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unboxd – Solving big problems together with a social impact accelerator

By Joanne Jacobs

Social impact and wellbeing are hot topics at present. We are seeing increasing focus from corporates, not-for-profits, social enterprises and governments seeking to generate, deliver and measure social impact at scale, with downstream transformation of “wellbeing” the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Despite this interest, there are very few structured and determined programs designed to bring social impact and wellbeing together. That is, until New Horizons partnered with Disruptors to create unboxd.

For years we have focused not on ideas but on “problems worth solving”. We have found that by helping clients zero in on strategically aligned challenges that there is great potential to unlock value and opportunity. With this clarity it is possible to build programs, mobilise staff and activate communities.

But what does this look like at scale?

Like most programs, there is a great deal that goes on behind the scenes. There is an enormous amount of research that goes into each and every startup that applies for the program – from industry background and competitive analysis to cohort fit and talent assessment. The aim is to ensure that we understand the landscape and the business and social impact opportunity that is available.

From here, we design a program that takes the teams from “zero to hero” in 10 weeks. It is certainly a crash course in holistic business building – from positioning and business modelling to market fit and team structure, finance, pitching and social impact measurement. This is delivered through a combination of curriculum resources, presentations and interviews, mentoring, “active reading” and product development resources.

The aim is to literally accelerate the development of a business from one stage of maturity to the next. It means that the founders and their teams will learn an enormous amount in a short time. It also means they will be expected to apply that learning quickly – the lab is immersive learning at its best.

It’s not unusual to see teams taking great strides, pivoting, going backwards to gather their resources and then moving forward faster. It’s the frustration of building a business – just magnified and concentrated into a short period of time. Luckily, there is a depth of expertise available on hand to support the teams – from health and wellbeing experts, business leaders covering risk, compliance, product and portfolio through to mentors with lived experience, data scientists who can decode masses of data and technologists and process experts who can untangle the enterprise web.

The unboxd wellbeing enterprise lab brings together businesses, startups and organisations to unbox new ideas, ways of working and collaborations to solve the big problems worth solving. It’s an accelerator program that we are immensely proud of and are excited to usher in a new cohort in the coming weeks.

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