At Co‑op Congress on 23 June, seven fledgling platform co‑ops took to the stage to pitch for seed funding as part of an exciting live crowdfunder.
The teams spoke passionately about the two development funds that would be established, and how they would use the money to further develop their platform co‑ops. Their enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit clearly fired up the audience with one delegate pledging support as they felt the team’s passion should be rewarded.
A flurry of generous support was pledged from around the room with substantial cash investments, in kind support including consultancy advice, office space and advertising worth thousands of pounds, and a number of personal donations from delegates’ own pockets showing the depth of feeling for the proposed new co‑op ventures.
A live ‘totaliser’ crept up and up and 20 minutes later the room celebrated a combined total of over £15,000 for the platform co‑op development funds.
Want to help?
If you missed the crowdfunder but want to support the platform co‑ops, you can pledge your support until 31 July, 2018. As well as cash investments, the UnFound teams welcome in kind support including meeting room space, consultancy advice, pro bono professional services and equipment. Read about the two funds below or read more about the teams.
Contact [email protected] or call James de le Vingne on 0161 214 1774
About the funds
You can support one or both of the funds, summarised below:
Digital platforms are expensive businesses to create and scale – you have to invest in building your products before you launch or see any revenue. There is currently no seed funding available for platform co‑ops and this gap would traditionally be filled by investors, looking for a high return. With this avenue closed to co‑ops, the UnFound teams are looking to set up a new fund to bridge this gap and support the future of this sector.
Build the Community
With your support, our UnFound teams will co‑design their platforms with their users and members, bringing on board influential ‘early adopters’ to champion the platform to others, marketing their services effectively through a community development approach – a model which has been used effectively by brands such as Skype.
UnFound is delivered by Co‐operatives UK and Stir to Action, with support from The Hive – a support programme for co‑ops delivered by Co‐operatives UK in partnership with The Co‐operative Bank.