, Sophie Scott.
Leading creative studio, Uncommon — founded by Lucy Jameson, Natalie Graeme, and Nils Leonard — the collective behind some of the most disruptive and effective brand marketing seen amongst the industry today for brands such as ITV, The Guardian, B&Q, Ecover, wagamama, Formula E, Method & H&M. Uncommon’s brand, design and CX skills will help build these start-ups with strong purpose from day one.
Not only have they created award-winning work for some of the world’s most exciting brands — they have also explored a new business model. Rather than just working for clients, if they spot or come up with an idea that deserves to exist, then they’ll back it themselves. The studio has launched several of their own co-creations and brands including Halo Coffee: the world’s first fully compostable coffee capsule, Scents of Normality: an exclusive range of candles sold to raise money for the hospitality industry in turmoil from the pandemic, a second collection Scents of Belonging raising money for Choose Love and the One/Second/Suit initiative created in partnership with H&M: a free suit rental for 24 hours, so anyone can make a powerful first impression.
Nils Leonard, co-founder at Uncommon added: “Later means never. Brands and business have the power to accelerate the changes our world needs and the brands looking to leave the world better than they found it deserve to go further, faster. Uncommon are proud to play our part in Unrest, and in this powerful new wave of business designed from the ground up to make a difference.”
The studio’s work has been awarded by leading industry bodies such as Cannes Lions, D&AD, Creative Circle, APG and Marketing Week Masters. As well as being named the coveted ‘Creative Agency of the Year’ by Campaign Magazine, AdAge’s ‘International Agency of the Year’ and achieving Contagious’ first ever agency of the year — which recognised the creativity shown particularly during the uncertainties of 2020.
Joelsons managing partner Phil Hails-Smith joins the Unrest board to deliver a range of workshops from getting investors ready through to hiring and IP protection. Joelsons have a rich history of working with scale ups from helping the Innocent founders from day 1 through to their exit and now working with the next generation of founders like Allplants, Elvie, Pasta Evangelists and Eat Natural.
Seedrs have come on board to support founders understand how and when to best raise from the crowd. Europe’s largest crowdfunding platform that has quickly become a founder favourite for raising significant capital, and supports the mission of moving closer to stakeholder capitalism. Through the partnership, Unrest companies will benefit from lower fees and receive additional brand support.
B-Corp, B-Leaders, Impact Management Project will support founders on understanding where they can make the greatest impact. Together they will help ensure this impact is measured and can create the global positive change the planet and society needs.
More about Unrest’s founders
Unrest is founded by Orr Vinegold, who has over 10 years of leadership experience across large FMCG brands to scale-ups, achieving £45M in revenue growth and 32 product launches. Vinegold is also a member and advisor on numerous boards from Concept through to Series B, with over £35M raised. In 2017, as a response to Brexit and other burning social issues in the UK, Vinegold ran for parliament securing 30% vote share for his Party and a +9.6% swing bringing the seat into contention for the next election. Unrest builds on both his business experience, desire for social change and the deep belief that solutions are in the hands of talented people.
Unrest is co-founded by Pan Demetriou, who has over 10 years experience in operational and strategic roles, both within consulting and start-ups. Prior to Unrest, he led Entrepreneur First’s Global Finance and Fund Operations function for 4 years, raising two funds, worth over £120m, and growing EF’s presence to 6 sites globally. He has previously held operations roles at Tech Nation, which pioneered startup and scaleup support in the UK, and Moonfruit, the UK’s first website building platform. Pan is bringing to Unrest his experience in startup support and in the operations of rapidly scaling businesses, as well as his passion for supporting driven founders to achieve their fullest potential.