gBeta: Startup accelerator gener8tor and American Family Insurance’s Institute for Corporate and Social Impact seeking to increase opportunities for underserved groups


Lauren Usher

[email protected]

(305) 607-3265

The partnership is centered on reducing incarceration and recidivism

MILWAUKEE – Nationally-ranked startup accelerator gener8tor and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact are running a program in Milwaukee this Fall to create more resources around reducing incarceration and recidivism. The two organizations will work with Milwaukee-based individuals and teams to develop new ideas to address these topics, and ultimately help them blossom into sustainable companies.

“Looking at marginalized communities, particularly focused on the formerly incarcerated, that speaks to me because I come from that,” said Nyra Jordan, an impact investment director at the American Family Insurance Institute. “Understanding what that journey is like for the individuals re-entering society and wanting to have inclusion from a financial and social perspective, and being able to be a viable citizen, it’s a struggle. Getting proximity to the people and communities impacted by these issues and understanding the root causes will lead us to real tangible solutions.”

Up to five teams will be selected for a gBETA Social Impact program guiding participants from the idea stage through the development of a potential solution, meeting twice a week for one month. Participants will receive free co-working space at Nō Studios in Milwaukee which offers a supportive social and professional environment. Following the program, participants will receive ongoing support from gener8tor and the American Family Institute to continue testing prototypes and building their businesses.

Ideal participants would be people with any of the following characteristics:

Curiosity and open-mindedness

Openness to feedback

Community organizing skills


Expertise around formerly incarcerated individuals

Experience with the justice system

Technical skills in computer science, engineering, design and emerging technologies

Participants don’t need to have all of these — gener8tor and the American Family Institute will help build teams for success. Community members are welcome to come to listen, learn, and contribute to the discussion as well. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Lauren Usher, Director of gBETA Social Impact, at [email protected]

The program kicks off at Sherman Phoenix on Wednesday, August 28th. The event will begin with a panel discussion on issues and experiences in incarceration and recidivism. Speakers include Shanyeill McCloud, Founder and President of Second Chance Staffing, a Milwaukee-based company that facilitates access to employment, housing, and higher education for men and women who have nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Guests will then be invited to join targeted small group discussions about potential solutions.

The kickoff event is free and open to the public, and all are invited to attend and contribute to the discussion. Tickets to the event are available at