Gener8tor North Dakota: What it is and how you can help.​

Gener8tor North Dakota: What it is and How You can help.

Over the past year, you may have heard about the startup accelerator program gener8tor establishing a presence in North Dakota.

So what is gener8tor and what does it mean for our region?

As an organization, gener8tor was formed in the Madison and Milwaukee area in 2012, initially as a venture fund accelerator. The gener8tor platform now includes programs spanning startup accelerators, corporate programming, speaker series, conferences, skills accelerators and fellowships, having served over 40 communities and approximately 1,100 startups.

For our community, gener8tor launched an equity-based startup accelerator that invests $100K each into high-growth startups based in North Dakota or with a significant connection to the state.

The selected startups receive 12 weeks of concierge coaching, connections and support, with the program operating here in Fargo.

They also facilitate several cohorts per year through their non-equity-based gBETA, which provides a free 7-week pre-accelerator of coaching and mentoring to help the startups grow and become funding ready.

Lastly, in conjunction with the ND Growth Fund, gener8tor created the 1889 Fund, an industry-agnostic venture capital fund targeting $250K-$750K investments into seed-stage ND startups.

Within our roles at GFMEDC, we work closely with the local gener8tor staff in a variety of ways, such as sourcing program applicants, participating in the “Mentor Swarms” mentor meetings, joining the Lunch & Learns, and providing direct support and connections to the participating startups.

“The gener8tor team in the Fargo office have been great to work with and they’ve been very accessible for entrepreneurs and collaborative with people in the ecosystem like us. Both the program and the team they have assembled have exceeded my expectations, and I really look forward to impacts this will have on our startup scene and regional economy,” said John Machacek, GFMEDC’s Chief Innovation Officer.

As part of the accelerator’s Mentor Swarms, gener8tor has already provided one-on-one interactions with more than 78 individuals for the startups, and that does not include all the connection opportunities from the Swarms. Swarms are an excellent opportunity for the startups to refine their pitches and receive feedback, but they are also a chance for the mentors to think about how they can help and how the innovations from these startups may be able to help other businesses.

“The Mentor Swarms are a key component to the success of our accelerator. Each startup is able to learn, refine, and build their support network in an extremely rapid sense thus accelerating their growth early-on in the program. Over 100 follow-up meetings were scheduled as a direct result of the mentor swarms,” said Lindsay Breuler, gener8tor North Dakota Managing Director.

Listed below are the six startups selected as part of the first accelerator, what they do, what they have to say about our ecosystem and how you can help.

In addition to the Mentor Swarms, the program participants also are provided with a similar experience through Investor Swarms. The Investor Swarms are similar in the format to the mentor swarms in many ways but during these meetings, the startups pitch directly to VC funds, Angel Groups, and Angel Investors to obtain additional funding. For the first cohort, over 95 investor meetings are being facilitated to help each of the six companies raise their seed rounds.


What They Do

Aethero provides holistic building exterior health analysis for facility managers in large commercial and public institutions. Through the use of data analytics and artificial intelligence, urgent problem areas on the building facade are identified and prioritized to create a predictive repair strategy.

What They Say

“The Greater Fargo-Moorhead region is a thriving hub for startups across the state, providing them with ample opportunities to grow and scale their business.”

How To Help

 “Help us build our network! Put key facilities employees in touch with us, especially any facility manager/ construction manager/ asset manager within your organization. The more we enhance our network, the better we can cater to our customer needs. Help us also by putting us in touch with any architectural firms or construction contractors from your network, as it helps us market our services to a wider audience and enhance our offerings. Further, if you are currently a renter, please put us in touch with your property management company or conversely, if you know anyone who works for a property management company, we would be happy to talk with them!”

Contact Information: Matt Dunlevy, CEO/Co-Founder | matt@aethero.ai


What They Do

Cios (pronounced “keys”) partners with property management companies to provide tenants who need to move early with an alternative to paying lease termination fees. Cios does this by facilitating a sublease with a replacement tenant, taking care of screening, check-in/check-out, payment, and cleaning.

What They Say

“The Fargo startup environment has been nothing short of incredible, and we owe so much to the help the EDC has been able to offer us. Between Joe, John, Ryan, Joey, and Tifanie, the EDC has helped us open doors and see opportunities both locally and beyond that would not have been possible otherwise.”

