Our very own Wisconsin-based, nationally ranked accelerator program is at it again. The good folks at gener8tor have announced a new twist on their flagship program this fall in Milwaukee. Only startup teams need apply. No startup plans are allowed.
You heard that right. If you want to be a part of gener8tor’s fall 2019 program in Milwaukee, you (singles can apply, as well as teams) better be good. And, you’d better not come loaded down with an idea for a business.
Now, truth be told, one of the oldest tropes of venture capital startup investing is that A teams with B plans are better bets than B teams with A plans. But, A teams without any plan at all?
Count me … intrigued. Upon reflection, as a venture capital investor myself, I did something not very different twenty-some years back when, having had an introductory lunch with a pharma executive, I came back and informed my partner that we had to find a deal for her to lead. (We did, and well, long story.) A few years before that, I recall talking with an investor who had just led a $60 million startup round (that was a lot of money in the early 90’s) in a team of well know biotech scientists “to discover and develop promising new drugs for human disease.” I asked the investor what the underlying technology was, and what diseases the startup was focusing on. “We haven’t figured that out yet,” he said. “We are betting that if you give enough money to a bunch of really bright folks they are bound to come up with something.” (Eventually, they did: Cialis.)
So, the idea of betting on jockeys without a horse to ride is, in venture capital, not unheard of. Still, while I have seen the concept as a one-off, gener8tor’s new initiative is the first time I’ve seen it as an investment thesis for building a portfolio. Will it work? Beats me but I am, as I said, intrigued. And, given gener8tor’s track record over close to a decade now, I wouldn’t bet against them.
Oh, and if this sounds like something you might be interested in, you can find out more: visit gener8tor’s site and apply for their accelerator program. Make sure you don’t have any clearly formed idea for a startup you want to build: instead, just bring your passion to collaborate and build one.