gener8tor launches new Fox Valley startup accelerator with U.S. Venture

Madison-based gener8tor is partnering with Appleton-based U.S. Venture, Inc. to launch a new U.S. Venture Sustainability Accelerator. The startup accelerator program is also located in Appleton and will support high-growth and innovative companies that are focused on building solutions in the sustainability and/or mobility space. Andrew Schmitz has been named the inaugural managing director of the accelerator.


As managing director, Schmitz will lead the U.S. Venture Sustainability Investment Accelerator in supporting startups that have the opportunity for significant and scalable economic impact. gener8tor’s network and expertise in sales, marketing and go-to-market strategies help startups with their growth and fundraising goals.

“We are thrilled to have Andrew lead this important initiative,” said Chuck Dauk, chief innovation and transformation officer at U.S. Venture. “His startup experience and local connections will be a great resource for the founders who receive investment through the U.S. Venture Sustainability Accelerator.”

Schmitz, an Appleton native, is an award-winning entrepreneur with experience building tech companies in the local startup ecosystem. Prior to joining gener8tor, he was the original founder of, an application used by manufacturing companies across North America for training frontline workers.

During his time starting and growing, Schmitz became heavily involved in the startup community throughout northeastern Wisconsin and frequently advocates for startups in the region.

“Appleton and the Fox Valley have a rich history of world-changing entrepreneurs and innovators. I’m really fortunate to have this opportunity to contribute to our area’s entrepreneurial landscape and legacy,” said Schmitz. “As a tech founder myself, I’ve benefited from what our area has to offer entrepreneurs – from strong industrial ties to low cost of living. I’m excited to connect entrepreneurs with the resources we have to offer in order to help grow the next Appleton-based, world-changing businesses of tomorrow.”

The program is currently accepting applications. The 12-week accelerator will launch March 23 and conclude on June 15 with a startup showcase.

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Ashley covers startups, technology and manufacturing for BizTimes. She was previously the managing editor of the News Graphic and Washington County Daily News. In past reporting roles, covering education at The Waukesha Freeman, she received several WNA awards. She is a UWM graduate. In her free time, Ashley enjoys watching independent films, tackling a new recipe in the kitchen and reading a good book.