Posted 3 years ago on June 3, 2012, 1:26 p.m. EST by francismjenkins
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Technology ventures now have the opportunity to be socially and environmentally responsible in their legal charter. Unlike corporations and other forms of business, cooperatives are legally allowed to address concerns for sustainable economic development--and not only be held to the standard of profit maximization for shareholders.
Lack of financing has previously been a barrier to forming technology ventures as cooperatives, but the recent emergence of crowdfunding sites and the passage of the JOBS Act changes this landscape significantly. Instead of conventional VC (venture capital), we may start to see the emergence of "CV (community venture)” funding?
Sessions will cover such topics as sustainability and large-scale growth. In the session "Crowd Funding, Technology Startups and Cooperatives: A New Era of Innovation?," participants will explore what’s happening with technology innovation and cooperatives around the world, focusing on crowdfunding as a potentially game-changing strategy for financing. Luan Cox will present GreenUnite.com’s crowd financing platform for socially and environmentally responsible projects; Michael Peck from Mondragon USA will explore how the world’s largest worker cooperative approaches technology and innovation; Jon Guice of Combined Power Cooperative will discuss their model for a cooperative renewable energy technology startup.