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There are 8 fantastic pre-formation Co-operatives that have been accepted into the 2019 Cohort.  4 are from South Australia

Chooks SA

Origin South Australia Type Platform Coop Stage Mid

The idea: An online community of 2000 wishing to address gender investment gap are seeking to form as a Co-operative in order to advance the cause.

Noteworthy: This is not a chicken Co-operative.  The term “Chooks” is self-titled and refers to the members of an online community in SA that is active in closing the gender gap.  This theme is born of Co-op origins.  As Co-ops gave female members voting rights ahead of women getting the political vote.

How many in Project: ~100 of the 2000 FB group responded to a poll

Strengths: Aside from being on the right side of history and already having 2000 members this project is past ideation and now into next phase.

Hurdles:

  • Taking the community on the Journey
  • Providing services to members and value propositions
  • Fair compensation for Founder(s)

What they need

  • Legal consult
  • Product development
  • Policy work

Founder Notes

Moira Were has been a member of a workers coop previously and has supported and been involved with a number from policy, planning and delivery in housing services. She is a previous Chief of Staff to a minister in the SA Government.

Moira has authority in this space and a passion for closing the gender investment gap for start ups and social enterprises.

Valley and Plains Renewable Energy Co-op

Origin South Australia

Type Renewable Energy Co-Op

Stage Mature / Pre-launch

Noteworthy: Renewable Energy Co-operatives are poised for growth and establishing one in this context is a potential first of many.

The idea: 

Install solar on small business and community organisations through members funds using PPA arrangements which will allow a modest return to members.

Enable community organisations and small business to access benefit of renewable energy. Enable community members to invest in local renewables. Profits to assist in equitable access to renewables and Energy efficiency

Strengths Ready to create legal structure and documentation. Have potential projects lined up. Almost ready to open for members.  

Hurdles

  • Legal structure
  • Accounting overview of business plan
  • Marketing.
  • Essentially access to professional services required.

What they need

  • Worried about how to manage member records etc.
  • Looking for legal, financial oversight on disclosure agreement and PPA.

Founder Notes Rachel is a long term member of incubator.coop and is a renewable energy consultant.  She is connected within the sector.

Verge CoHousing

Origin Adelaide

Type Housing Co-op

Stage mid

The idea: The Verge CoHousing Community will be an intentionally designed community consisting of approximately 30 self-contained dwellings of differing sizes plus a Common House and shared garden spaces. The project will be owned collectively

Strengths: Launched the project in May 2016. Since then holding regular ‘Getting it Built’ meetings, social events, an annual retreat, and a quarterly newsletter to a mailing list of 260 people.

Established a Trello, Google Drive, Quarterly newsletter, Facebook pages, and ongoint development our Project Plan and business case.

Hurdles: 

  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Policy Development
  • Funding for participants and interplay with structure type

What they need:

  1. Website: none of our current members have the skill or the time to set it up
  2. Financial feasibility modelling. They have a fair idea of how to do the modelling and have access to some number crunching tools; but financial modelling in respect to financing requires specialist knowledge from someone in the construction industry.
  3. Legal counsel 
  4. Investment partner(s)

Founder Notes: Very well read and connected in CoHousing and Community design.  Founder well organised and has many good systems in place.

TideWater

Origin Adelaide

Type Worker Co-op

Stage Concept

Noteworthy This is incredibly innovative and ambitious concept.

Sea level rise is already flooding many people’s wells and forcing them to move.  This project directly aims to improve the lives of 100,000,000 people today and as climate induced sea rising gets worse this technology will become more important.

Idea

TideWater – will make fresh water from the sea by reverse osmosis, powered just by the tide and gravity.

Usually reverse osmosis requires pressures that are generated through running an engine on fuel, biodiesel or some finite source.

This design works by filling a long narrow tube with water from the incoming tide.  This sends tube vertical. As the tide goes out this sends tube horizontal. This gravity-powers the reverse osmosis filter.  The process repeats once the tube empties, refilling again on the next tide.

Strengths

  • It will take no fuel to make fresh water from the sea.
  • Production costs per unit are estimated at less than $15,000
  • Export market opportunities

Hurdles: This idea is at concept stage and so there is a need to create a Proof of Concept, business model and structure.

