The UnFound Accelerator supports teams in turning their pioneering ideas into successful platform co‑ops.
Applications for the May Accelerator are now closed
If you'd like to keep up to date with who's involved with this Accelerator, or want to know about the next application window (applications open in July for a September Accelerator launch), sign-up for the UnFound Newsletter.
What is a platform co-op?
Platform co‑ops are democratically owned and controlled businesses that use an online platform or mobile app to trade, connect people and pool resources or data.
A platform co‑operative is built on co‑operative principles and values which ensure the platform business:
- Truly responds to the needs of its community
- Embeds equity and social purpose from day one
- Has a growth model that does not involve giving up control to external profit‑driven investors.
What is the UnFound Accelerator?
The UnFound Accelerator is a 10‑week business support programme for teams at the early stage of setting up their platform co‑operative:
- A cohort of eight teams will accompany each other in the exciting journey of turning their ideas into concrete business solutions
- Teams will be provided with guidance and support to set the foundations of their platform business through Co‑operatives UK and Stir to Action’s extensive network of experts, including CoTech.
- Teams that complete the UnFound Accelerator will get the chance to pitch their business idea to access funding and support at a pitch event, towards which The Co‑operative Bank has contributed a £10,000 prize fund.
When will the UnFound Accelerator run?
The UnFound accelerator will run twice in 2021:
- The first will start on 12 May 2021 and will conclude on 14 July 2021, followed by the pitch event on 21 July 2021 (TBC) – applications are closed for this round of the Accelerator.
- If you'd like to keep up to date with who's involved with this Accelerator, or want to know about the next application window, sign-up for the UnFound Newsletter. The second will start on 8 September 2021 (applications open in July) and will conclude on 17 November 2021, followed by the pitch event on 24 November 2021 (TBC).
Who can apply to the UnFound Accelerator?
Founding teams (of at least 2 people) that have a clear and compelling idea for a platform co‑operative. You must:
- Be ready to transform your idea into a viable business
- Believe the co‑operative model is right for your platform business
- Be looking to register as a co‑operative business in 2021.
How to apply?
If you are interested in applying for the first edition of the UnFound Accelerator:
- First read the application guidance which will help you enter the strongest possible application
- Rewatch a webinar (below) from 1 April introducing the Accelerator, outlining who the programme is for, what support is on offer and, importantly, what will make a strong application.
- Read FAQs based on common questions we have received about the Accelerator.
The deadline for applications is midnight 11 April 2021. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview on 19‑20 April.