Why would an entrepreneur drop everything to be in Seattle for two months? How can that be best for a young company?
Simple, success for startups lies beyond the founding team. Success lies in finding customers, investors, and partners. More often than not, finding such people is a serendipitous process centered around networking. To build a bigger network, you need to get out of your circle of connections and be introduced to people who would otherwise be 3, 4, or 5 degrees away.
When the graduate fledglings talk about the value of Fledge, they most often talk about all the people they met. While in Seattle, they sit down 1-on-1 with a dozen or so mentors. They meet dozens more at our Meet the Fledglings and Demo Day events. Working out of Impact Hub Seattle, even more than that. All in all, hundreds of people that they’d otherwise never meet. Hundreds of people who want to help, who openly provide yet-more connections.
Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., and as such, most everyone comes from somewhere else. This extends the Fledge network far beyond the sometimes overlooked Northwest corner of the country.
Speaking of overlooked, Seattle is a city with a history of global success, but where those big successes rarely talk about their home city. Boeing builds 99% of their airplanes North and South of the city. Microsoft writes its software East of the lake. Costco’s global HQ one town away. Starbucks is based in South Seattle. Amazon.com not only started in Seattle, but is growing so fast they built an entirely new downtown neighborhood.
In terms of social good, its hard to overlook the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, by far the world’s largest charitable organization, sitting across the street from the music museum honoring hometown stars Jimmy Hendrix and Nirvana.
Note the breadth of sectors in these global organizations. Aerospace, software, coffee, retail, books, clouds, and global health. Seattle has one of the richest entrepreneurial ecosystems on the planet, and despite building half of all the commercial airplanes, it’s easier to bring you to Seattle than Seattle to you.