Assembler Labs, a Detroit startup studio that will create venture-scale, high-growth companies in Michigan, launched today. The announcement was made by startup veterans and founders Ian Sefferman and Patrick Haig.
The company’s model is to create ideas internally, quickly validate whether those ideas could succeed as companies, and recruit experienced individuals to co-found the companies. Assembler Labs will spin out ideas that make it through the validation process. Founders will operate the resulting businesses independently with Assembler offering guidance and ongoing support.
“I’m absolutely convinced there are amazing people in Michigan who simply haven’t had the opportunity to spend time in startups,” says Sefferman. “They would be excellent startup founders if given a foundation and support. Our experience starting and growing companies in Seattle gives us a unique perspective from which to provide that foundation. By combining our knowledge, experience, and ideas with local talent, we believe we can spin out the next generation of great companies.”
Sefferman founded MobileDevHQ, a TechStars Seattle company that TUNE, a Seattle-based mobile marketing analytics firm, acquired in 2014. He was most recently senior vice president of customer experience at TUNE. Haig joined MobileDevHQ prior to its acquisition and was most recently director of product at TUNE.
“Although startup studios are a relatively new model, they’re increasingly popular across the country as a way to catalyze startup communities, which we aim to do now in Detroit,” says Haig. “Companies like Dollar Shave Club (exited for $1B) and Giphy (raised $150M+ in venture capital) have come from the studio model, and we think we can replicate those successes.”
The company does not have a physical address. Its website, which currently only displays a link to an email, will remain as-is until the first spin out is available.