WED AM News: Kenosha gBETA program cohort announced; UW-Platteville Richland transition plan details released

— The first cohort in gener8tor’s gBETA program in Kenosha includes startup companies focused on speech therapy technology, travel agency services, candle making and financial services. 

City officials and startup accelerator gener8tor last month kicked off the inaugural cohort of the gBETA program in Kenosha. 

This free seven-week program provides “intensive concierge coaching” and access to a national mentorship network. It’s meant to help early-stage startup companies prepare for later-stage equity-based accelerator programs and connect with investors. 

Tim Casey, Kenosha’s director of city development, says local officials will be working alongside gener8tor experts to help participating companies “establish, grow and thrive” in the area. 

“The City of Kenosha sees incredible value in building and supporting an ecosystem where innovators in these fast-moving and high-tech industries can thrive,” he said in a release. 

The four companies taking part are: 

*TRT Speech Labs, led by founders Benjamin Taft and Joey Tenuta. This company uses a “bio-inspired” algorithm that was originally designed in research on how birds learn songs. It’s now used to track progress in speech therapy, identifying “unique and unusual sounds that are key to” diagnosing speech deficits, according to the release. 

*Travel Odyssey, founded by Quinn Murphy. The release describes this company as “the first and only” travel agent powered with artificial intelligence. It offers customizable itineraries to help users plan trips, and has at least 62 users on its waitlist as prototype development continues. 

*Black Essence Candles, led by founder Shakee’us Graves. This startup produces handmade candles and waxes, and has shipped products to customers in 22 states, the release shows. 

*Harper Tax & Financial Literacy Group, founded by Kenny Harper. This company launched in 2020, and has helped local entrepreneurs launch more than 40 new businesses in the Kenosha area, according to the release. 

Kenosha’s gBETA program is one of many across the country. While mostly clustered in the Midwest, U.S. programs have been launched as far away as California and Texas. According to gener8tor’s website, gBETA program alumni have collectively raised more than $536 million in capital and created more than 3,500 jobs. 

See more on gBETA here: 

— Students at UW-Platteville Richland will be able to continue their education at the university’s main campus, the Baraboo Sauk County campus, or online at the Richland Center campus tuition rate for up to 40 credits once the campus ends in-person instruction.

UW System President Jay Rothman tasked UW-Platteville Chancellor Tammy Evetovich with creating a transition plan for the school in November. The campus was down to just 60 degree-seeking students and 25 faculty and staff when Rothman announced the move. The campus is set to end in-person classes in July. 

The UW System currently has a 75-year lease for the campus building from 1976 through 2042 with a total cost of $75. 

Some other measures in the plan include:

*A $1,500 housing stipend for students who transfer campuses to live in residence halls over the 2023-24 academic year;

*Free parking during that year for students who transfer to the main campus;

*Programs and resources for students designed to ease the transition process;

*Implementing online programs for the Richland Center campus, including professional pathway certificates, non-credit online training programs and for-credit online degree and certificate programs.

See more on the plan at 

— Two high schoolers from Wisconsin have been named among the top 300 scholars in the  Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023. 

According to a release from the Society for Science, based in Washington, D.C., this is the “oldest and most prestigious science and math competition” for high school seniors in the country. It was originally launched in 1942 as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search. 

Each of the 300 winners will get $2,000, with their schools also getting $2,000 per enrolled scholar, the release shows. They were chosen from 1,949 applications representing 627 high schools across 48 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and four other countries. 

Wisconsin scholars include: 

*Alexis Hu, an 18-year-old student at Shorewood High School. Hu’s project focuses on stock buybacks and regulations for executives. 

*Aryan Thomas Kalluvila, 17, of Hartford Union High School. Kalluvila’s project is related to medical imaging. 

See the release: 

See the full list of winners: 

— Swing conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn questioned a lower court’s authority to decide whether a hospital has to treat COVID-19 a certain way without any laws allowing it to do so.

Hagedorn made the comments during oral arguments on a case involving Waukesha Judge Lloyd Carter’s ruling last year that required Aurora Health Care to administer ivermectin to a patient with COVID-19 despite physicians’ objections. Ivermectin has not been approved to treat COVID-19 by the FDA or CDC. Trump and other conservatives have pushed for its use.

An appeals court last year reversed that decision. Hagedorn yesterday questioned the foundations for Carter’s authority to force Aurora to have doctors administer the drug, saying during oral arguments he didn’t rely on “right-to-try” or cite any law in his ruling.

“What are we, as a reviewing court, supposed to do when the trial court doesn’t actually engage in an analysis on the merits at all; doesn’t actually cite any legal authority?”

While much of yesterday’s arguments centered around the efficacy and ethics behind treating COVID-19 with ivermectin, Hagedorn said those presenting arguments are only there to debate the appeals court’s legal authority to reverse Lloyd’s order. Without citing a law to support its ruling, Hagedorn said the trial court’s decision won’t hold up.

See full coverage at 

<br><b><i>Top headlines from the Health Care Report … </b></i> 

— More Wisconsinites have selected individual market health insurance plans during this year’s open enrollment period than in the last period, according to the latest federal figures. 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from and</i>

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