Natural soap, online groceries, cell phones, volunteer training, drip clips, human waste, point rewards, and your old tennis shoes. Wondering what these things have in common?
They’re all concepts for Fledge’s sophomore class of socially conscious startups.
Fledge is a TechStars-like accelerator, but with a focus on “conscious companies.” To be part of Fledge’s program, each company must demonstrate a socially-conscious mission and model.
Libes said about half the companies arrived to the program without much more than an idea. Ten weeks and fifty mentors later, those ideas looked a lot more like a business.
“Almost none are doing what they first thought of,” Libes said.
After helping seven groups get off the ground in last year’s inaugural Fledge program, Libes was happy with another good turnout this year. He said all seven teams from last year are “alive and kicking.”
Apart from the “socially conscious” focus, there’s really no other defining characteristic that ties these startups together. Featuring everything from a comprehensive plan for human waste, to a city-specific point-rewards system of local businesses, each company presented something a little different.