Partner, Detroit Venture Partners, Detroit
Employees: 275 Portfolio: 24 investments Education: Cornell University
Growing up in a military family, Ted Serbinski never lived in one city for more than three years. “It prepared me to accept and embrace change,” he says. Following graduation in 2004, he moved to Washington, D.C. and joined a 20-person government contractor. Soon after, he started working with Drupal, a free open source software platform. In 2006, Serbinski and two partners started Lullabot, an advanced Drupal-consulting firm. When one of his partners and his wife started ParentClick, a website geared to families, Serbinski joined the group as co-founder and chief technology officer. In 2008, the company was sold to Lifetime Television, and Serbinski moved to San Francisco to continue with his technology role. “When A&E bought Lifetime in 2010, I started meeting angel investors and then I met my (future) wife, who was from metro Detroit,” he says. “I started looking at opportunities in Detroit, and came across Detroit Venture Partners, so I sent a cold email to Josh (Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners) explaining why they should hire me. Josh called the next day and we came to Detroit.” Serbinski says three pivotal events have helped establish Detroit as a technology hotbed — the opening of the Madison Building in late 2011, the Google for Entrepreneurs partnership in 2013, and the Rise of the Rest Competition in June. “That put Detroit on the tech map,” he says.