Fledge

Conscious Company Accelerators

Fledge is a global network of conscious company accelerators and investment funds, helping 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 city’s program is a bit different from the others’, but all are focused on mission-driven for-profit companies, and all invest in their fledglings.

Th educational curriculum is based on The Next Step books and online classes, taught to fill in any gaps in the key skills entrepreneurs need to know to succeed: strategy, financials, marketing, sales, funding, etc.

All our cities share a global network of hundreds of mentors, who share their experiences, advice, and connections in 1-on-1 meetings with participants.

Every day, week after week, we push the participants forward, iterating business strategy, financial models, marketing and sales plans, funding options, and investor and sales pitches, plus we put a special focus on storytelling. The result is intense and creates lasting value for years after the companies return home.

We have been refining this service since 2012 and, to date, have helped hundreds of companies from dozens of countries. We’re eager for more. Our goal is to help foster a wave of companies that make a measurable impact in the world, collectively improving the lives of everyone on the planet.

We invest $15,000 (Peru), €15,000 (Europe), or $20,000 (U.S.) into each company we invite to participate, using revenue-based equity, which aligns our interests with the founders, avoids any pressure to “sell out”, and lets us invest in just about any market segment and most any country in the world. Plus, we make introductions to impact investors and make follow-on investments from our family of seed funds.

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Video Overviews

Latest stories

Startup Trends and Patterns

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An unprecedented 842 applications arrived to Fledge at the start of 2020. We unfortunately can’t provide our investment and training to everyone who applies, but we can at least provide some insights that we see from our view reviewing all these startup applications. Trend 1: Traction When Fledge began in 2012, applicants for accelerators were nearly all idea-stage companies. Maybe a rough...

An Unplayable Piano and a Business Accelerator

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What do David Bowie, Jazz, and an unplayable piano have to do with the power of business accelerators? All get you out of your comfort zone, and that seems to be a secret to success. This episode of Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales explains how. Listen to the episode first. Our analysis is that one of the powers of an in-residency, in-person business accelerator is that it gets entrepreneurs...

2020 Hindsight: Startup Success and Failures

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As the 2020s begin, so do both the puns and the retrospection. Combining the two, let’s look back at the first seven years of fledglings, and learn from those 95 companies to find patterns that lead to success and which lead to failure. Failure There is a lot less to learn from success than failure, so let’s start with the bigger learnings. In no particular order: Timing really is the...

Fledge’s 2010s

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The 2020’s are about to start, and with that, this is a good moment to look back at what has been accomplished at Fledge in its first decade of existence, the 2010s. September 2019 – Nairobi, Kenya 14 African entrepreneurs, all focused on restorative agriculture   met for an incredibly intense week of training. So useful that WRI is expanding this program beyond Africa in 2020...

We Suffer from Understanding Startups

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We suffer from understanding startups. Perhaps “suffer” isn’t quite the right word, but if you understand anything about entrepreneurship, you know it comes with high highs and low lows, too often both in the same week, and even sometimes both on the same day. Or perhaps why this sentence resonates so well for Fledge is that we are not the type of program that provides just days...

The Origin of Fledge

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Twelve years ago TechStars was born. Eight years ago, we discovered Bainbridge Graduate Institute. A few months later, we were introduced to the co-founder of what today is Impact Hub Seattle. Without the existence of these three organizations, Fledge never have been founded. The mashup in hindsight is obvious. TechStars taught us how to efficiently help startups. BGI taught us that it is...

Yellow Flags, Yes vs. No

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From talking to dozens of fund manager and individual investors we’ve come to realize the power and benefits of running a business accelerator rather than a traditional venture capital fund. From 10,000 feet away, we do the same job. We invest in young companies, providing capital to grow. But from 10 feet away the approaches are vastly different. And those differences boil down to what we...

The Opportunity is Africa

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The Opportunity is Africa is a new podcast bringing you stories from African entrepreneurs and investors, highlighting the many business opportunities that exist across the continent. Syndicated by the Africa Business Radio podcast network, a graduate of Fledge, as are the first five interviewees. Also check out Luni’s posts on the Energy, Opportunities, and Hurdles for Africa. You’ll...

Visiting 7 Fledglings across East Africa

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Fledge’s founder is back from a two-week tour visiting seven fledglings in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. Click below to watch video tours of each:

Plus Geoffrey from Green Charcoal Uganda founded a second company that grows turkeys…

Visiting Arqlite

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All plastics are now recyclable, thanks to Arqlite. In their first production facility, Arqlite converts 5 tons per day of waste into artificial stones for use in an under concrete.

A quick, 1-minute tour

A quick, 5-minute tour by founder/CEO Sebastian Sajoux

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