Unknown Group

From CSR to CSI


We have to change from thinking Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to doing CSI. And then I don’t mean we all have to become crime scene investigation experts, although challenging and intriguing, but that we have to do more in terms of Corporate Social Innovation (CSI). 

Inspired by the SDG’s – the Social Development Goals – we should start to set up impactful Social Development Gangs: result oriented ecosystems in which startups, scale ups, corporates, governmental organisations and cities join forces to turn the world’s most challenging problems into opportunities, creating solutions for a better and more sustainable future.

We need lots of plan B’s for planet A, and lots of BrandAid (pro logo power driving business for better).

Like the Livekindly Collective; that was founded on the belief that plant-based alternatives have the power to make the global food system sustainable and that – through their brands and lifestyle media platform, is trying to make plant-based eating the new normal. With brands like The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, Oumph!, No Meat, Livekindly is helping to drive major growth in the plant-based movement. Each of these brands was created by a passionate and purpose-driven founder, who joined the Livekindly Collective to scale their businesses with like-minded partners.

In these Years of Living Dangerously, we have to Kiss the Ground, unravel the Seaspiracy, Go Beyond, engage in the New Energy Challenge, Unlock, Challenge and Collaborate.

At Unknown Group we are on a mission to team up with the people that have a natural tendency to not just want to become the best of the world but also for the world: founders. We’re there to unlock the unknown by fuelling founders to answer their calling.

Moreover we believe every company should have a calling. A purpose that speaks to the imagination in terms of planet, profit & people and can be put into practise; because visions without actions remain hallucinations.

Established in 2008, Unknown Group has therefore developed a global entrepreneurial network to ignite innovation and impact. Unknown is an early-stage venture capital and business development firm, supporting founders and industry leaders to successfully bring innovations to the market: a “Venture Engine®”. With a fresh approach delivering venture success, lining up the industry and creating a pool of solutions ready to be adopted by the market; in the field of alternative food, hydrogen, media and adtech, wellbeing, and insurtech.

Take for example Unknown Workforce Technologies, driven to create a better world of work by investing together with the industry in technologies that make the future of work safer and healthier. With more than 20 partners, offering access to a powerful network of leading industry players looking for innovative solutions. Bringing technologies to the human body, enhancing the worker with exoskeletons and power gloves and bridging the physical and the digital.

We worked with countless startups and scale ups and partnered with more than 200 corporates, governmental organisations and cities to scale open innovation; such as Unilever, Shell, DSM, Fujitsu, NATO, Rotterdam and Singapore.

Last but not least, Unknown’s global startup competition, “Get in the Ring”, provides access to startups and talented founders in more than 220 cities, offering a global platform for thousands of founders every year to test, validate and scale their solutions every year.

Watch the Global 2021 Final here.



Today, Unknown Group (the company behind the global startup competition Get in the Ring) and VenturesOne Group joint forces to GO BEYOND KNOWN and become the Venture Engine UNKNOWN that’s on a mission to unlock the unknown by fueling founders to answer their calling and teaming up with industry leaders to successfully develop their business and market innovations. Read all about it here and here.

NATO Innovation Challenge


On the 17th of June, The NATO Innovation Challenge Pitch Day took place, fully digital, powered by Get in the Ring, the world’s premier startup competition active in over 200 cities, part of Unknown Group.

During this event, with a main stage set up in Hilversum, The Netherlands, jury panels were located in Rotterdam and Norfolk (US). Attendees also had the chance to engage directly with the startup participants via organized digital round-table sessions.

Check out the case-video for an impression of the live event and the technique used behind the scenes, here.