After a Couple of Late Changes, Gener8tor Graduates Its Newest Class
(Page 2 of 3)
innovation, so let’s take a stand. Either we want to back something like this, or we don’t.”
Troy Vosseller, another Gener8tor co-founder, announced that the groundbreaking for StartingBlock Madison—the future home of the accelerator, along with some of its portfolio companies, and others, including Xconomy Wisconsin—will occur sometime this year. (Disclosure: Gener8tor is a supporter of this site, but our coverage is determined independently by our editors.)
A dropout and a swap
One startup that was notably absent from Wednesday’s Premiere Night festivities was 23VIVI, which is a virtual storefront for limited edition fine art. 23VIVI, whose technology involves creating certificates of authenticity using blockchain encryption techniques to ensure users don’t have artwork stolen or purchase fakes, had graduated from gBETA in December before being accepted into Gener8tor’s core program. Kirgues says that about a month ago, 23VIVI’s co-founders decided they were no longer going to be a part of the accelerator’s most recent class.
“They decided they wanted to go on other pursuits,” Kirgues says, adding that Gener8tor had not invested in 23VIVI before the startup decided to drop out.
23VIVI arguably had generated the most buzz among the startups in its class, having received in-depth coverage from news outlets like the Huffington Post and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On Thursday, co-founder QuHarrison Terry uploaded a YouTube video asking viewers to consider supporting 23VIVI by purchasing a custom-painted Amazon Kindle for $250.
Kirgues says that to compensate, he anticipates Gener8tor will accept six startups into its next program, which will be based in Milwaukee and likely kick off in August.
The other big change to Gener8tor’s newest class involved Curate, which took the place of Exis. The connection is that Dale Willis and his wife Taralinda are co-founders of both startups. However, she directed Exis-related questions to Suman Banerjee, another co-founder of that company and a professor in the UW-Madison’s engineering and computer science departments. Banerjee says that Exis is not defunct, but it’s too early to say what the plans are for it going forward.
Curate and Exis are quite different, and Dale Willis says that the change happened within the past week. Exis’s focus is on making tools and services to help software developers manage an application’s “back end,” which can include things like authenticating users and storing and syncing data in the cloud.
Meanwhile, the idea with Curate is to provide web-scraping services—seeking out and retrieving intel on what and where competitors are selling, for instance—and package the information in an easy-to-understand, actionable format. “Curate is like Google Alerts on steroids,” Taralinda Willis says.
Gener8tor’s Kirgues says that the Willises were the ones who suggested changing course.
“They came to us with this new concept and collectively, we saw a better opportunity,” he says. “At Gener8tor, we’re investing in you as an entrepreneur. We’re not investing in your idea.”
Rounding out the class
The other two startups who pitched were Allergy Amulet and Dattus.
—Indianapolis-based Dattus equips machines with sensors that can share data with Web-connected servers, and with each other. The company’s devices can detect any irregularities in things like temperature, weight, and vibration, and automatically shut machines down. Dattus’s sensor technology has applications in industries like manufacturing, mining, energy, and life sciences. Anurag Garg, the company’s co-founder and CEO, says Dattus projects its monthly revenues will increase to $100,000 by the end of 2017, from $5,700 today. Its list of customer commitments includes the likes of Harley-Davidson, Rolls Royce, and … Next Page »