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Progress of the accelerator program cohort – Week 1

Week 1 commenced with a workshop in Adelaide. This was well attended with 5 of the cohort making the trip to Collab4Good to participate.

During the workshop we looked at the “Forming” stage of new co-op development. This included identifying mentors, engaging with the community and working on their pitch.

At the end of the day-long event the attendees switched gears and in the evening presented to a live audience the pitches they had been working on in the day.

You can see their long-form pitches here.

Verge CoHousing

This is a great community wanting to organise a CoHousing venture. The team is well led and 3 of the team attended the workshop in Adelaide.They have already started engagements with members of incubator coop via Treaty and have started communications with the team behind Narrara EcoVillage.

They’ve been investigating the landscape of legislation around Community Land Trusts and using this form to de-couple the building and land prices for Co-op members.  An interest group is available to members only (go to groups search community land trust and join).

Chooks SA

This is a great community of women (mainly) that self-identify as “Chooks”.  They are not a chicken Co-op.  They’re a 2000+ strong facebook community already committed to bridging the gender investment gap, pay gap and inequality.  They want to transform from a facebook community into a Platform Co-op.

5 of the leadership were in attendance at the incubator.coop workshop in Adelaide and they are one fire.

This project is one to watch!  Check out the pitch by “Chief Chook”, Moira Were AM


Fortunately we have lots of good news to report. But this isn’t it.

NeedsMap was initially keen to participate in the program as a way of localising an already established internationally based platform coop. However, the commitment is too much so NeedMap has dropped out of the cohort.


Charlie has designs for a gravity and tidal powered reverse osmosis machine. This would be owned as a workers Co-op in South Australia and provide clean drinking water to millions across the world.

This exciting project has commenced negotiations with Democracy Water to help in designing working prototype.  It is likely that TideWater will launch with a crowdfunding campaign in a couple of weeks that – depending on the amount raised – can kickstart the business.

Carbon Farming Collective

Carbon Farming Collective started with the idea that they were a “for-farmers, by-farmers” collective that can assist farmers enter the carbon market and get paid for the good work they do. 

This business is rapidly iterating as it works towards becoming a Co-operative.  It is investigating wether to partner with existing Co-ops as an Enterprise Co-operative.

Valley and Plains Renewable Energy Co-operative

This fantastic community-led Project will provide a win / win / win as it helps finance local solar installation.  3 of the team attended the workshop and were amazing contributors. 

They have started working discussions with a Mentor, a Co-Founder of Energy Labs Australia.  This plus additional legal support and structuring of the capital mechanisms should see them create a Co-operative by the end of the accelerator program.

Rock and Ranges

The headline for this Project in week 1 would have to be:

Rock and Ranges meets Stone and Wood

Luke has met with Jason Cook founder of Stone and Wood to get insights.

Luke has identified a core team of local supporters and is converting a local craft brewing community into a social enterprise that is governed as a Co-operative.  They are seeking assistance in simultaneous development of the Co-op and beer.  

This Project is one to watch for those interested in community ownership and local economics.


Loconomics is is a strong position to start with since they have the technology in place to create a 2-sided marketplace for local businesses. 

The challenge with this platform Co-operative – as with any 2-sided marketplace – is to get on suppliers and then customers for those suppliers within a time frame that the suppliers are still engaged.  Marketing and sales efforts will be required for Loconomics to “break out”.


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