Startup Accelerators/Incubators

Updated: Jan 28


Check out this list of Accelerators, Programs and more! Brought to you by Wisconsin Innov.


Accelerators

The Brew

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 6 Months, with an option to receive low-cost space for an additional 6 months


More Information: Founded in 2013 by The Water Council, The BREW is a startup accelerator for companies in the water technology space. The accelerator is in the process of launching its fifth cohort, and past companies include the Water Resources Monitoring Group, which measures and monitors agricultural runoff, and Cadens, which designs and manufactures small and micro-scale hydropower systems. The program accepts up to six companies for each 12 month cycle and offers up to $50,000 per startup as a two year convertible note. More on application criteria and benefits here.


Bunker Labs Madison

Location: Madison, WI

Length: 14 Weeks (7 sessions)


More information: The Doyenne accelerator and Doyenne Evergreen Fund are aimed at supporting women and minority entrepreneurs. Three types of funding are available to accelerator companies: grants (up to $5,000), loans (between $10,000-$50,000), and equity investments (between $25,000-$50,000). The accelerator program takes place over a 12 month period, with periodic commitments for member companies. Doyenne considers applications on a rolling basis, once per quarter. More on application criteria here.


FaBCAP

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Months


More information: The Food and Beverage Wisconsin industry group operates a “capacity and capitalization” accelerator for growing food and beverage companies. Now in its second cohort, the organization selects ten companies each year to participate in its business coaching curriculum. The accelerator offers periodic meetings with FaB Wisconsin staff and experts at area food companies, and helps each member company develop marketing, sales, operations and business plans. Participating companies receive $10,000 cash awards at the end of the program.


Gener8tor:

Location: Madison, WI and Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: Gener8tor is Wisconsin’s most established and well-known accelerator program. With offices in Madison and Milwaukee (as well as in Minneapolis), the organization selects just five companies for each 12-week cohort. Gener8tor considers applications from a wide industry range of startups, including software, IT, web, SaaS, life science, medtech, e-commerce and hardware, and it offers access to a broad network of mentors, investors and corporate partners. Each company receives $20,000 in exchange for 6-7% equity, plus a $70,000 guarantee for follow on capital in the form of a convertible note.


gBETA:

Location: Madison, WI and Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: gBETA is a seven week accelerator run by gener8tor that is aimed at earlier stage companies across Wisconsin and the Midwest. Similar to the gener8tor program, each cohort accepts only 5 companies per city, but gBETA is free, with no fees or equity required to participate. Companies receive office space for the seven week program, as well as mentoring and coaching at twice-weekly meetings. gBETA’s goal is to prepare companies for either participation in a full-scale accelerator program or to raise a seed round of funding.


Launch Box:

Location: Sturvent, WI

Length: 10 Weeks


More information: The Launch Box Growth Accelerator is operated by Gateway Technical College and is open to residents of or companies located in Racine, Walworth or Kenosha counties. Designed to bring startups from the idea stage to market, Launch Box accepts five to seven teams per cohort and awards $2,500 in seed grants to each at the conclusion of the program.


Madworks:

Location: Madison, WI

Length: 10 Weeks


More information: This Madison-based seed stage accelerator accepts early-stage companies started by UW-Madison faculty, staff, alumni and students, as well as startups from the greater Madison community. The ten-week program requires roughly a 20 hour/week commitment from participating companies. Working with Madworks staff, companies develop a set of weekly milestones to complete throughout the accelerator cohort. Companies can receive up to $5,000 in grant funding.


Scalerator:

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 6 Months


More information: Scalerator is a program run by Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Council that hopes to generate support and interest in startups and high-growth companies in the region. The Scalerator accelerator is based off the business growth model and best practices developed by Babson University professor Daniel Isenberg and focuses on helping growing companies develop sales and marketing, organizational development and entrepreneurial finance. Scalerator is free for companies who are selected to participate but does not offer grants or funding.


WERCBench Labs:

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: WERCBench Labs is an accelerator operated by the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium. The program looks to select startups in sectors related to energy and power, including ar/vr, drones, internet of things and 3D printing. Companies are housed in Milwaukee’s Energy Innovation Center for the three-month program duration and have access to lab and product testing space. WERCBench Labs gives $10,000 in upfront funding and $10,000 upon completion of the accelerator. Rather than take equity in cohort companies, M-WERC uses a royalty-based financing model where companies repay an agreed-upon set amount if they achieve revenue. The exact terms of this model are not available publicly.


Student Accelerators

The Commons Skills Accelerator:

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: The Skills Accelerator is an educational student accelerator run by The Commons, and initiative of the non-profit Greater Milwaukee Committee. For each cohort, 75 accepted university students are divided into groups and challenged to create a company or new product from scratch. The program runs on a semester cycle and each semester, five student startup ideas are chosen to run through the program. Students commit roughly 8-10 hours/week to The Skills Accelerator and can often receive internship credit from their universities. The program is free.


UW-Milwaukee Startup Challenge:

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: The Student Startup Challenge is a unique co-curricular program that creates an entrepreneurial culture at UWM by encouraging students to develop their ideas, launch businesses, and gain unique skills that come from the entrepreneurial experience.


UW-Whitewater Launch Pad:

Location: Whitewater, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: The UW-Whitewater Launch Pad accelerator is open to undergraduate and graduate students at UW-Whitewater. The accelerator does not take any equity in student startups, and while it doesn’t offer funding, participating companies will have access to the Launch Pad network including potential investors. Startups are given space at the Whitewater Tech Park Innovation center and participate in weekly meetings and workshops to develop different aspects of their businesses.


UW-Oshkosh Alta Resources CEI:

Location: Oshkosh, WI

Length: 12 Weeks


More information: The Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW-Oshkosh offers a 12-week accelerator program for student startups. Up to ten student companies are selected each semester and receive $5,000 to put towards their ventures. The top three companies from each cohort are eligible for the Summer Incubator Program, which gives teams an additional $5,000, a weekly stipend and space to work through the summer.

Incubators


Janesville Innovation Center:

Location: Janesville, WI


More information: The Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UW-Oshkosh offers a 12-week accelerator program for student startups. Up to ten student companies are selected each semester and receive $5,000 to put towards their ventures. The top three companies from each cohort are eligible for the Summer Incubator Program, which gives teams an additional $5,000, a weekly stipend and space to work through the summer.


Madison Enterprise Center:

Location: Madison, WI


More information: The Madison Enterprise Center is a joint venture between Madison Gas and Electric and the non-profit Common Wealth. Young businesses, if accepted, can remain a part of the incubator for three to five years, accessing affordable rent, business assistance and resource-matching. Current member companies range from a recruiting firm to a hot sauce company.


Technology Innovation Center at Research Park

Location: Milwaukee, WI


More information: The Technology Innovation Center features 20,000 square-feet of state-of-the-art wet laboratories, 50,000 square-feet of office and IT space and 10,000 square-feet of recently renovated common areas, light manufacturing space and office suites, with two board rooms, two conference rooms and two classroom facilities with the latest AV technology. More here.


Whitewater Tech Park Innovation Center

Location: Whitewater, WI


More information: The Whitewater Tech Park Innovation Center is a startup incubator offering office and lab space, mentorship and business consultation and workshops for member companies. Membership rates start at $150/month for startups.

Milwaukee Office

5421 N 118th Ct, Milwaukee, WI 53325 | 414.645.8828

Wausau Satellite Office

1109 N. 6th Street, Wausau, WI 54403 | 715.298.6071

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM