CategoryGuest post

Too little butter or too much bread?

Is it too little butter, or too much bread? I’m a fan of Seth Godin. I’m a fan of Bilbo too. And I’m one of those people who can’t sit still, who isn’t satisfied working on just one project at a time, and as such, once or twice per year multiple projects all need attention at once, and I’m awash in bread with too little butter to go around. Unfortunately...

Why Africa?

Why is so much of my work with entrepreneurs in Africa? Two main reasons:

There are fewer quality business accelerators in Africa than in other regions of the world, and thus Fledge receive more quality applicants from Africa
The opportunities in Africa are enormous. It’s the last place on Earth with 1 billion people growing from poverty to middle class.

Infinite games have different rules

We are taught how to play finite games.  Games where there are fixed rules, a fixed timeline, where the purpose is to win.  But life, sustainability, and the world we want is part of an infinite game: players that come and go, rules that change, where the objective is to keep playing the game. Simon Sinek explains this in the following interview, which is an overview of his new book, The Infinite...

Put yourself in the shoes of a startup investor

Put yourself in the shoes of a startup investor. Every day you review entrepreneurs, through a sort of funnel: very wide at the top and narrow down below, with only a few investments coming out the bottom each year. The average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 companies in order to make 10 investments. At Village Capital, we make contact with nearly 10,000 entrepreneurs a year...

Somebody’s Gotta Get Rich [SSIR]

Kevin Starr of the Mulago Foundation wrote a nice explanation of the need for and sweet spot of impact investing, Somebody’s Gotta Get Rich. Impact at problem-solving levels of scale doesn’t come from one-off businesses. “Levels of scale” as in making a noticeable difference in the world, rather than simply telling a good story imagining a world different from how it is today. Kevin...

Building a jet suit is like building a company

From the inside of the startup process, as the entrepreneur, the pass to success seems rather simple.  You’ve got a great idea.  It’s obvious that it will work.  It’s frustrating that others are not simply following along. Reality is that entrepreneurship is complicated.  Few ideas truly are great.  Most startups fail. Sometimes analogous situations make this far more obvious. ...

Ray Dalio’s Principles of Success

Ray Dalio is the founder, co-Chief Investment Officer and co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. He’s also the author of the #1 NYTimes Bestseller, Principles: Life and Work and has summarized that advice into the following 30 minute video series. (Total running time: 31 minutes) 1. The Call to Adventure 2. Embrace Reality and Deal With It 3. The Five Step...

Dead 2.0

One of my former MBA students is turning his business school project into a real company… one that changes the way we bury our loved ones.


Growing the tent for impact investing

With all the buzz about impact investing (see BlackRock’s letter), it’s no surprise that Social Capital Markets’ new SOCAP 365 impact investing conference in Seattle was sold out. Investors, venture capitalists, family foundations and more joined to network, learn and make commitments in furthering the growth of the impact investing field. The day was filled with the realities of the impact...

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