gener8tor launches third program

gAlpha to help turn ideas into companies

gener8tor employees and gBeta participants at a recent Pitch Night at the Irontek space in Beloit.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:05 pm

Milwaukee-based startup accelerator gener8tor is launching a third program, gAlpha, aimed at fostering entrepreneurship.

gener8tor employees and gBeta participants at a recent Pitch Night at the Irontek space in Beloit.

The pilot gAlpha program will run from June 9 to 23 at Irontek in Beloit. It will begin with a hackathon over the weekend of June 9, followed by a two-week accelerator program.

Sam Petre, director of gBeta Beloit, will head the new initiative. It will begin in Beloit because the number of venture-backed businesses is greater there than in Milwaukee.

“I think that Hendricks Commercial Properties really put a lot of investment and effort into the Beloit area to attract small businesses to the area,” Petre said. “And venture-backed businesses tend to start small. We’re going to leverage our expertise in business creation through gener8tor and see if we can help spur more of that down there.”

gener8tor’s eponymous seed accelerator program accepts just five companies per year, and invests $20,000 in each in return for an equity stake.

Since there are many companies in Wisconsin who are not able to participate in the seed accelerator, gener8tor formed gBeta, Petre said. gBeta helps fledgling businesses with local roots become competitive for angel financing or accelerators.

Now, gAlpha goes a step earlier in the process and helps creative, innovative people with ideas see if they could be developed to form a company. gener8tor will help the participants create teams and provide a structure to help them accelerate their ideas.

“This is really our experiment to see if we can put the right skillsets together, mix it together with some of our corporate partners…and develop a really viable product with little to no access to financing,” he said. “The intent is just to help foster that creativity and foster that business creation atmosphere.”

gAlpha will also help gener8tor and its corporate partners identify and harness innovative employees, Petre said.

“We’re going to be bringing a lot of talented individuals together that otherwise might not be associated with one another,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for college students and or other workers to really display their skillset in a venue that’s not an interview.”

A second gAlpha program is planned for September in Beloit, and it may eventually be expanded to other gener8tor markets, Petre said.

“As we see a need for it and really start to build it out as a product of gener8tor, we’ll see how we can continue to offer that to our companies and to our partners,” he said.

Applications are now being accepted for the pilot program at

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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