Gener8tor working on new three-week program for early-stage entrepreneurs

Gener8tor, a nationally-ranked Milwaukee-based startup accelerator program, is working on a new program, called gALPHA, it plans to launch later this year.

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The program will run alongside its 12-week core accelerator program and a free six-week pre-seed accelerator program called gBETA, which the organization launched in 2015.

“Gener8tor itself is a startup and we’re constantly telling our companies they need to grow, but we need to eat our own dogfood as we tell them to do that,” said Abby Taubner, director of gener8tor’s Milwaukee gBETA program. “So we try to create new programs each year as well.”

Described as a “hackathon and accelerator hybrid” the gALPHA program is intended to attract early-stage entrepreneurs with lots of technical talent who may not necessarily have a fully-developed business idea.

“We are seeing a lot of talent come in through our gBeta pipeline, however they don’t necessarily have a business model wrapped around them yet,” Taubner said. “They’re still trying to figure out what kind of company to pursue. As it stands right now, we don’t really have a program in place for them. We don’t have the opportunity to take pure technical talent and tinker with them a while.”

That’s where gALPHA would come in. Although the program is still in its early planning stages — Taubner said gener8tor hasn’t nailed down a timeline for when it will be launched or a host location in Wisconsin — its basic characteristics will include elements of a hackathon event and a short accelerator program. One of its overall goals: get local talent plugged into the gener8tor system early, and connect them with tools and support.

Hackathons are intensive collaboration events that last anywhere from a day to a week that involve teams of engineers and designers who collaborate on software projects.

Right now, tentative plans for the program include opening up with a hackathon event to get participants shaking hands, collaborating and coming up with business ideas in teams, and then sitting down with each of them to figure out what they’re working on and tweak their business models.

“We want to sit down with them, each team, figure out what they’re working on, how to tweak business model, see who we can connect them with and really get them churning building a company,” Taubner said.

Taubner anticipated more detailed plans for the program and its structure will be determined over the next two months.

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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