Nine teams competed in a live pitch event on 6 July with RIMA, Kocoon and the Learning Co-op winning a share of the £10,000 prize money from The Co-operative Bank.
The exciting live online event marked the end of the 10-week UnFound Accelerator programme. Unfound gives start-ups the skills, training and support they need to develop their platform co-op business ideas, as well as their products, planning, strategy, branding and marketing.
Attended by members of the public and supporters of the nine teams, the event involved each team pitching their business to the audience and a panel made up of Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK and Catherine Douglas, Managing Director of SME at The Co-operative Bank.
The nine inspired five minute pitches were followed by an audience vote to decide how the £10,000 prize fund provided by The Co-operative Bank was distributed. The results are in…
The teams with the highest number of votes were:
RIMA, winning £5,000 – a platform that aims to empower emerging creative practitioners from the global South by connecting them with international opportunities for funding and mobility.
Kocoon , winning £3,000 – which works to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and resources to better understand, manage and improve their wellbeing through improved access to academics, charities and services.
The Learning Co-op, winning £2,000 – which provides highly accessible, anti-capitalist education across a wide range of subjects aimed at students interested in using education as a precursor to sweeping systemic change.
All teams will receive a package of up to nine hrs of 1-2-1 tailored support from our experts to set up their co-op and an after package that includes access to The Co‑operative Bank’s free business banking for co-operatives and access to a dedicated Relationship Manager.
Carlos Zerpa from RIMA, said:
"We are really delighted to have won this year’s UnFound Accelerator pitch event and even more excited about the amazing knowledge we garnered from participating in the bootcamp. This grant and the knowledge acquired during the Accelerator will be instrumental in the realisation of RIMA as a product that will empower emerging creative practitioners from the global South by connecting them with international opportunities for funding and mobility. Thank you to Co‑operatives UK and The Co‑operative Bank for all their support."
Isaac Finn from Kocoon, said:
“We are delighted to have been supported by the Unfound Accelerator and achieving second place in the pitch event. The grant will make a real difference to our growth and we are excited to show you what we will do next!”
Imtithal Audi from the Learning Co-op, said:
“We are very grateful for the opportunity to continue pursuing an anti‑capitalist and inclusive approach to education, with an emphasis on empowering people in the global south. Participating in the accelerator has given us an incredible insight into some very exciting new organisations, and we have learnt and grown a lot by exploring how to create effective workers co‑operatives.”
Rose Marley, CEO of Co‑operatives UK, said.
“I’d like to congratulate all of the teams who have impressed us with their ideas and passion, and being shining examples of how we can use tech co‑operatively, for good – for the good of each business, its users and society at large. These innovative and pioneering social entrepreneurs are forging a fairer, more equitable future. I’m excited to see how these platform co‑ops develop, flourish and contribute to a thriving co‑operative economy.”
Catherine Douglas, Managing Director, SME at The Co‑operative Bank, said:
“I am delighted that The Co‑operative Bank is once again supporting the next generation of platform co‑ops through the UnFound programme. With nine teams taking part, we’re seeing more and more innovators using co‑operatively owned tech to solve problems, provide services and create businesses that support a more co‑operative economy. With health, wellbeing, the environment, arts and culture the predominant themes this year, there’s an exciting mix of ideas and great potential. We wish all the teams the best of luck in the next stage of their journey.”
How to further support the UnFound teams
Circiety – follow them on LinkedIn.
City Pay – follow them on Twitter.
Co-curate! – visit the Athena Foundation website.
RIMA – visit their website.
The Platform DAO – follow them on Twitter.
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