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An Unplayable Piano and a Business Accelerator

What do David Bowie, Jazz, and an unplayable piano have to do with the power of business accelerators? All get you out of your comfort zone, and that seems to be a secret to success. This episode of Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales explains how. Listen to the episode first. Our analysis is that one of the powers of an in-residency, in-person business accelerator is that it gets entrepreneurs...

2020 Hindsight: Startup Success and Failures

As the 2020s begin, so do both the puns and the retrospection. Combining the two, let’s look back at the first seven years of fledglings, and learn from those 95 companies to find patterns that lead to success and which lead to failure. Failure There is a lot less to learn from success than failure, so let’s start with the bigger learnings. In no particular order: Timing really is the...

We Suffer from Understanding Startups

We suffer from understanding startups. Perhaps “suffer” isn’t quite the right word, but if you understand anything about entrepreneurship, you know it comes with high highs and low lows, too often both in the same week, and even sometimes both on the same day. Or perhaps why this sentence resonates so well for Fledge is that we are not the type of program that provides just days...

Yellow Flags, Yes vs. No

From talking to dozens of fund manager and individual investors we’ve come to realize the power and benefits of running a business accelerator rather than a traditional venture capital fund. From 10,000 feet away, we do the same job. We invest in young companies, providing capital to grow. But from 10 feet away the approaches are vastly different. And those differences boil down to what we...

The Next Step: Guiding you from idea to startup

There simply are few (if any) books that walk entrepreneurs step-by-step through the complex process from having an idea to having an operational, revenue-generating company. The Next Step series of books does just that. We use this book series in Fledge as the core of our curriculum.  It’s the same curriculum our founder, Luni, uses to teach MBAs. And its also the core material covered by...

Minimum Viable Investor Updates

The following is based on a blog post from Right Side Capital. For fist-time entrepreneurs, investor updates are thought of as a big challenge, when they don’t have to be. Too often founders put them off until there is good news to share and/or put too much effort into making them look as good as their fundraising materials. Investors meanwhile are busy, and just a few statistics and a few...

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...

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