Aug 23, 2017

Gener8tor Partners with UW-Madison CS Department on Mini-Accelerator

Excerpted from Xconomy Wisconsin

By Jeff Buchanan

Gener8tor is bringing its latest series of training programs for entrepreneurs to Madison, WI, as part of a new partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s computer sciences department.

Launched in 2012, Wisconsin-based Gener8tor coaches and invests in early-stage businesses through different types of programs. Its most recently introduced series is gALPHA, a three-week hackathon-accelerator hybrid.

Gener8tor said Wednesday it will hold two gALPHA programs in Madison during the upcoming school year. They will be supported in part by a private gift to UW-Madison from an anonymous donor who earned a graduate degree in computer science from the school in 2010, Gener8tor said.

The programs, called “gALPHA + CS,” will match UW-Madison students with experts from across campus, with the goal of helping students develop products and form companies, Gener8tor said.

Like gBETA, gALPHA does not provide funding to entrepreneurs who participate in the program, nor does it take equity in their startups. gALPHA is aimed at helping people with ideas for new companies understand where there’s likely to be demand for their products, and some of the pros and cons of different business models, Gener8tor said.

The inaugural gALPHA program took place earlier this year, in Beloit, WI. Gener8tor may bring gALPHA to other cities if it is able to find sponsors for programs, said Abby Taubner of Gener8tor.

According to U.S. News & World Report, UW-Madison’s computer sciences department is the 11th best in the country. Epic Systems, Propeller Health, and EatStreet are among the local companies launched by those who have studied CS at the school.

The overarching goal is to create another vehicle for students to turn their visions for new products into actual businesses, according to Guri Sohi, who chairs UW-Madison’s computer sciences department.

“Now more than ever, computer scientists have an incredible opportunity to help Wisconsin’s long-term economic well-being,” Sohi said. “We can facilitate the use of knowledge that we create, and help our students learn how to develop their ideas and exploit their computing skills to build innovative companies in Wisconsin.”

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