BOSTON- Fledge, the global network of conscious company accelerators, is excited to announce the addition of Start.coop, a Boston based program, uniquely focused on scalable co-ops and other businesses with shared ownership models.
Start.coop is led by Greg Brodsky, a 41-year-old Boston-based entrepreneur who has built national purchasing co-ops in both the bicycle and craft beer industries.
Luni Libes, the Fledge founder, and a veteran tech entrepreneur himself said, “we are excited to bring the accelerator model to co-operative companies. I’ve long been a fan of co-ops, and through Start.coop they will finally have a better chance to scale. The unique co-ownership structure of co-ops makes them incompatible with most existing accelerators and venture capital deals, but at Fledge, we invest in future revenues rather than “exits” and love to see entrepreneurs sharing their equity with their employees and customers, as well as their investors. The Fledge model seemed the perfect fit and we welcome Start.coop to the network.”
Co-ops use a shared ownership model that surprisingly widespread in the U.S. economy, including businesses like REI, Ace Hardware, Ocean Spray, and Cabot, but nonetheless a model that is not often taught in business school nor widely understood. Brodsky said, “The applicability of the co-op business model is vast. Distributed ownership shares profits back to a broader pool of owners. Co-ops have particular potential to create economies of scale for economically disadvantaged groups such as women, minorities, immigrants, family businesses, and veterans.”
“There is a new generation of entrepreneurs looking to create more equitable business models,” Brodsky continued. “As we launch this new accelerator to support these entrepreneurs, having the tools, curriculum, and wisdom from Fledge will make our program top notch from day one, and make sure that we are offering the best possible resources to our entrepreneurs. We also saw a tremendous alignment in using the revenue sharing model piloted by Fledge in their other cities.””
The Fledge global network of conscious company accelerators and seed funds helps entrepreneurs create impactful companies and co-ops at scale through intense, short programs filled with education, guidance, and a massive amount of mentorship. Each city runs (up to) one session per year, each is a bit different from the others, but all focused on mission-driven for-profit companies, and all investing in all of their fledglings. Since 2012 across 7 locations, Fledge has helped 81 companies from 26 countries, fostering a new wave of companies that are creating a measurable impact in the world, and improving lives.
Over 25 entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors have already applied to Start.coop since its launch on July 12th. Possible participants include a team launching a driver-owned competitor to Uber, a purchasing co-op for local energy dealers, and a tech start-up in which patients own the profits on health research. Through Start.coop, each startup in the will receive an initial $10,000 in cash, and will have the chance to work with learn best practices from established mentors. Applications are open through August 20th.
More information at: Fledge.co and Start.coop