CategoryAfrica

Pivot: From biodiesel to used cooking oil

One of the exciting outcomes from Fledge is the discovery of a new, better business model that an entrepreneur never gave a second thought.  For Fledge9, this extra exciting, as the Biogen Kenya applied four times with a business making biodiesel, and we fully expected them to leave the program with that business. Five weeks later, we have a new name, Zijani, a new logo, but more importantly, a...

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...

Meet the Fledge7 fledglings

The seventh session of Fledge has started.  Seven new teams hailing from five countries: Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, the Philippines, and the United States.  Seven more mission-driven, for-profit fledgling companies, with big dreams. African Chicken is a distributed grower of chickens in Tanzania, working with dozens of smallholder women farmers, providing them chicks, then aggregating and...

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...

Visiting BURN Manufacturing

The other highlight of the Investors Circle visit to Nairobi was the visit to the factory where BURN Manufacturing builds its cookstoves.  Charcoal cookstoves, as charcoal is the most popular fuel used for cooking by urban and peri-urban Kenya. Factory, as in a fully-modern manufacturing facility, little different from those found in the U.S., Europe, Japan, or China.  One large building filled...

Visiting GreenChar in Kenya

Fledge has been importing African entrepreneurs to Seattle for the last two years.  This week we finally got to visit a few in their home country, as part of an impact investing trip with Investors Circle. Unsurprisingly, there is no substitute to seeing their businesses first-hand vs. seeing pictures and movies while sitting in downtown Seattle at the Impact Hub.  No amount of pictures can...

This cab driver-turned-Seattle-entrepreneur may have solved one of Africa’s most deadly problems

Yusuf Tura came to Seattle as a lone refugee from Ethiopia at age 16 to escape war and conflict in the country at the time. Today, the Seattle cab driver’s life has been transformed by a decision he made after returning home in 2007. When he got to his home town, he was shocked. All the trees had been killed off and stripped away by pollution from stoves that burn wood and dung. The dirty...

VC4Africa, Zamgoat, and Fledge

Investors and entrepreneurs in Africa increasingly find each other online. Zambia based startup company Zamgoat recently secured a 20K investment deal from the US based accelerator Fledge, who found them via the online VC4Africa platform. We had a chance to catch up with both the entrepreneur and the investor.
Read the story of entrepreneur Paul Nyambe.

And the story of how Fledge found Zamgoat.

Introducing the Fledge6 fledglings

Fledge6, as in the sixth session of Fledge, the conscious company accelerator. 170 applications from 45 countries arrived.  We invite just seven to participate.  And this seven are incredibly existing.  For the first time ever, the invitees include not only no teams from Seattle, but no American teams at all.  Seven startups hailing from five different countries: As always, seven impactful...

Fledge5 Demo Day

Watch the Fledge5 “Demo Day” video: Seven inspirational, mission-driven, for-profit companies, aiming to improve the world in seven ways: Making cotton recyclable Making digital billboards social Making China’s buildings greener Bringing affordable, clean-burning cookstoves to every Ethiopian Bringing transparency to government Bringing fresh escargot to America Hoisting Kenya...

Recent Posts

Archives

Categories