gener8tor will build its next Milwaukee cohort entirely from scratch

gener8tor co-founders Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:03 pm

Startup accelerator gener8tor plans to invest $100,000 in each of five new startups its fall cohort will build from scratch in Milwaukee.

The approach is a new one for the Milwaukee- and Madison-based company, which usually accepts existing seed-stage startups seeking growth assistance into its program in return for an equity stake. By building startups from scratch, gener8tor will have an earlier ownership stake – and a more significant potential return. Nationally, a number of prominent startup accelerators have been shifting toward this studio model.

gener8tor’s traditional model has performed well, but the company is seeking new ways to help underserved entrepreneurs in its existing communities, with the aim of creating local wealth and jobs, the company said in a press release.

“By doing so, gener8tor hopes to pioneer a new model for communities to invest in their citizens that directly encourages innovation by creating startups that wouldn’t have otherwise existed by using the existing resources in a given community,” the company said.

gener8tor tested its Accelerator Studio approach in the Madison cohort that concluded today. Participants in the accelerator are chosen based on their background, personality, past history and capability to bring a company to market. They are vetted through several interviews, similar to traditional startup applicants.

Traditionally, gener8tor has sought startups from around the world, and in 2018 the Milwaukee program had more than 1,000 applicants. The company indicated the Milwaukee Accelerator Studio will be chosen “primarily from a pool of local applicants.”

The accelerator is accepting applications from technologist teams seeking to be founders of the Milwaukee startups through Friday, Aug. 2. The program will take place over four months, and include one-on-one mentorship to jointly find and develop a scalable product. gener8tor will also introduce startups to its network of angel investors to raise funding for the concepts.

The all-studio model is only in place for this cohort of the gener8tor program; its other equity-based accelerators will remain the same.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.