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Friday, August 12, 2016

Socially-conscious accelerator Fledge raises more cash for new cohort in Peru

Michael "Luni" Libes, Fledge incubator founder, at Demo Day in June.
Fledge founder Michael “Luni” Libes at Demo Day in June.

Fledge is headed to Peru.

fledgellcThe Seattle-based socially-conscious accelerator announced this week that its eight cohort will be in Lima, Peru. This is the first Fledge has hosted entrepreneurs in a city other than Seattle, where it started in 2012.

Fledge is a TechStars-like accelerator, but with a focus on “conscious companies.” To be part of Fledge’s 10-week program, each company must demonstrate a socially-conscious mission and model. In exchange for equity ownership, participating startups receive an initial $10,000-to-$20,000 investment.

Fledge founder Luni Libes told GeekWire that he set up Fledge to mimic the model that Techstars uses.

“We’re now following their expansion model, replicating the program to more cities,” he noted. “Next year we’ll add at least one more city if not two. Hopefully by our tenth anniversary we’ll see Fledge in 22 cities, if not more.”

The Lima-based program, operated in partnership with consulting company Asesorandes, kicks off in October. Fledge is accepting applications here.

Fledge, which held its most recent Demo Day in June, also just reeled in an additional $310,000 for its fund — $1,175,000 has been raised to date. The program has invested in 55 startups hailing from 16 counties since launching four years ago.

Fledge investors include the likes of Seattle-based angels T.A. McCann, Mike McSherry, Will Poole, Dave Richards, Mike Mathieu, and others. Graduates include companies like Evrnu, which makes cotton recyclable, and East Africa Fruit, which is improving how fruits and vegetables are distributed and aggregated in Tanzania.

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