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Refreshing the website

It’s a good idea to look at your website every few years, look to see if it’s starting to feel dated, if its missing the look-and-feel of the latest websites. Last week’s Fledge website had a nice front page, but it wasn’t rendering well on smartphones and the overall structure needed a refresh to handle accelerators for both startups and co-ops, as well as handling...

Happy 6th Birthday to Fledge

Today is Fledge’s sixth birthday! Company start dates are usually rather fuzzy, so specifically today is the sixth anniversary of the day Fledge LLC was incorporated in Delaware.  That is thus a date after the business plan was deemed viable and before the day we opened our first application and months before we started our first session with our very first fledglings. Six years later, the...

Academic Research on Accelerators

Brad Feld, co-founder of TechStars, author of many books for entrepreneurs and investors, and prolific blogger posted a list of academic research on accelerators. Academic Research on Accelerators The links include: Accelerators and Crowd-Funding: Complementarity, Competition, or Convergence in the Earliest Stages of Financing New Ventures?, Smith, Hannigan, and Gasiorowski, 6/13 Accelerating...

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...

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...

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...

Why Fledge Works [TL;DR]

Do accelerators really help is the second most asked question in the industry after how do I apply? That would seem an odd question almost twelve years after the birth of the modern business accelerator, except for the fact that there were hundreds of useless business incubators back in the dot com boom.  This is an industry with a multi-decade history of big promises.  And industry with...

A quintessential startup pivot

How Fledge helps startups varies from company to company.  One of the best stories from Fledge9 is BioGen Kenya.  They applied (three times) with a plan to turn used cooking oil into biodiesel.  They launched and are operating that business in Nairobi, expecting to come to Fledge to learn how to raise money to expand. Digging into the opportunity, we learned that last year Nairobi passed a law...

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