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 question gets asked, but for many impact investors, no answer is satisfactory.
Too often, the answer is a variation of the Supreme Court phrase, “I know it when I see it.”
At Fledge, we know it when we see it too, but as so many entrepreneurs ask us whether their idea fits what we’re looking for, let’s spell out there a more firm definition of what we mean by “impact”, and what we mean by “mission” in “mission-driven”.
At Fledge, we want to see the biggest problems of the world solved.
We want to see for-profit ideas that can increase the incomes of the poorest people. To increase access to food, improve the quality of food, and lower the waste of food. We seek companies solving problems in global health. Companies that find new uses for what today are waste products. We want to see not only the end of the oil economy, but at the same time an end to deforestation caused by burning wood for fuel.
Take a look at our list of graduate fledglings, and these themes will pop up again and again. You’ll also see a few that don’t fit into any of these categories, as sometimes we get an applicant with an idea unlike any we’ve seen before, creating a company that the world desperately needs.
But for most, solving big hairy problems is what we seek, and what we choose to invite into Fledge.