gener8tor reveals four startups created through new Accelerator Studio

Company to host fireside chat with president of Microsoft

Rick Whittaker, center, holds a drone interceptor developed by his company, AirShare at gener8tor Premiere Night in 2018.

Last updated on November 21st, 2019 at 11:03 am

Milwaukee-based gener8tor created four startups from scratch through its inaugural Accelerator Studio program, which builds teams using only Wisconsin-based entrepreneurs.

The startups built through the program include:

  • Altin Labs, which developed a plug-and-play machine monitoring solution that allows manufacturers to monitor equipment in real time.
  • Cloudux, a SaaS platform that makes it easier to create, manage and deploy code in a multi-cloud environment
  • Alive & Well, a direct-to-consumer brand selling sustainable hair care products formulated specifically for wavy to curly hair types.
  • Last Lock, which developed a self-power, smary cylinder that turns any mechanical lock into a highly secure smart lock.

All four companies will pitch their business models to investors, entrepreneurs and the community during gener8tor’s Premiere Night, which will feature Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, as the keynote speaker.

At the fireside chat, which takes place in Turner Hall on Dec. 17, Smith will discuss his new book, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and Peril of the Digital Age.” Smith will also talk about the Microsoft TechSpark Initiative, which is an initiative to foster greater economic and job opportunities in six communities outside the country’s major metropolitan centers.

Those who attend Premiere Night will receive a copy of “Tools and Weapons.”

“Cutting-edge technology took root in America’s Midwest more than a century ago,” Smith said. “Innovation has always been an important part of this region’s proud past, and accelerators like gener8tor are making sure that it’s equally part of its exciting future.

The four startups that will present during Premier Night each received a $100,000 cash investment from gener8tor through participating in the Accelerator Studio. The month prior to Premiere Night, they’ll have gone on to pitch a total of more than 80 venture capital funds and angel investors, one-on-one, in Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco to raise additional funds, according to a press release.

Each entrepreneur entered the Accelerator Studio in late August with no concept for a product, service or business model, according to a press release. The entrepreneurs then worked with gener8tor staff to come up with a unique product or service, validate consumer demand, incorporate, build a minimum viable product and begin selling.

“We think the studio model has the potential to change the narrative around innovation and new wealth and job creation in the Midwest and throughout the country,” said Joe Kirgues, gener8tor co-founder.

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.