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The Sanitation Fund and its first $20,000 investment

The idea of having a whole family of seed funds rather than one big pool of capital continues to resonate with investors and serve the needs of entrepreneurs.  Case in point, the new Sanitation fund, and it’s $20,000 revenue-based loan to JOELEX. The impetus of this fund was rather simple.  A small handful of investors saw JOELEX’s pitch on Demo Day (below), talked to Joel, and...

Handling the ups and downs of startup life

Being an entrepreneur is hard.  The ups and down of startup life are far larger and stronger than most jobs.  Working with entrepreneurs isn’t much better, as the empathy is almost are wary. We’ve worked with dozens upon dozens of entrepreneurs at Fledge and most handle these stresses in stride.  Sure, they have some sleepless nights and exhaustion, but that is what...

Beyond Capital invests in East Africa Fruit

From Beyond Capital: In March, Ben Grozier, our Associate and member of the Beyond Capital Investment Team, met a smallholder farmer working a two acre plot of land in rural Tanzania, who was hoping to sell enough produce this season to feed, clothe, and educate his family. This farmer’s produce cannot easily be brought to market without waste or spoilage, and so he struggles to make a...

Building a jet suit is like building a company

From the inside of the startup process, as the entrepreneur, the pass to success seems rather simple. You’ve got a great idea. It’s obvious that it will work. It’s frustrating that others are not simply following along. Reality is that entrepreneurship is complicated. Few ideas truly are great. Most startups fail. Sometimes analogous situations make this far more obvious. Take...

Meet the Fledge10 Fledglings

The fledglings are back in Lima, from Monday, July 3rd through Friday, September 1st. Seven exciting startups from five different countries: AESA Foods grows bees in Nicaragua and sells honey and other bee-related products. Nicaragua. www.facebook.com/pg/AESAFOODS AMIntegrated Aerial radically improves agricultural yields in Nigeria and beyond through the use of aerial robotics in crop dusting...

Wrap-up of Fledge9

Fledge9 wrapped up less than a month ago, but Fledge10 begins in Lima, Peru tomorrow and before that intensity builds, it seems a good time to wrap-up what Fledge9 did for each of the fledglings in Seattle. Africa Business Radio came into Fledge9 as a two-year-old, bootstrapped streaming radio station with a single stream of content.  They left with a plan to create three more streams: East...

Five Years of Impact… Measured

Fledge is over five years old, and for that half decade and more the industry has been debating how to measure the impact of a company and a portfolio.  Using the Pinchot Impact Index, Fledge is able to not only do that, but also to show how that measure changes from session to session. More specifically, we measure three levels of impact for our portfolio of fledglings: the potential of the idea...

Golden Cat – Fresh Produce from Rwanda

How can one company solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and food safety and all it does is grow fresh fruits and vegetables. Golden Cat is a two year old mission-driven, company doing just that, in Rwanda. Rwanda is a poor, but quickly developing country.  80% of the population are smallholder farmers.  Half of the 11 million people are under the age of 18. In order to feed this growing...

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