Wisconsin 275
Wisconsin 275
BizTimes Media

Joe Kirgues

Emerging Industries | Startups
Co-founder
gener8tor | Madison

University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni Joe Kirgues and Troy Vosseller teamed up in 2012 to found gener8tor, a startup accelerator designed to help Milwaukee- and Madison-based entrepreneurs launch and scale their businesses. In the decade since, gener8tor has graduated 938 startups from its 104 annual accelerator programs, and 34 of its alumni companies have been acquired. gener8tor has 140 full-time employees, accelerators in more than 41 cities with more than $1.2 billion in total funding across 22 states and two countries; and more than 90 programs and conferences among startups, artists, musicians, corporations and job-seekers. In Wisconsin, gener8tor’s programs have helped bring millions in investment to a state that has historically lagged in venture capital. Earlier in his career, Kirgues worked as an associate at Quarles & Brady LLP.

Education: Bachelor’s, Marquette University; J.D., University of Wisconsin

First job: “Gilles. Never forget to make sure the shake machine is fully closed before you pour in 20 gallons of shake mix.”

As you enter your office, what would you choose to be your walk-up or theme song: “A Yung Gravy song because he worked at gener8tor before deciding to make very unexpected music.”

Biggest recent accomplishment: “Helping hundreds of people go from unemployed/offline to employed/online through our Skills Accelerator partnership with Microsoft.”

Business leaders you would like to have dinner with: “Taralinda Willis from Curate and Chris Campbell from ReviewTrackers. We have a history of celebrating founders who successfully build and exit companies from scratch, and we owe them a dinner.”