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
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.
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.
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.
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
- Industry expertise
- Ability to execute
- Passion & entrepreneurial spirit
- Start.coop website