Fledge, like most Tech Stars-inspired accelerators, is run “lean”, with just a Managing Director and assistant as staff, plus a large number of volunteer mentors to provide the bulk of the assistance to the fledgling companies.
Michael “Luni” Libes, Founder and Managing Director
Fledge is founded and operated by Michael “Luni” Libes , a 20+ year, career serial entrepreneur, who has built six startups, five of which he founded. His companies include Fledge (the “conscious company” accelerator), Ground Truth (market research and “big-data” analysis), Medio Systems (mobile search, advertising, and analytics), Mforma (mobile gaming and applications), 2WAY (enterprise collaboration systems), and Nimble (pen computing, PDAs, and early smartphones).
Starting in 2011, Luni began focusing his time and efforts on helping other entrepreneurs with their business planning. As Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization, he works with students, faculty, and researchers in turning their research into startup companies. As Entrepreneur in Residence and Instructor at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, he teaches and mentors MBA candidates on the process of business planning. As organizer of #SocEnt Weekend (http://socentweekend.org), he helped create 24 companies in two weekends. And as author of The Next Step: Guiding you from idea to startup (ISBN: 978-0615596792) and The Next Step: A guide to pitching your idea (ISBN: 978-0615780900), Luni hopes to help thousands of other entrepreneurs in their endeavors.
Fledge, like other accelerators relies on a group of volunteer advisors and mentors. The advisors and mentors include: Enrique Godreau , founder of Voyager Capital and GSharp Ventures; Tom Huseby , founder of Seapoint Ventures; Will Poole , Social Technologist, Bill McAleer , founder of Voyager Capital; Terri Butler , Director of Sustainable Seattle; Martin Tobias , Founder of the Northwest Energy Angels, Mike McSherry , Co-founder of Boost Mobile, VP at Swype/Nuance, Victoria Burwell , VP Marketing of Headsprout; Nick Barham , Global Director, W+K Tomorrow, Wieden+Kennedy; Rick Turoczy , Managing Director of the Portland Incubator Experiment; Harley Sitner , founder of The Fig Project; Ted Weiler , Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Washington Center for Commercialization; Sue Oliver , the Director of the Seattle University Entrepreneurship Center; Brian Howe , sustainable attorney and founder of HUB Seattle; Rashmir Balasubramaniam , founder of Nsansa, and faculty at both UW and BGI; Cyrus Habib , attorney at Perkins Coie and candidate for the Washington State Representative; Terry Gardiner , policy director for Small Business Majority; Sonya Erickson , attorney at Cooley and Social Venture Partner; Jon Kroman , attorney at Kroman Law, and faculty at BGI; and Gifford Pinchot III , founder of Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
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