Milwaukee- and Madison-based startup accelerator gener8tor announced today it has formed a partnership with major record label Capitol Music Group to launch gBETA Musictech, a new Los Angeles-based accelerator program focused on music technology.
“We’ve been one of the country’s leaders with building partnerships with corporations and accelerators,” said Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor. “It builds on that same sort of corporate relationship model that, again, I think is unique in the accelerator industry and gives us that reach beyond our geography because of our capabilities and expertise.”
Tarik Moody, digital director at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, made the introduction between gener8tor and Capitol, Kirgues said. He had been working with Capitol on a hackathon. 88Nine and gener8tor are partners on the 12-week Milwaukee-based Backline music accelerator.
“We both felt like we had an overlapping set of interests,” Kirgues said.
Capitol Music Group, parent company of Capitol Records, Virgin Records, Motown Records and others, represents artists including Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, Ryan Adams, Katy Perry and other top artists. The company will provide mentorship and connections within the music industry for startups in the Musictech accelerator. Gener8tor also has corporate partnerships with American Family Insurance, Microsoft and others.
Gener8tor’s gBETA program is offered in nine other Midwestern cities, including gBETA Medtech in Minneapolis, which is focused on medical innovations.
“This is our first office out of the Midwest so we’re excited to be in LA with a staff on the ground operating in the Capitol Records headquarters, and we’re hopeful this is a sign of things to come,” he said.
gBETA Musictech, a free seven-week non-equity program, is now accepting applications, with plans to accept five to six startups in the first cohort. It will also accept another three musictech startups for one of its other gBETA programs. Applicants should be focused on music technology, including sourcing, recording, production, distribution, marketing, touring, licensing and streaming. The program is also open to startups from the nine other gBETA programs if they are in the musictech space, Kirgues said. The first cohort will begin Sept. 6.
“We’re excited to continue building on the momentum of our newly launched Capitol360 Innovation Center by working with gener8tor to transform the amazing ideas that come out of the (Capitol Records) Tower into businesses that will help the music industry continue to innovate and evolve,” said Geoffrey Harris, chief financial officer of Capitol Music Group.
gener8tor’s eponymous seed accelerator program accepts just five companies per year, and invests $90,000 in each in return for an equity stake. Its gBETA program helps fledgling businesses with local roots become competitive for angel financing or accelerators, but does not take an equity stake. And its gALPHA program goes a step earlier in the process and helps creative, innovative people with ideas see if they could be developed to form a company.
The organization has been expanding rapidly this year, adding Backline, artist accelerator Fellowship.art, The Brandery, and several new gBETA cities. gener8tor now has 30 employees, 20 of whom are full-time.