Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Welcome to gener8tor

Twin Cities Startup Week, which was held for the third time early last month, has evolved into a one-week showcase of the creators, innovators, hackers, investors and others who are driving the Twin Cities startup scene. There were events from early in the morning to late at night, and all hours in between.  There were intimate gatherings of people focusing on specific topics (healthcare, AI, IoT, etc.), and other larger general purpose events, including the Minnesota Cup’s final awards event, a Beta.MN showcase event, Techstars Demo Day and MinneDemo. As in years past, there was plenty of enthusiasm and energy on display by the Twin Cities startup community.

One new event on the Twin Cities Startup Week calendar was gener8tor’s premiere night launch event. Held on October 10th at the Minneapolis Event Center, it was the coming out party for the 5 cohort companies that participated in gener8tor’s accelerator program beginning this past summer. For those of you who don’t know, gener8tor is an accelerator program that was started in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin in 2012. The program graduates one cohort group from each of their Wisconsin locations annually (Madison in the spring and Milwaukee in the fall).  gener8tor launched its Minneapolis program this past year and has been a welcome addition to the Twin Cities startup community.

As with other accelerators, gener8tor puts its portfolio companies through an intensive 12 week program, in which it provides substantive feedback on each of the participant’s business plan and strategy.  gener8tor also helps connect the participants to mentors, investors, advisors and others who can help the startups, and ultimately make a cash investment in the startups.  Based on gener8tor’s data, it currently has over 50 portfolio companies, 57% of whom have raised more than $1 million or been acquired after completing the gener8tor program. Cumulatively, gener8tor portfolio companies have raised more than $120 million in follow-on funding.

The companies who participated in the program this year were a diverse mix of companies, including a company that is creating a platform for young girls to express their engineering and design interests online through 3D design and printing (Kira Kira), a company that is creating a platform for scholarship providers to connect with scholarship seekers (Kaledioscope), a golf apparel company targeted at millennials (Swannies), a cloud based logistics and delivery management company (routeique), and a company developing a medical device to treat chronic back pain (Smart Implant Systems). As someone who had an opportunity to participate in the program as a mentor, I was really impressed with this group of companies and founders.

It is great that gener8tor identified the Twin Cities as a good market in which to expand its accelerator program, and great to have another strong partner invested in helping the Twin Cities startup scene. 

No comments :

Post a Comment