Co-op Accelerator

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We believe that creating ownership changes lives. Our vision is to build a more inclusive and just economy through scalable, distributed ownership models.

Start.coop (a Fledge accelerator) provides strategic tools, knowledge, and investment that empowers entrepreneurs to build transformative, scalable, cooperatively-owned businesses. We measure our work through both our economic impact and our societal impact.

We invite 4-6 companies to attend an intense, hybrid in-person and online, three month program. in Boston, Massachusetts.

Start.coop is the first co-op accelerator in the world.  It was created by a team with experience launching thriving co-ops.  We think knowledge can be shared and taught and, from that, the process of concept to co-op sped up dramatically.

How Start.coop Helps

3 Months

Week after week, we push you to make your co-op better, iterating your governance structure, business plan, marketing plan, membership plan, story, etc. Some weeks, we meet in person, but mostly, we meet online.

Training

We use a unique blend of co-op knowledge, tech startup experience, and the same MBA-level curriculum as the Fledge startup accelerator. Our cohort-based approach helps co-ops save time and grow faster.

Mentors

We flood you with mentors until you tell us to stop. Our mentor network includes world-class entrepreneurs, experts, and co-op developers. We are honored that our mentor network includes multiple Co-op Hall of Fame inductees.

Services

Ranging from human resources, member management software, marketing platforms, rebate tracking, accounting, and cloud services, our proven shared services and tools allow individual co-ops to benefit from the power of cooperation.

Support

The three months inside the accelerator is just the beginning. We support our graduates for years and years as they scale up, grow their membership, and thrive.

Money

We believe enough in each participant that we hand them $10,000. In addition, we provide strategy on how best to use shareholder fundraising, co-op loan programs, social impact investors, and traditional investors.

Our Co-operative Model

In exchange for $10,000, the accelerator program, and all the follow-up support, you agree to share a small amount of future revenue back to Start.coop, so we can fund our work with other co-ops.  This model, called revenue-based financing, is a non-extractive investment model, and it has been proven out by dozens of startups in the Fledge accelerator network.  In line with our cooperative model, all Start.coop participant-owners benefit from:

  • Patronage dividends (profit sharing)
  • Voting rights
  • Board representation

What We Are Looking For

As we work cooperatively to build a more just economy for all people, we are seeking a diverse cohort representing women, family businesses, veterans, minorities, immigrants and LGBTQ people. The Start.coop planning team will select our next class using the following criteria:

  • Social impact (inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic)
  • Financial viability
  • Salability
  • Industry expertise
  • Ability to execute
  • Passion & entrepreneurial spirit

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