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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...

3 steps every applicant should follow

After receiving (and reviewing) almost 2,000 applications, it seems long overdue to provide some guidance to the applicants on how to best apply to Fledge. 1. Do some homework Read the about page, the details, and the FAQ.  Watch the video explaining What Happens at Fledge. For even more homework, pick up a copy of The Next Step, which is the core of the classroom material taught within Fledge. 2...

Mentor Whiplash

A new online magazine, Rank & File has a nice article on the power of mentorship.
Read it at rankandfilemag.com.

Download the Rank & File App for Apple and for Android.

What is Impact?

Fledge is an impact accelerator, working with mission-driven for-profit startups from around the world, helping them achieve their impacts by teaching them how to succeed in their businesses. But what do we mean by impact? “What is impact?” is a question asked each year at SOCAP, at every Big Path Capital event, every Toniic gathering and Investors Circle national meeting.  This...

Measuring Impact, four years later

One of the biggest challenges of impact investing is in measuring the impact of the investments.  One would think that this would be an easy, solved problem, but it is far from simple.  The impact ecosystem is still working through multiple methods of measurements, few of which provide a single value which can be summed, compared, and tracked over time. The Pinchot Impact Index is one proposed...

Life of a Kenyan small business in 12 charts

An excerpt from the LelapaFund Blog: After a hectic six months discovering Kenya’s small business scene, LelapaFund is happy to share some insights from the ground with our community. Over 300 companies have joined our pipeline, learnt about a new form of raising equity capital – crowdinvesting – and are actively structuring their companies to benefit from it. Thanks to the countless meetings...

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