Five promising startup companies, as determined by Milwaukee-based startup accelerator gener8tor, are taking part in the 2021 Milwaukee program and have received a $100,000 investment from the organization.
“The whole idea of the (gener8tor Milwaukee) program is we’re taking the very best startups from around the world, bringing them to Milwaukee for this 12-week program, and helping them to raise investor funding from there,” said Molly Dill, managing director of gener8tor Milwaukee.
Dill said gener8tor brings the startups to the city in the hopes that they fall in love with Milwaukee and want to stay, but there is no requirement that they do so. There have been a handful of past startups that have done just that, including Fiveable and Bright Cellars. Due to Covid-19 concerns, the program is currently in a hybrid format.
“There is a strong preference for companies based in Wisconsin or with some sort of Wisconsin or Milwaukee tie, but we’re looking under every rock to find the best startups in the country and in the world,” Dill said.
One might not be able to tell at first glance, but four out of the five companies making up the 2021 cohort have ties to Wisconsin.
Alex Troyer, director of engineering at Bidstitch, is based in Appleton. Bidstitch provides an online home for the growing resale community and those who thrift.
Steven Novick, founder and CEO of Farmstand, grew up in Milwaukee. Farmstand operates a meal delivery service that has a net zero carbon impact. The company touts that its meals are highly customizable and “5/5/0/0.” This means $5 per meal, five minutes to heat, zero sugar added and zero waste.
Brooke Navarro, co-founder and chief executive officer of Without A Trace, also grew up in Milwaukee. Without A Trace Foods manufactures and distributes allergen-friendly and gluten-free snacks for all ages.
Jana Morrin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Speakfully, which is based in Eau Claire. Their SaaS platform allows organizations to receive and manage anonymous reports and feedback about the workplace while providing real-time analytics.
The only startup in gener8tor's 2021 Milwaukee program without a Wisconsin connection, DocuMentor’s agency management platform allows home health organizations to become and remain compliant while creating and tracking custom data points. William Birdsong serves as founder and chief executive officer.
The gener8tor Milwaukee 2021 program has already kicked off and is scheduled to end Feb. 24 with a public demo day, called Premiere Night. For 12 weeks, each company will work with gener8tor to secure customers, gain expertise from mentors and accelerate their revenue growth. For the last four weeks, the founders will pitch to angel and capital investors in the hopes of securing a larger round of funding.