May 13, 2015
Tomorrow night in Madison, Wisconsin gener8tor will host their Premiere Night as five startup companies present their businesses to more than 400 attendees. The event will feature companies that have successfully completed the gener8tor Madison 2015 accelerator program, which provides funding, mentorship, and training for high growth entrepreneurs.
Upon their acceptance into the program, each company received a $20,000 cash investment in exchange for six to nine percent common stock equity. There’s also $70,000 guaranteed, in convertible note follow-on capital from gener8tor and Angels on the Water.
Further, the Wisconsin-based companies that go through gener8tor get an additional $50,000 convertible note of guaranteed follow-on capital from the BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation. To date there are 33 alums who have cumulatively raised over $40 million in follow-on financing.
However, before the companies take the stage Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Insurance, will give a keynote speech. Under his leadership, American Family Insurance has taken a deep interest in the Madison entrepreneurial community via their flagship sponsorship of gener8tor.
“There has been no bigger champion of entrepreneurship in the state of Wisconsin than American Family Insurance under Jack’s leadership,” says Troy Vosseller, cofounder of gener8tor.
Additionally, Salzwedel has established American Family Ventures, a $50 million VC fund. Most recently, American Family Insurance also announced their support of StartingBlock Madison, which has announced plans to create a 50,000 square-foot entrepreneurial hub in the Capital East district of Downtown Madison.
“American Family believes in the power of dreams and the entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and collaboration needed to achieve them,” says Salzwedel. “American Family’s involvement in gener8tor and StartingBlock Madison continues our support of innovation and emerging companies that can benefit our customers and the community.”
The companies that will be featured at the gener8tor Premiere Night event are:
- GrocerKey (Madison, WI): GrocerKey partners with local and independent grocers to offer a free, branded online store. GrocerKey’s platform provides a front-end store, back-end dashboard, “picker” apps, and the training and infrastructure to facilitate a pickup and local delivery service, with a particular focus on large college towns and mid-size markets. The platform has launched in the Madison, WI market with two grocery stores, and will be launching with Woodman’s Markets soon.
- Bright Cellars (Boston, MA): Bright Cellars is a subscription wine experience that matches members with four bottles of wine per month using an algorithm created by its MIT-grad cofounders. Members discover and rate new wines to improve future matches. Bright Cellars has over 1,500 active members and a $925,000 revenue run rate.
- Carson Life (Miami, FL): Carson Life is an all natural health and beauty products company focused on the Hispanic market. Carson Life’s products include offerings in the hair care, weight loss, skin care, vitamins, and rejuvenation categories. Carson Life has exclusive endorsement deals with well-known celebrities in the Hispanic market and their products are currently sold online and through retailers like Walmart and Walgreens, with total sales exceeding $400,000 since inception.
- Passage (Detroit, MI): Passage powers ticketing and payments for specialty events that can be hosted both online and at the door. Passage caters to niche event verticals with category specific branding and features. One example is HauntPay, Passage’s ticketing and payment solution for the haunted attraction industry. In Fall 2014, Passage handled over $1.5 million in ticket sales and has generated over $150,000 in revenue since. Passage recently launched three new verticals: PintPay – beer festivals, BallerPay – paintball events, and SoccerStub – semi-pro soccer.
- AltusCampus (Madison, WI): AltusCampus’ online platform provides continuing medical education courses to healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities. For healthcare professionals, AltusCampus enables individuals to meet and track license requirements. For healthcare facilities, AltusCampus protects billing reimbursement eligibility by tracking their workforce’s compliance with license requirements. AltusCampus currently licenses their platform to 40 healthcare licensees.
The gener8tor accelerator was recently named the number 14 seed accelerator in the United States and is currently accepting applications for its next program, Milwaukee 2015, via the website. If you’re interested in trying to secure an invite for the Premiere Night event, address any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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