Frequently Asked Questions
When does the next session start?
Applications for our next accelerator cohort will reopen in January 2020.
Who should apply?
Anyone can apply to join Unreal Collective. However, we have limited space and are most likely to select individuals who have a very clear goal or project they are excited to work towards.
We especially look for individuals who are driven and ambitious - we give you the tools and the support to make things happen, but ultimately the work is on you.
We also look for individuals who are open and generous. Open-minded enough to take and provide feedback, and generous with your time, perspective, and expertise. We have a strict "no jerks" policy.
Unreal is not for everyone, but it may be for you.
What projects are a good fit for Unreal?
Unreal is a good fit for a wide range of projects. The best projects simply have clear milestones and goals - when we select members, it’s based upon clarity of your project and goals.
We consider your background and goals in our group matching process to set you up for success. In some cases, projects may not be selected simply because we aren’t sure how it will fit in with the other projects of your group. This isn’t a judgment on merit or validity of a project, we just want to make sure everyone is set up for success.
Past projects include:
- Software startups
- Creative agencies
- Freelance (design, photography, development)
- Book and script writing
- Etsy and Shopify shops
How do the calls work?
Each video call done through Zoom and is exactly 60 minutes. The first 10 minutes are reserved for round-robin updates on your progress and action items, 40 minutes are dedicated to our hot seat portion of the call, and the final 10 minutes are reserved for self declaring action items for the next week.
Besides our regular call format, we will sometimes employ a different format that is more open and intended to give each member more time to share. Sometimes we have optional calls for meeting other members of the Collective or focusing on a very specific aspect such as sales, photography, etc.
How does the hot seat work?
For 10 of our 12 weeks, we employ the hot seat format. In the hot seat format, a single member of the group is given the full attention of the rest of the group to dive deep on his or her project, share current struggles and victories, and help each other break through roadblocks.
Every member receives two opportunities to be on the hot seat. We share some questions to use as guidance for getting the most out of your hot seat, and members have the opportunity to review any information you’d like prior to your hot seat.
Are calls mandatory?
Yes. We understand that life happens, but we expect you to make each call a priority throughout the 12 weeks.
Why video calls over in person?
While there is undoubtedly a benefit to being in person, we find the benefits of virtual meetings outweigh in-person calls. Being virtual allows for our calls to fit into schedules easily and predictably, as there are no geographic constraints and no travel time. You can drop in on the hour and drop out on the hour.
This also allows members of Unreal Collective to be geographically diverse and bring in the best members for our community. We expect members to be engaged and focused on the calls during our call times, and have not had a problem with that.
What is the cost?
The current investment is $799 for the base package of working with a group. To work personally with your facilitator outside of the calls, the next package starts at $1199.
You can find more information here.
This price will continue to increase as the community grows and resources are added. Take the leap!
What are the requirements and expectations?
We fully expect you to be on time to your weekly video call with your group. Our calls are a hard hour that kicks off and concludes on the hour. To respect your group members, we expect you to take that commitment seriously so that every call is as valuable as possible to everyone involved.
We understand life happens, and in the case that you absolutely cannot make a call, we ask you give as much notice as possible so we can invite members from other groups to join the call and provide input.
Unreal is also about being generous with your time and expertise. With our Slack community, we look for members who will contribute their insight as well as ask for feedback themselves. It’s a give first community.
How many people are in a group?
Each group is 5 individual participants not including the facilitator. So week to week, there will be 6 people on each call.
Sometimes, based upon your goals for the hot seat, we may bring in other members to provide perspective and feedback.
How are groups determined?
Groups are organized based upon the background and goals of the individuals. We set you up with the optimal group of 4 other individuals in each class that will help you succeed and that you can provide support to as well. There is some aspect of time availability in the selection, but that rarely plays much of a role.
What happens after the program is over?
After the program is over, you retain access to the Slack community as well as the resource center. Your group is free to continue to meet any time you want, and your chat line remains open. Your facilitator will no longer be on the calls, but you can keep the momentum going.
Every month, we also hold a community meetup with an open agenda.
You are welcome to apply for another cycle, and will receive priority. In the near future, we will offer other opportunities for involvement, so stay tuned!
What is available outside of the calls?
Outside of our regular calls, we utilize Slack for communication. Every group has a private channel, and public channels allow communication between all members of the Collective.
Some weeks, we may have optional digital or in person meet ups (depending on geographic density). We also have a resource center for members to take advantage of.
What are the timezones available?
Theoretically, given that all of our communication is digital, any timezone can work. Time zones are considered in selection and group formation and so you must be able to meet with your group at the selected time on a weekly basis.
Depending on the total applicant pool, this may make timezones outside of North America difficult, but not impossible. Don’t let your timezone talk you out of applying!
Is this like other accelerators?
You could say that. We help you make rapid progress on your idea, project, or business and we surround you with other people doing the same. We also connect you with mentors and experts whenever we can.
Your success is our only concern. We don't take any ownership in your project or business, so in that way we are not like an accelerator.
During and after the program, our Slack community operates as sort of a virtual coworking space as well. Our community continues to support and communicate with one another.
It sounds a little bit like a mastermind group?
There are definitely similarities and best practices taken from the "mastermind" concept. You will meet with the same group of 5 every week, and you will be helping each other through discussion.
Unreal starts with a roadmap of your 12 weeks, includes a facilitator (me) to keep things running, and has a specific length of 12 weeks.
Can I pay for this as a business expense, or can my company pay for it?
Absolutely. Please request any documentation you may need from Unreal to support this as a Continuing Education program that your company may need.