The stigma of startup growth being geographically contained to the east and west coasts has given the Midwest a somewhat stagnant business vibe over the past few years. PricewaterhouseCoopers Moneytree’s recent survey data seems to validate these attitudes to some degree––showing California attracting 53% of all venture capital dollars in 2012 alone. But is it all doom and gloom for Midwesterners looking to get their ideas off the ground here in the country’s heartland?
A group of accelerator programs aimed at relocating some of that growth doesn’t think so. gener8tor is one such program, which has dropped its roots right here in Madison, Wisconsin. With 13 companies already finding success under their wing such as EatStreet––a brilliant online delivery and takeout aggregator for Madison restaurants––it’s clear that this sort of support can have a big impact on the business environment in cities such as ours.
Gener8tor is currently in the midst of launching its next batch of businesses to the area drawing on organizations from all over the country. Speaking to the connection he seeks to forge between the academic and business communities here, co-founder Jon Eckhardt added, “gener8tor is tightly integrated into the entrepreneurship communities in the mid-west and the coasts, especially as a result of our work with nearby academic institutions. This, combined with our innovative training platform, lets us link the capabilities of the mid-west with resources nationally.”
The future of local entrepreneurship
Looking towards what lies ahead for the program, the news only gets better. With the current 13 companies already pulling in over $5 million in capital, they are currently sifting through over 250 applications from companies around the nation looking to throw their hat in the ring here in the Midwest as well.
Gener8tor’s strategy seems to be paying off just as they hoped. John Philosophos of Great Oaks Venture Capital reiterated the benefits of academic and business interconnection saying, “Critical resources, including top flight developers from the UW Computer Science program and College of Engineering, mentorship from the State’s broad based economy and forward thinking corporations are all being mobilized to support innovation in the State. Accordingly, we have made Wisconsin one of our national areas of focus.”
Success means more than just a good idea
With all of this good news in tow, it’s important to remember what goes on behind the scenes to make these headlines happen in the first place. Having a good idea comes first, but without the means to craft an effective financial plan; you’ve already stacked the odds against yourself.
Outsourcing financial work to a third party is often times the most beneficial solution to startups facing a whole host of challenges financial or otherwise. Without employees to dedicate toward those tasks, it can be easy to make unguided and potentially devastating decisions with your money, which can leave your books in a dismal state.
Whether you’re involved with a local accelerator program or not, entrepreneurs planning to develop their ideas within the Madison area have the resources available to them to make the right financial decisions.
We offer a wide range of financial assistance and guidance to entrepreneurs trying to get a foothold in our local economy, if you think you could benefit from our services, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Photo credit: Richard Hurd