Gener8tor Creates Los Angeles Accelerator for Music Tech Startups

Gener8tor has its sights set on Hollywood.

The organization, which since 2012 has held training and mentorship programs for entrepreneurs in its home state of Wisconsin and other parts of the Midwest, said Wednesday that it has teamed up with Capitol Music Group to launch a new music technology accelerator program in Los Angeles. The accelerator is currently accepting applications and will begin working with its first cohort of five startups on Sept. 6, according to a press release.

Capitol Music Group is owned by Universal Music Group and oversees the handling of record labels assigned to the corporate parent’s Capitol Records division. Katy Perry, Neil Diamond, and Mary J. Blige are among the artists currently signed to Capitol Records or one of its subsidiaries.

The new startup program will be housed in the Capitol360 Innovation Center, which Capitol Music Group opened in April. The innovation center is located within the record label’s iconic Capitol Tower headquarters in Hollywood.

“We’re excited to continue building on the momentum of our newly launched Capitol360 Innovation Center, by working with Gener8tor to transform the amazing ideas that come out of the Tower into businesses that will help the music industry continue to innovate and evolve,” Geoffrey Harris, chief financial officer of Capitol Music Group, said in the release.

The new program continues a trend in the tech industry, whereby corporations and other groups partner with organizations that have experience running startup training programs in order to develop accelerators geared toward specific technologies or sectors. For example, Techstars has spun up several such programs, including ones focused on voice technologies (in partnership with Amazon’s Alexa Fund), media and connectivity tech (with Comcast NBCUniversal), and autonomous technology (with the U.S. Air Force).

This isn’t Gener8tor’s first music-focused program created with an outside partner. Earlier this year, Gener8tor and Radio Milwaukee announced they were teaming up on an initiative called Backline to invigorate the music scene in Wisconsin’s largest city. As part of the collaboration, the two organizations are providing cohorts of four Milwaukee-area musicians with $20,000 grants and 12 weeks of mentorship to help them advance their careers.

The name of the latest Gener8tor accelerator is “gBETA Musictech,” Gener8tor said. gBETA is a series of free, seven-week accelerator programs Gener8tor puts on that help entrepreneurs with things like pitching their products, adding users and customers, and raising money from investors. Unlike its core accelerator program, Gener8tor does not invest or take equity in companies that participate in gBETA.

The companies picked to participate in gBETA Musictech will work closely with leaders in the music and entertainment industries, including producers and songwriters, Gener8tor said. Entrepreneurs will also meet with angel investors, venture capitalists, and technology executives during the course of the program.

To be eligible to participate in the new accelerator, a startup must be developing one or more technologies “related to sourcing, recording, production, distribution, marketing, touring, licensing, [or] streaming” of music—or, more broadly, any technology “that could serve any component of the music industry,” Gener8tor said.

In addition to the five startups picked to participate in each session of the new program in L.A., Gener8tor and Capitol Music Group will select three other music technology startups. These three startups will be able to participate in one of the gBETA programs Gener8tor runs in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio.

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

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