Fledge

Conscious Company Accelerators

Fledge is a global network of conscious company accelerators and investment funds, helping entrepreneurs create impactful companies and co-ops at scale through intense, short programs filled with education, guidance, and a massive amount of mentorship.

Each city runs (up to) one session per year. Each city’s program is a bit different from the others’, but all are focused on mission-driven for-profit companies, and all invest in their fledglings.

Th educational curriculum is based on The Next Step books and online classes, taught to fill in any gaps in the key skills entrepreneurs need to know to succeed: strategy, financials, marketing, sales, funding, etc.

All our cities share a global network of hundreds of mentors, who share their experiences, advice, and connections in 1-on-1 meetings with participants.

Every day, week after week, we push the participants forward, iterating business strategy, financial models, marketing and sales plans, funding options, and investor and sales pitches, plus we put a special focus on storytelling. The result is intense and creates lasting value for years after the companies return home.

We have been refining this service since 2012 and, to date, have helped hundreds of companies from dozens of countries. We’re eager for more. Our goal is to help foster a wave of companies that make a measurable impact in the world, collectively improving the lives of everyone on the planet.

We invest $15,000 (Peru), €15,000 (Europe), or $20,000 (U.S.) into each company we invite to participate, using revenue-based equity, which aligns our interests with the founders, avoids any pressure to “sell out”, and lets us invest in just about any market segment and most any country in the world. Plus, we make introductions to impact investors and make follow-on investments from our family of seed funds.

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Video Overviews

Latest stories

The Best Inventions of 2022: Evnru’s NuCycl

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Every year, we collectively throw away 50 million tons of clothes and other textiles worldwide. With its 100% waste-based, fully recyclable NuCycl fiber, launched in April, Evrnu aspires to create a virtuous textile cycle. NuCycl is made by chemically liquefying old textiles into their essential molecules, purifying the liquid pulp, and then extruding the pulp into fibers to be spun into yarn...

Visiting Paniel Meat Processing and Livestock Bank

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Paniel Meat Processing and Livestock Bank, two companies created by the same founder merged back together in early 2022. Business is good, growing from $35,000 in annual revenues back in 2017 to over $1.5 million USD in 2022.

In short… it works. Quite well. To see what that means in practice, below is a site visit video shot this month in Kigali, Rwanda.

Fertilizing, weeding, and watering (investors)

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Too many first-time entrepreneurs ignore the needs, desires, and goals of investors, focusing solely on their own needs, desires, and goals. Try thinking of investors as a field of crops. Planting seeds is when you meet new, potential investors. You can’t harvest the day you plant. You have to fertilize and weed and in some climates water those crops if you want them to grow. If you just...

There is always more to know

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The best part about accelerators is how many people you get connected to while in the program. Those entrepreneurs who suck the most value from accelerators take advantage of that new network. And not just to get answers to the most pressing challenge, but to find what the mentor, guest, etc. might know that you don’t, as extracting that knowledge doesn’t just not cost the other...

Accelerator vs. Investor

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The best accelerator programs invest in their invitees, but the way accelerators invest and the mindset behind their investments is vastly different than venture capital funds and Angels, and a vastly superior process. Three key differences are: Batches Accelerators run cohorts of participants and thus choose companies in batches. Venture capital funds (and Angels, which follow the model of VCs...

Startup accelerators in 2022

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It’s a new year, but another year full of unknowns, pandemics, and thus challenges for scheduling startup accelerators. In 2021 most of the Fledge programs were shelved, with Start.coop and The Land Accelerator running multiple virtual programs and The Land Accelerator Africa finishing up its program in person in Nairobi in November. Those two programs will run again in 2022. Hopefully the...

$270,000 in 2 hours

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One of the most common problems faced by the fledglings is large, unexpected orders by customers. How is that a problem? Big customers don’t pay upon ordering, nor upon delivery, but typically 30 or 45 or 60 days after delivery (a.k.a. Net-30, Net-45, or Net-60). It thus takes money to make money, as young companies can’t typically pay the same Net-30/45/60 to their vendors. The...

Three crowdfunding campaigns

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Crowdfunding is now working at scale… and at the moment there are three campaigns underway for fledglings, including one that covers 27 African fledglings.

wefunder.com/arqlite

wefunder.com/shift.labs

wefunder.com/africaeats

Stories from Africa Eats

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There are so many incredible stories to share at Africa Eats, the investment holding company spun out of Fledge in 2020. Here is a sampling of the type of solutions we’ve invested in. Homegrown, for-profit solutions with measurable impacts lessening hunger and poverty across Africa.

For more stories, listen to The Opportunity is Africa, a podcast brought to you by Africa Eats

76 Companies at The Land Accelerator Africa

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With the pandemic all of the Fledge accelerator programs moved online. To take advance of that format, The Land Accelerator Africa invited nearly 100 companies to participate this year, rather than just 12-15 as in years past. Specifically, we invited 100 companies out of the 1,387 who applied to participate in a 12 week virtual accelerator, each receiving a $5,000 non-dilutive grant if only they...

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