What they need: 

  • Prototype Design
  • Money
  • Advice

Founder Notes: 

Sir Charlie Madden BSc Mech Eng MTech design MBA marketing

There are 3 Projects from Victoria:

There is 1 Project from Queensland:

  • A blockchain-enabled collective focused on Carbon (ACCU) abatement and accreditation platform owned by producers of carbon abatements i.e farmers, foresters etc

Loconomics Australia

Origin Victoria

Type Platform Coop

Stage Mid

The idea: Loconomics is a platform coop to provide tools for service providers – and a 2-sided market for clients and service providers to find each other.

Noteworthy: Loconomics is an established US platform Co-op and is already providing support to this Australian spin-off.

How many in Project: 5

Strengths: Already in possession of a working US model. They have a business plan https://drive.google.com/open?id=1-ynSScasuf5ZnRpEgmBR6S1uCFPEJ6v1Zc5j-mSVvDw . They have technical skills and have already made customisations from the US software for the Australian market.

Hurdles:

  • Large incumbents
  • Limited funding 
  • Exec team constrained by time and 
  • Will require marketing efforts to populate the platform

What they need

  • Legal consult
  • Product development
  • Funding

Founder Notes

Sam has been a long-time member of the incubator.coop community.  He has show initiative by doing a marketing course through Launch VIC and has been consistently working on customising the IT for Australia.

Rock and Ranges Craft Brewery Co-op

Origin Victoria

Type Retail Co-Op

Stage Early

Noteworthy: Beer! Everyone loves beer.

The idea: To establish a community-owned, democratically-controlled Brewing Co-operative in the Macedon Ranges

Strengths: We make a real economic contribution, bring tourism and jobs to our region. We can facilitate stronger social connections and foster greater resilience. We prioritise environmental sustainability into our activities to ensure we tread lightly. We do all this while operating under sound business principles and use surpluses to invest and progress aligned initiatives and make a broader ongoing contribution. 

Hurdles: Framing the co-op structure as a viable alternative to the more commonly accepted enterprises. The telling that story also provides the opportunity.

What they need

  • Limited specific co-op experience and
  • access to sufficient start-up capital
  • Looking for legal, financial oversight 

Founder Notes Liam has created social enterprises in this location before and knows the local conditions extremely well.  He is professional, smart and willing to take on tasks and then complete them.  Very good to work with.

NeedsMap

Origin Melbourne

Type Platform Co-op

Stage Early

The idea: NeedsMap is a map-based data matching platform based on in-kind transfers that brings those in need and those who want to help together. It matches basic needs of individuals (e.g. clothes, shoes, bags, coats, and blankets), as well as a range of needs for NGOs, public schools, cooperatives, voluntary groups, social platforms and community centres

Noteworthy: NeedsMap won their spot in the accelerator at the NENA 2018 conference by pitching for localisation services.

Strengths: Leveraging from overseas experience.

Hurdles: 

  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Exec time
  • Funding for participants and interplay with structure type

What they need:

  1. Website: localisation
  2. Charity network reach out
  3. Funding

Founder Notes: Rohan Clarke – treasurer at incubator.coop and founder of Geddup.com is representing NeedsMap in Australia for the accelerator.

 

Carbon Farming Collective

Origin Queensland

Type Platform Co-op

Stage Early

Noteworthy Utilises blockchain in various forms – for provenance, audit, transactions etc

Idea: Carbon Farming Collective exists to serve our members with advice and support for undertaking successful carbon farming and other environmental projects. As a service provider operating ‘for producers, by producers’, we support members to deliver more productive and profitable projects. We deliver services that improve small-scale profitability for carbon farmers.

Strengths

(i) strength over traditional market – transparency, grow the pie, new investment, greater participation, ease of transitioning to supply chain solution,
(ii) strength over other blockchain solutions – again, ease of supply chain solution, our tokenomics allows for valuation of co-benniftis, not all carbon is created equally, increased benefits for undertaking action, control of contribution allows farmers to realise market value of assets,
(iii) strengths over other solutions to green asset development – free market economics gives the best outcome for both producer and purchaser – market efficiencies, market evolution, price finding mechanism, also the strengths driven by transparency and data.

Hurdles: This idea is at concept stage and so there is a need to create a Proof of Concept, business model and structure.

What they need: 

  • Prototype Design
  • Money
  • Advice

Founder Notes: 

25 years practical experience in all aspects of tropical forestry, fire and carbon project operations and management, with time spent in government and corporate roles, I can operate at both strategic and operational levels, ensuring the best possible outcomes. 

Strong record overseeing implementation of successful forestry, natural resource management and indigenous carbon abatement projects. 

Accredited trainer in planning ERF savanna burning projects & DISC human resource management techniques.