In the summer of 2012, a small business accelerator called gener8tor opened in Milwaukee with a class of seven young companies — mostly from Madison — offering specialized mentoring and a small investment to give them an extra push out of the starting gate.

The plan was to hold two sessions a year, one in Madison and one in Milwaukee, each with 12 weeks of intensive training for about five startups, concluding with a festive launch for the graduates before an audience of potential investors and fellow entrepreneurs.

Today, six years later, gener8tor is a nationally acclaimed accelerator that runs programs in nine cities, has invested in 76 portfolio companies, mentored 222 startups and employs 26 people.

But beyond its popular accelerator programs — more than 1,000 entrepreneurs applied for spots in the 2018 Milwaukee session alone — gener8tor has been busy with another initiative, Project North, bringing together some of the biggest corporations in the Midwest to encourage and facilitate their support of the region’s entrepreneurs.

Project North has drawn in leaders of 37 companies and organizations from five different states.

Read more from the Wisconsin State Journal.