The UnFound Accelerator supports teams in turning their pioneering ideas into successful platform co‑ops.
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‑op 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‑op:
- 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.
- Teams that complete the UnFound Accelerator will get the chance to share their business idea at a pitch event, towards which The Co‑operative Bank has contributed a £10,000 prize fund.
Read about the pitch event for the first edition of the Accelerator and about one of the teams, Wings, which launched an ethical food delivery platform for London in July 2021.
When will the UnFound Accelerator run?
The UnFound accelerator will run twice in 2021. Applications are closed for both editions:
- The first edition started on 12 May 2021 and concluded with the UnFound Accelerator LIVE Pitch! event on 21 July.
- The second edition will start on 15 September 2021 and conclude on 24 November 2021, followed by the pitch event on 1 December 2021.
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‑op. 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 by June 2022.
If you'd like to be kept in touch about future opportunities relating to platform co-operatives, sign up for the UnFound newsletter.