17. Recruitment


Where are the eggs that hatch into fledglings?


t takes quite a lot of effort to recruit the applicants for each cohort. There is no one place, or two places, or five popular places where entrepreneurs visit to seek help. The Fledge applicants discover Fledge from dozens of distinct channels.

Two sources of applicants in Seattle are Pinchot University and Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch. Luni is the volunteer “Entrepreneur in Resident” at Pinchot, known to nearly all the students and staff, with Fledge now well known as a go-to program after graduation.’

Luni also coaches at the various business plan competitions at the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific University, and elsewhere around Seattle.

Luni is invited as a public speaker at various events around the Pacific Northwest and around the country. He is also invited as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington, Seattle University, and as far away as Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Beyond in-person events, the existence and mission of Fledge get mentioned in numerous article in print and blogs on a monthly basis. That leads to word of mouth referrals. The same effect comes from the newsletter, from the website, Twitter, and the YouTube channel.

Finally, the Fledge application is hosted on F6S.com, which hosts applications for hundreds of other accelerators. Hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs have set up profiles of their startups on F6S, and this historically has led to a dozen or more applications per session.


To find the best startups requires more than waiting for inbound requests. There are numerous website with lists of startups, and for each session Luni scourers those lists looking for early impactful startups to recruit them to become applicants.

AngelList.co, F6S.com, EnableImpact.org, VC4Africa.biz, and others collectively include tens of thousands of new startups per year.

Historically, many of the strongest fledglings were discovered through these lists, especially those from Africa.

Finally, Luni meets thousands of people each year online and in-person, and that includes many impactful entrepreneurs who need the help provided by Fledge.

Application Period

Applications are open for most of the year. The only exception is during the final month of reviews.

In the first two years, nearly all the applications were entered in the final two weeks of the application period, with a third arriving on the last two days. Now that the Fledge brand is established, and now that accelerators are more commonly understood, applications trickle in all year long, ramping up during the final month, but no longer peaking at the very end.

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