How To Help Them

 “We’re always looking to build partnerships (and we don’t just mean sales disguised as partnerships) with forward-thinking property managers and owners who see the value in delivering an exceptional tenant experience. For our ask though, we really want to hear your stories both from the tenant perspective (if you’ve ever had to move early) and from the landlord perspective (if you’ve dealt with broken leases).”

Contact Information: Terry Wang, CEO/Co-Founder | terry@getcios.com

Detect Auto  

What They Do

Detect Auto’s hardware-enabled SaaS solution for automotive repair shops increases profitability by 45% year-over-year by automating traditionally manual processes such as quoting, repair order auditing, and technician performance evaluations. Leveraging computer vision, AI, and data analytics, Detect Auto provides greater visibility into inefficiencies related to daily operations as well as the actual cost of repairs.

What They Say

“Since moving to Fargo, our team has been blown away by how the community rallied behind us to provide insight and valuable feedback on our business. I feel like we’ve made a year’s worth of progress in 2 months!”

How To Help Them

 “Introductions to local dealership groups, auto shops, and any place that repairs vehicles would be greatly appreciated. We’re also actively looking for Software Developers, so introductions on that front would be amazing.”

Contact Information: Jonathan Cabak, CEO/Co-Founder | jon@detectauto.com

Farmented Foods  

What They Do

Farmented Foods is an ugly vegetable fermentation company that focuses on eliminating unnecessary food loss on farms in the form of ugly and excess vegetables, while creating delicious products such as Radish Kimchi, Dill Sauerkraut, and Spicy Carrots.

What They Say

“We were founded in Montana and when one of our co-founders moved back to her home state of North Dakota, we decided to open up a second production location. Since arriving in North Dakota, the community support has been more than we could have ever dreamed. The startup community in Fargo wants local businesses to succeed and provides so much support to help them grow.”

How To Help Them

 “Come try our products at the Red River Farmers Markets, or pick up a jar from Luna in Brewhalla or Swanson Health in Fargo. Ask stores to carry our products, tag/follow us on social media, and if you love our products, please tell your friends about us!”

Contact Information: Vanessa Williamson, CEO/Co-Founder | vwilliamson@farmented.com


What They Do

generAI has two tools that help direct-to-consumer brands with video advertising. The first is generGrade, an AI-based tool that grades the effectiveness of video advertising content. Brands create an account, upload their video, and receive a score indicating the likelihood of increased sales. The data generated by generGrade is used to build generX, a platform that generates video ads with the highest probability of success.

What They Say

 “People are just so willing to help here. It’s the reason I have lived here almost my entire life. Having an entire community support you is impossible to find anywhere else.”

How To Help Them

“We are always looking to get in touch with more ecommerce brands!”

Contact Information: Jimmy Slagle, CEO/Co-Founder | jimmy@generai.io


What They Do

Pavewise is a software company that is building intelligent construction software for the Asphalt Paving Industry to assist contractors with being more efficient during construction and improve the road systems within the United States Infrastructure system.

What They Say

 “The Fargo/ND startup environment has been absolutely amazing for our startup. From assistance by the EDC to events put on by local entities for entrepreneurs, the connections and energy that this environment produces for startups is hands down one of a kind.  There is honestly no other place we would want to be starting a company then in the Fargo/ND community.”

How To Help Them

“You can spread the word about our company and what we do to your network and community. Additionally, if you know of any potential clients in the asphalt industry or mentors who may be interested in what we do, we would appreciate any introductions or referrals. As a North Dakota software company, we are committed to hiring local and we are going to be advertising for a community manager position soon that would be a hybrid of marketing, social media management and other business roles.”

Contact Information: Bryce Wouri, CEO/Co-Founder | bryce.wuori@pavewise.pro

More information

If you are interested in learning more about any of these startups, in order to help them or see how they can help you, please let us know and we’d be happy to make a connection. While it is part of our daily work to help companies like these through connections to programs, people and advice, the more that we as a community help these entrepreneurs, not only will they succeed faster but our collaborative support further cements our region’s reputation as a vibrant place for entrepreneurs to start and grow.

We also encourage you to learn more and show your support by attending the upcoming gener8tor showcase event where you’ll meet and hear from the six startups:

gener8tor North Dakota 2023 Showcase      

Thursday June 8 at 5:30pm|
Sanctuary Events Center
670 4th Ave N Fargo, ND

Register Here


Additional Links:

More on Gener8tor

More on ND Growth Fund




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