Not long ago, privately held companies with valuations of more than $1 billion were so rare, they took on almost mythical connotations. Hence, they became known as unicorns.

However, in recent years, those unicorns have become more prevalent, according to CBInsights, which tracks valuations in its Global Unicorn Club.

And some of that momentum is spilling into the Midwest.

Milwaukee is home to gener8tor, a nationally ranked business accelerator that has been expanding its programming in Midwestern cities and forging partnerships with huge corporations.

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Joe Kirgues and his team started gener8tor six years ago because, from his vantage point, Milwaukee startups had no momentum.

“We were trying to figure out how to get the community to invest into itself,” Kirgues said.

The for-profit accelerator has invested in 65 startup companies since its inception. Read the full story here.