This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Bethany Larsen, program manager for gener8tor’s gBETA Kenosha program.
Larsen, a Kenosha native, earlier this month was announced as the leader of the early-stage startup accelerator program. Funded by a grant to the city from the Workforce Innovation Grant Program, the gBETA chapter aims to support entrepreneurs in southeastern Wisconsin.
The seven-week program includes coaching services and access to a broad network of mentors, investors and corporate partners. Other chapters are located elsewhere in Wisconsin and across the country, with program alumni having raised more than $630 million in capital and creating more than 4,000 jobs.
Larsen discusses the impact of the program as well as some of the goals she’s hoping to accomplish.
“It really is there to help early-stage companies get to the point where they could be investment-ready,” she said. “In southeast Wisconsin, there’s a lot of companies out there that are stuck or don’t know how to translate their value in the language of investment.”
But with “even just a few strategy tweaks” combined with the gener8tor resource network and guidance, Larsen argues these businesses could “unlock so much potential.” She notes the program often helps entrepreneurs prepare for equity-based accelerator programs and further investment down the road.
“I want to work with our community partners to help put Kenosha on the map,” she said. “I want this to be a place that is known for creativity and as a place of opportunity. And for us, that starts with meeting local companies where they’re at, figuring out what they need.”
Listen to the podcast below, sponsored by UW-Madison: