Startup Co-ops Shine at Up & Coming Conference

The March 2017 Up & Coming food co-op conference featured larger-than-ever attendance and a training program of increased depth and breadth. Over 270 cooperators gathered in downtown Milwaukee for this annual startup event, now in its 8th year. 

The conference has far-reaching impact. Boards and organizers from New England to Mississippi and Alaska learned from co-op pros as well as startup peers. In the true spirit of cooperation, attendees were energized and inspired by the people they met through the wealth of networking available through the conference. They experienced first-hand how cooperation among cooperatives, the sixth cooperative principle, can help every startup grow. 

Thank you to over 40 established food co-ops that contributed toward scholarships, enabling more startups to attend. Conference participants cheered for them while viewing this Principle Six thank you video:  From that page you can link to workshop videos covering specific planning, governance, fundraising, and operational issues for startup food co-ops.

Up & Coming is co-sponsored by the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (under the leadership of director Deb Trocha) and Food Co-op Initiative. After seven years in Bloomington, Indiana, working with Bloomingfoods as the local co-op host, the conference had outgrown available space. With the shift to Milwaukee, Outpost Natural Foods hosted, providing behind the scenes support and an amazing crew of volunteers.. Learn more at!

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