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gener8tor seeks new business ideas to reduce incarceration and recidivism in Milwaukee

gbeta social impact incarceration

In the 2010 census, Wisconsin had the highest incarceration of black males nationwide at 12.8 percent compared to the country average of 6.7 percent. A new program is looking to change this statistic.

Nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor and the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact will start a new program in Milwaukee focusing on reducing incarceration and recidivism.

The new initiative will be part of gener8tor's gBeta Social Impact program. The gBETA Social Impact program will kick off at Sherman Phoenix on Aug. 28.

The event will begin with a panel discussion on issues and experiences in incarceration and recidivism. Speakers include Shanyeill McCloud, founder, and president of Second Chance Staffing, a Milwaukee-based company that facilitates access to employment, housing, and higher education for men and women who have nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Guests will then be invited to join targeted small group discussions about potential solutions.

Up to five teams will be selected for a gBETA Social Impact program guiding participants from the idea stage through the development of a potential solution, meeting twice a week for one month. Participants will receive free co-working space at Nō Studios in Milwaukee which offers a supportive social and professional environment. Following the program, participants will receive ongoing support from gener8tor and the American Family Institute to continue testing prototypes and building their businesses.

Ideal participants would be people with any of the following characteristics:

  • Curiosity and open-mindedness
  • Openness to feedback
  • Community organizing skills
  • Creativity
  • Expertise around formerly incarcerated individuals
  • Experience with the justice system
  • Technical skills in computer science, engineering, design andemerging technologies

Participants don't need to have all of these -- gener8tor and the American Family Institute will help build teams for success. Community members are welcome to come to listen, learn and contribute to the discussion as well. Those interested in learning more are encouraged to contact Lauren Usher, Director of gBETA Social Impact, at

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