Backline is a funding and educational initiative to help Milwaukee musicians achieve greater success and establish Milwaukee’s reputation as an emerging music city.

Backline Accelerator

Backline will give $20,000 grants to four musicians and/or bands, who will go through a 12-week business accelerator program that includes coaching, mentoring and networking with music industry leaders from Milwaukee and across the country. It ends with a showcase, where the musicians will perform for music industry professionals, supporters and community members. 

Milwaukee-area musicians and bands of any genre may apply. A panel of music industry professionals from outside of Milwaukee will interview and select the Backline grant recipients.

Unlike other accelerator programs, Backline is completely free. Backline requires no equity and no fees. Each selected musician and/or band will receive a $20,000 grant with no ask of equity, revenue or residuals.


Backline workshops

Backline hosts quarterly workshops focused on how to navigate the music business and how to make money as a musician. Workshops will feature industry experts and will be free and open to all. 


Still have questions?

Backline is a program created in partnership with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and gener8tor:

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Non-profit, listener-supported 88Nine Radio Milwaukee has been part of the community since 2007. 88Nine broadcasts a collection of diverse new music, including at least one song by a Milwaukee artist each hour, and shares stories about individuals making a positive difference in the community. Tune into 88.9 FM or stream the station at


gener8tor is a nationally ranked accelerator that invests in high-growth startups. Three times a year we invest up to $140K in each of five startups who receive a concierge experience during our 12-week accelerator program. gener8tor supports the growth of these startups through our network of experienced mentors, technologists, corporate partners, angel investors and venture capitalists.

gener8tor is a GOLD-tier accelerator in the U.S. as ranked by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.