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Fledge: From Idea to Start-Up

Rosa E. Mitsumasu Scotti ~ Wednesday, May 28th, 2014


Twice per year, a handful of social entrepreneurs from around the world join the 220 & Change community to turn their ideas into businesses.  We call them “fledglings” as they are participants of Fledge: the conscious company accelerator.

Actively supporting start-ups for the past two years, Fledge has brought the “accelerator” format to entrepreneurs that are conscious of the environment, health, community, sustainability, and even consumption itself.  This year Fledge held its fourth session, a.k.a. Fledge4, which consisted of six companies including three operating in Tanzania, Africa, and three others from Boston, Portland and Seattle.

Shorter, Alternative Paths to Market and Sales

Michael 'Luni’ Libes: Fledge Founder & Managing Director
Michael ‘Luni’ Libes: Fledge Founder & Managing Director

For 10 weeks, these selected entrepreneurs spend their time inside Impact Hub Seattle developing their business strategy, interacting with successful and experienced advisors and mentors who teach best-practices of entrepreneurship, providing help in the form of questions and enlightening entrepreneurs to alternative, overlooked, shorter paths to market, and simpler paths to sales.

“We went in looking for sales and marketing discipline, and that’s what we got,” said Jimmy Jia, fledgling and CEO of Distributed Management Systems, “Carey Gersten, Director of Market Development, and I had done sales before, but we needed to be more accountable to each other. Fledge forced us to work together, in person, on a regular basis with discipline, structure, and commitment. Everyday, Luni came to ask us how we were doing and three times a week, we had to report to the group at 10 AM during the standups”

Demo Day: Sharing a Vision with Social Impact

Fledgeling Jimmy Jia, Founder & CEO of Distributed Management Systems (stage) and Carey Gersten, Director of Market Development, present on Fledge Demo Day
Fledgeling Jimmy Jia, Founder & CEO of Distributed Management Systems (stage) and Carey Gersten, Director of Market Development, present on Fledge Demo Day

The cusp of these ten weeks is Demo Day, an evening session at Impact Hub, on the First Floor of 220 & Change. This past May 7 the fledglings took over the stage and shared their vision, inspiring attendants with their ideas and strategies to leave engage their communities providing products and services with incredible social impact.

“Working with 25 teams of passionate, change-making entrepreneurs over the past two years has been simply amazing,” said Fledge founder and Managing Director, Michael ‘Luni’ Libes, “and a key element to their experience is the community within and connected to 220 & Change, which is unique in the world as a true center of positive change for the world.”

To see and hear the visions of these six fledglings, and all 25 stories, visit fledge.co/demo-day. And if you, or anyone you know is an entrepreneur looking for a faster path to success, apply today at fledge.co/apply.

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