Gener8tor Opening Minnesota Office, First Class to Start in Fall

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in Boulder, CO, and later added programs in Boston, Seattle, New York, and, just last year, Minneapolis. However, that Twin Cities accelerator, which Techstars has partnered with Target (NYSE: TGT) to run, is for retail-focused startups. McGuire says that leaves room for an industry-agnostic accelerator like Gener8tor to make inroads.

Most recently, McGuire was an entrepreneur in residence at American Family Ventures, the venture capital arm of Madison, WI-based American Family Insurance. Before that, he co-founded companies such as NameProtect.com (sold to Corporation Services Company), Jellyfish.com (sold to Microsoft), and Alice.com (went out of business).

McGuire says he sees parallels between starting a company and helping Gener8tor open its first office outside of Wisconsin.

“One of the things I love about being an entrepreneur is starting things from scratch—watching something shape and form, and take on its own life,” he says.

McGuire’s last venture, social planning app Nextt, shut down in 2014, and he took a year off before jumping back into the startup world with American Family Ventures, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He says that living in Madison from the time Gener8tor launched until now has given him an appreciation of the accelerator and the two people who lead its day-to-day operations, Kirgues and Troy Vosseller. “They’re scrappy, capital-efficient executors,” he says.

McGuire is the only Gener8tor employee hired so far who will be Minnesota-based, but he says he plans on “adding at least a couple of heads this year.” He expects to relocate to the Twin Cities in August.

Ultimately, his hope is that Gener8tor can function as a catalyst for regional unity.

“There’s an opportunity for the big Midwestern cities to band together more,” he says. “I see connections between Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, even into Ann Arbor, MI. But I think there’s a lot more we can do to self-identify as an important region for startup activity.”

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Jeff Buchanan is the editor of Xconomy Seattle. Email: jbuchanan@xconomy.com Follow @_jeffbuchanan

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