gener8tor: Announces New Director for 1915 Studios Startup Accelerator

CONTACT: Gisela Ortega | gBETA Operations Manager | gener8tor 510.207.7323 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/giselamke

NEENAH, WISCONSIN – Nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor announced today that Shakkiah Curtis has been selected as the director of the 1915 Studios program. 

1915 Studios, a partnership between Georgia-Pacific and gener8tor, is a free accelerator for early-stage technology startups following the model of gener8tor’s gBETA program, which operates 27 other programs across the country. The gBETA program provides participants with intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, potential customers, corporate partners, and investors. 1915 Studios’ 12-week program is designed to help startups prototype and build their products, gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that make them competitive applicants for full-time accelerators or seed investment. 

Curtis is a graduate of Tennessee State University and a doctoral candidate for Business Administration at Alverno College. She has cultivated many entrepreneurial ventures in fashion, business, and education, and her work experience includes teaching in higher academia, business development, corporate training and instructional design. Curtis will serve as the local conduit between the 1915 Studios startup ecosystem and the broader gener8tor network and programming and will lead two cohorts of the program annually.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Shakkiah on the team,” said Abby Kursel, Partner at gener8tor. “The energy that she brings to the startups and her attention to detail, especially in making everyone feel welcome in the beautiful new space Georgia-Pacific has developed, has kicked the program off on a high note. We are so excited to see everything she can accomplish for the program and for the region in this role.”

Since its inception, 548 companies have gone through gener8tor’s gBETA accelerator programming; 200 have gone to raise a seed round and 64 were accepted into equity accelerator programs. Graduates have raised $202M+ in total financing and employ 2,147 people. Forty percent of the startups have been led by a founder of color and 43% are women founders. Eight of the startups have been acquired by larger companies.

“gener8tor is the most active investor in the Midwest and has a proven track record of helping support founders,” said Curtis. “I’m excited to be a part of this team that has such a strong network and history of helping founders grow. We’re going to further that impact with the companies coming through the 1915 Studios program.” 

1915 Studios operates from space in Georgia-Pacific’s Consumer Products R&D center in Neenah, Wisconsin. 1915 Studios hosts two cohorts a year. Five companies are accepted per cohort to ensure a high level of individualized attention. Those interested in learning more can reach out to 1915 Studios Director Shakkiah Curtis at [email protected] or visit gbetastartups.com/1915-studios.