gener8tor selects six startups for Madison accelerator

Programming to be virtual

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

Milwaukee-based accelerator gener8tor has selected six companies from around the country for its 2020 Madison cohort, which will be the first all-virtual cohort due to COVID-19.

The Madison 2020 cohort features companies from Madison, Beloit, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Lexington and New York. Each company accepted into the cohort will receive a $100,000 investment. Two of the startups are led by women founders while another two are led by minority founders.

“The six companies we selected for this all-virtual program are incredibly talented and resilient,” said Ben Stanley, managing director of gener8tor Madison. “To say the growth they are achieving under these economic circumstances is inspiring is an understatement.”

The startups participating in gener8tor’s 12-week program include the following:

  • Madison-based Cultured Decadence, which developed methods to make crustacean products using cell culture and tissue engineering techniques. The technology allows the startup to make lobster and crab meat directly from the animals’ cells to help serve the growing demand for nutritious sustainable seafood worldwide.
  • Lexington-based Gem + Jewel, a platform that allows independent jewelry retailers and wholesalers to sell merchandise directly to consumers online. The startup solves the supply chain inefficiency in the industry by allowing independent retails to create branded eCommerce sites using customizable templates while also allowing wholesales to sell excess inventory direct-to-consumer and retailers through a universal market place.
  • Kansas City-based NEER, a real-time water quality and infrastructure management platform that uses machine learning to identify leaks and predict failures in municipal drinking water, sewer and stormwater systems. NEER’s platform analyzes and scores each water asset on their likelihood/consequence of failure, allowing utility directors to make pragmatic monitoring, maintenance and replacement decisions based on real-time data.
  • Minneapolis-based PinkLion.AI, which assembles artificial intelligence tools into custom subscription bundles for enterprise app teams, developers, testers and product managers. Their custom solutions are then managed through PinkLion’s dashboard and paid for through an annual subscription.
  • Beloit-based RealityBLU, a self-service design platform enables non-technical marketers to create and publish augmented reality experiences for AR-enabled smartphones and devices. RealityBLU eliminates the technical barrier to implement and measure AR content experiences by providing marketers with an intuitive interface and workflow, allowing them to attract more customers for brands and clients
  • New York-based Sigo, a mobile-first auto insurance platform allowing customers with limited insurance histories to get basic liability policies directly from their phone, in English or Spanish. Most Latino customers are poorly served by an antiquated insurance industry, and Sigo is better segmenting this risk. Sigo is live in California as a brokerage and is launching its proprietary product in Texas this year.

In March, gener8tor transitioned all of its programming into a virtual format. Traditionally, the 12-week program would end with premier night. However, gener8tor will host a virtual premier night in August.

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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.

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