Motown Accelerator named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020


Contact: Suai Kee
Date: March 10, 2020
Phone: 313-310-9977

Motown Accelerator named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020

gener8tor and the Motown Accelerator have been named to Fast Company ’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020. The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world. This year’s MIC list features 434 businesses from 39 countries.

“We’re honored by Fast Company’s inclusion to their list of Most Innovative Music Companies and to be featured alongside some of the most disruptive and influential players in this space,” said Suai Kee, director of the Motown Accelerator. gener8tor and the Motown Accelerator stand at #9 on the list.

Conceptualized and developed by gener8tor, Motown Records, Motown Museum, TechTown Detroit and Capitol Music Group in 2019, the Motown Accelerator program, and its sister “Backline” programs in Milwaukee and Cleveland, works with three to four artists or bands over the course of 12 weeks to help them create new work, expand their networks in the industry, access mental and financial health resources and budget the use of a $20,000 grant. These music programs have only been in operation since 2018, but are recognized on the list alongside past winners such as Universal Music Group, Spotify, Instagram, Atlantic Records and Sonos. Backline is currently run in Milwaukee and Cleveland, and in Detroit under the “Motown Accelerator” brand.

“To be named to Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies for 2020 is both immensely humbling and exciting. It’s truly an amazing testament of the power of collaboration and Detroit’s creative community,” said Paul Riser, director of Detroit Urban Solutions at TechTown Detroit.

To date, 14 artists have gone through gener8tor’s musician accelerator programs, and 14 more will complete the accelerator this year. At the close of 2020, the accelerators will have awarded
$560,000 in grant funding to the 28 artist recipients.

Program participants have seen success across Instagram, Spotify and Apple Music. Charity, a Detroit artist, increased her Spotify monthly listeners from 29 to 25,000 after meeting with a
digital marketing firm during a Motown Accelerator trip to New York. Motown Accelerator artists Charity, Asante and MYNA were selected as SXSW 2020 official artists based on their talents and affiliation with the program. Graduates have also completed a collective 108 group meetings with industry professionals from Apple Music, UMG, Warner, Paradigm, CAA, UTA, WME, Genius, Instagram, Roc Nation and many others.

The program’s reach does not end with its accelerator participants. The public-facing workshops have been attended by over 2,000 people to date, which directly correlates to the 2,178 applications that the accelerators have received. With the additional support of American Family Institute, the programs have also been able to leverage their reach to work on social impact projects. Notably the current Backline and Motown Accelerator programs have programming focused around recidivism and reentry into the workforce post-incarceration. The Backline Milwaukee program, for example, will host a series of workshops with residents of the Bakari Center, a residential care center for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

Fast Company ’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet and across myriad industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.

The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company ’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.

“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges
within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with deputy editor David Lidsky.

Fast Company ’s Most Innovative Companies issue (March/April 2020) is now available online at, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning March 17, 2020. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.