New business accelerator for Milwaukee musicians seeking inaugural cohort

88Nine Radio Milwaukee, gener8tor partnering on program

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:11 pm

A new business accelerator program aimed at helping Milwaukee musicians launch their careers is seeking applications for its first cohort.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

The new program, called Backline, is being offered as a partnership between 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and Milwaukee startup accelerator gener8tor. The program, will which will run from Aug. 3 to Nov. 17, will offer four Milwaukee area musicians with intensive 12-week mentorship sessions. Throughout the program, musicians will create new music in the studio, receive mentorship from local and national experts, and will be eligible to receive $20,000 in grants to be used toward their career.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor developed the program in an effort to grow Milwaukee’s image as a vibrant music city and help companies attract young employees.

“Backline is the foundation the Milwaukee music scene has been searching for,” said Mag Rodriguez, Backline program director. “Our talent finally has a team to turn to when they need help. Breaking into the music industry is considered impossible by many, but Backline is here to provide our talent hope.”

After the inaugural 12-week program this year, Backline plans to offer two sessions per year beginning in 2019.

The program is backed by funding from Northwestern Mutual, Novo Foundation, Herb Kohl Philanthropies, Maihaugen Foundation, ManpowerGroup, Quarles & Brady, Summerfest, VISIT Milwaukee and New Resources Companies, as well as many individual donors.

Applicants must be an individual artist or band creating original music of any genre, live within the seven-county Greater Milwaukee area, and be committed to making a full-time career in music. A panel of five national music industry experts will narrow the top 10 finalists to the four participants.

Applications can be submitted through June 25 at

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