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Supported by The Co‑operative Bank
UnFound Accelerator – application guidance

Accelerator FAQs

Below are some of the questions we have received. We will update this page as new questions come in.

About the tech

Do I need to know how to code to apply?

No, it is not a requirement. 

We already have an MVP (Minimal Viable Product), can we still apply?

Yes, do apply or book a call with us beforehand to discuss your specific case.

The technology for my platform co-op idea exists already and I can use it under a licence agreement, but I would still like to have guidance on how to set up the business. Can I still apply for the UnFound Accelerator?

Yes, do apply. However, please keep in mind that part of the Accelerator will be dedicated to developing your product. If you don't think you would benefit from this type of support, you might want to consider applying to The Hive programme instead.

Our platform is a voice application, would this meet the criteria?

Yes, a platform co-op does not have to include a visual interface.

Does the definition of 'online' include internet alternatives such as IoT, LoRaWAN and Solid networks?

It depends on what you are looking to develop and the type of support you are looking from us, so do get in touch if you want more guidance. Generally speaking, setting up a co-op to share or build infrastructure would not qualify for the UnFound Accelerator; but, if alongside that you are planning to design a platform to give access to the infrastructure or to gather data from it, you would still qualify.

Will CoTech be providing a platform ready to white-label to other co-op users?

No. CoTech will be facilitating sessions to help you develop your own product, be it using off-the-shelf technology, or building your own.

About your team

Why do there have to be at least two team members?

A co-operative needs to be set up with a minimum of two people – depending on the legal form – as a co-operative is a form of organisation that involves co-operation among people or organisations.

The UnFound Accelerator is aimed at teams that are looking at incorporating by the end of 2023, so we will be giving priority to applicants that already have a team in place. However we acknowledge that this might not be the case for everyone, so we are open to applications where not all the team members are already committed to being a member of the co-operative.

Who qualifies as a team member?

A team member can be someone who is invested and committed to the platform co-op and ready to become a founding member, but it could also be a potential user of the platform, or simply someone who supports the idea but is not committed to becoming a member.

Do all members of the team need to attend every Masterclass?

No only one member needs to attend and it doesn’t have to always be the same person.

About your business

We are not sure what 'incorporating' involves, so we cannot commit to incorporating by June 2023. Can we still apply?

Yes, no one will be expected to incorporate before they are ready to. The UnFound Accelerator will offer support in understanding what it means to incorporate and how to. However, we ask you to indicate your intentions to do so, as we want the Accelerator to benefit those that are in most need of our support now as they are looking to set up their business soon.

We are already incorporated, does this mean we don't count as an early-stage co-op?

You are welcome to apply even if you are already an incorporated entity, whether you have incorporated as a co-op or not. By “early-stage” we mean businesses that are not already trading, or if they are, most of their trading is not happening through a platform. 

About our support programmes

I applied for the previous edition of the UnFound Accelerator and my application was not successful, can I apply again?

Yes, you may still apply, however, we will expect you to demonstrate some progress on your business idea.

I have already received support via the Platform Co-ops Now course, can I still apply?

Yes, you may still apply, however, please indicate the progress (or not) you have made since, so we can evaluate if you will benefit from the Accelerator. 

I have already received support via The Hive, can I still apply?

It will depend on what type of support you have received and when. Please contact us via [email protected] so we can discuss this together, or indicate the support received in the application.

I am about to receive the support that I have been awarded via The Hive, can I still apply?

Please contact us via [email protected] to discuss this further as it will depend on your specific case.

I have applied to Co-operatives UK's Business Support programme for start-ups and I am still waiting for the outcome, can I apply to the UnFound Accelerator while I’m waiting for a response?

In this case, do apply. However, it is unlikely we can offer you the support of the UnFound Accelerator and the Business Support programme at the same time. If you have a preference, please let us know in your applications, or get in touch with us via [email protected] to discuss your specific case.