Co-operatives UK and Stir to Action are proud to reveal the six teams joining the UnFound Accelerator, which launches next week (12 May).
The UnFound Accelerator aims to launch a wave of fairer, ethical and co‑operatively owned tech platforms before the end of the year.
Led by industry experts, the teams will take part in a ten week programme. The Accelerator gives them access to the support they need to develop their platform business to work co‑operatively as well as to develop their product, business planning and strategy, and branding and marketing.
The Accelerator is being delivered by Co‑operatives UK in partnership with Stir To Action – supported by The Co‑operative Bank.
Ludovica Rogers, UnFound Programme Manager, Co‑operatives UK, says:
“We were excited by the diversity of applications in the UnFound Accelerator programme proving that the platform co‑op model can really cater to many different sectors. There were lots of inspiring ideas, which shows the potential impact technology can have if controlled and owned by who needs and uses it most. We look forward to accompanying the UnFound Accelerator participants in their journey of setting up their platform co‑op.”
The six UnFound Accelerator teams
Here’s an initial introduction to the six teams. We’ll be speaking to each team in more depth over the course of the ten week Accelerator. If you have any questions for the teams, please email [email protected]:
- Africanfuturist Arts is a platform to distribute books, films and creative opportunities to benefit its users and members working in the creative industry anywhere in the world especially those with fewer connections to the rich world. Website Team members: Colin Charles, Peter Charles, Ruddy Kwakye, Anton Charles, Nicholas Hauser, Luke Campbell and Aisan Baird.
- Crystalisr is a marketplace platform enabling South London SMEs to tender for public and private contracts with established organisations and institutions in the area, whilst driving sustainability, and economic inclusion, across South London. Website Team members: David Randall, Alfred Widmann, Andrés Muñiz-Piniella, Lisa Doherty, Steve Best and Loïc Autret.
- Wings is a London based rider‑led platform delivering food from independent restaurants to people’s doorstep. Team members: Rich Mason, Kirstie Summers, Will Orton and Claire Blundell-Jones.
- The Dopo app is the overdue upgrade to abortion care which combines self‑care, community care and healthcare to support individuals before, during and after their abortion experience by allowing them to track their symptoms, access peer support (anonymously) and the essential information to support all aspects of their experience (medical, physical and emotional) from providers and practitioners. Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Team members: Zachi Brewster and Valerio Leo.
- Red Brick Language School is a teacher owned online English Language Community offering modular courses, subscription clubs, bespoke courses and 1‑1s in English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Twitter | Instagram Team members: Lucy Stephens and Bernie Kennedy.
- We‑Guild is a financial mutual aid online platform, based on trust and transparency. It uses the power of technology to boost solidarity and it helps you and others absorb financial blows. Website | Facebook | Instagram Team members: Guillermo Justel, David Williams, Marie Faucher and Zahida Palma.
Jonny Gordon-Farleigh, Founder, Stir to Action:
“This new wave of platform co‑ops in the UK is building on our first accelerator in 2018 and national tour in 2019, and it’s really exciting that industry experts, and our first cohort of platform teams, can support another generation of new business ideas, especially as the pandemic is accelerating the digital transformation of our workplaces and society.”
Live pitch event in July
The teams will be working towards a pitch event on Wednesday 21 July, offering teams the chance to win part of a £10,000 prize funded by The Co‑operative Bank. Furthermore, teams will access expert support and funding opportunities as they prepare to launch their emerging platform businesses.
If you are interested in attending the online pitch event, or learning more about platform co‑ops and future opportunities, please sign up for the UnFound newsletter.
Future Accelerator opportunities
UnFound lead, Ludovica Rogers, looks ahead to later in the year:
“We are also preparing to launch the second edition of the Accelerator, taking place in the Autumn – applications open in June. The interest in the first Accelerator proves there is a space for platform co‑operatives in the digital economy and we look forward to giving new, co‑operatively owned tech platforms the kick‑start they need.”
We’ll be posting regular updates about the UnFound Accelerator and individual teams via the UnFound webpages.
Good luck to the six teams!