The Team

Fledge is far more than its small staff.  The programs are made possible by the hundreds of volunteer mentors who share their advice with the fledglings, and the hundreds of other supporters who come to the various events, to further connect the fledglings with potential customers, vendors, and partners.


Luni (150x150) Luni Libes, Founder and Managing Director of Fledge Seattle

Fledge was founded and is managed by Luni Libes , a 25+ year, serial entrepreneur, founder of six startups; Entrepreneur in Residence and instructor at Presidio Graduate School; and Entrepreneur in Residence Emeritus at the University of Washington’s CoMotion, the center for impact and innovation.

Luni is the author of The Next Step, a series of book and classes guiding entrepreneurs from idea to reality; plus blogger and incessant answerer of entrepreneurs’ questions on Quora.

If the pattern is not obvious, Luni spends most of his waking hours helping entrepreneurs.

Roberto (100x100) Roberto Persivale, Managing Director of Fledge Peru

Fledge Peru was created and is managed by Roberto Persivale , who started his career in mining and hotels, then in 2001 moved on in to provide guidance, connections, and fundraising for large and small startups in Peru and across Latin America.  Roberto is a partner at Asesorandes, a business consulting firm.

Belarmino Rodríguez, Managing Director of Fledge Barcelona

Fledge Barcelona was created and is managed by Belarmino Rodríguez and his team at at Barcelona Plataforma Empresarial. BPE is a business consulting firm, experts in competitiveness and internationalization, who work to facilitate the internationalization of startups, SMEs, and institutions that require permanent presence in foreign markets, and also to the ones that choose Barcelona as a strategic and operational platform for its development project in Spain or Europe.

Alessandro Leonardi, Director of the ECOSTAR Nature-Accelerator

Alessandro is the Managing Director and co-founder of ETIFOR, a consulting firm on environmental and climate change economics and development. He holds a PhD in environmental economics, is a Project Manager at University of Padua (Italy) and consultant for United Nation Economic Commission for Europe. Since 2015, Alessandro manages the ECOSTAR | Natural Talents initiative, a partnership among universities and environmental business across EU and USA, including Fledge.

Keith Ippel, Co-founder and CEO of the Spring Activator

With over 20 years experience as a leader in technology and impact businesses, Keith has accelerated the growth of both small and large companies, launched new products, and raised over $20M in angel and venture capital. He has an unparalleled ability to collaborate with entrepreneurs, employees, and investors to deliver amazing products to the market. A speaker, advisory, and ecosystem developer, Keith is passionate about creating opportunities that previously did not exist for people.


Fledge was inspired into existence by Brian Howe , sustainable attorney and co-founder of Impact Hub Seattle, with help by Rashmir Balasubramaniam, founder of Nsansa.

Advising Fledge is an amazing group of individuals, including Will Poole and Dave Richards, co-founders of Unitus Seed Fund and Capria; Bill McAleer and Enrique Godreau , founders of Voyager Capital; Tom Huseby, founder of Seapoint Ventures; and Gifford Pinchot III BGI, founder of The Bainbridge Graduate Institute.


Advising the fledglings are a (growing) network of over 380 mentors.  This group includes people who have built successful startups, some of which who have subsequently retired, and others who can’t stop and are working on their next business plan.  This group also includes many individuals who wouldn’t dare be a founder, but who have deep knowledge useful to founders, in marketing, sales, finance, and fundraising.


It takes a tremendous breadth of knowledge to be a startup founder.  Sometimes what you need is a speech coach, or someone who can teach you improv.  Someone to help you with a great company name.  Someone who “carries a bag” and closes sales for a living.  Or a professional investor, to teach you the in’s and out’s of raising capital.  Or a banker, or lawyer, or CFO for hire.

While some accelerators aim to impress with a list of famous mentors, we aim for breadth and depth of knowledge, quality of advice, and we aim to smother our participants with more guidance than they ever imagined possible.

If you fit this mold and would like to be added to this list, please contact us.

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