How one Wisconsin accelerator is bridging the gap between startups and corporate executives

By September 16, 2018

Madison, Wisconsin’s very own gener8tor has been consistently ranked as one of the best American startup accelerator programs year after year. It is now looking towards its latest work, called Project North, geared towards connecting large Midwest companies and corporations with burgeoning startups and entrepreneurs.

Project North is advertised as a members-only network that gives investors the first look into new businesses on the rise throughout the Midwest.

According to a report from the Wisconsin State Journal, Project North already has 37 companies in its member base, which include huge names like Harley-Davidson and Northwestern Mutual, among others. Those companies are represented in five states throughout the U.S.

Through roundtable talks, event trips, conferences, and tech retreats, Project North gives executives a more intimate look at these Midwest startups.

“By helping forge relationships between startups and corporate innovation and venture capital teams, Project North is creating a fast track for startup growth while also helping legacy corporations more easily transition amid changing economic trends,” Greg Robinson of 4490, a company sponsoring the Project North initiative, told the Wisconsin State Journal.

Although the news report noted that the initiative was actually created three years ago, gener8tor heads waited until recently to announce the Project North roll out and unveil the behind the scenes work that has been going on for the past several years.

Gener8tor began in Madison and Milwaukee in 2012 and has already spread to nine total cities while investing in nearly 80 companies. Accelerator heads have said they are eager to continue connecting the program with different startups and universities throughout the Midwest. Its main accelerator event runs for 12 weeks in the two aforementioned Wisconsin cities as well as Minneapolis. Earlier this year, it also established a connection with Cincinnati to run a four-month accelerator program in the Ohio hub.

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