Milwaukee- and Madison-based startup accelerator company gener8tor plans to expand to Canada with an upcoming gBETA program in Toronto.

Kirgues, left, with the 2018 gener8tor Milwaukee cohort, which included two Canadian startups.

gener8tor is undertaking the international expansion in partnership with technology advocacy nonprofit Milwaukee Institute, said Joe Kirgues, co-founder of gener8tor. The company and the nonprofit first partnered last year with the launch of gBETA, a non-equity accelerator program for early-stage startup companies with local roots, in Milwaukee. It is funded by Milwaukee Institute, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., Rockwell Automation Inc., Kohl’s Corp. and Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. gBETA has rapidly expanded to include 10 other programs in eight U.S. cities.

“As the coalition got together in Milwaukee, we were looking at what the next chapter of our relationship would look like,” Kirgues said. “We have this shared passion around how to build a Milwaukee future, not only locally, but regionally.”

The University of Toronto has many startups involved with programs related to the university and Toronto has strong public-private partnerships to fund startups on a non-equity basis, said Kathleen Gallagher, executive director of Milwaukee Institute. There are also a number of big tech companies with offices there. Read the full story here.