DVP’s Ted Serbinski On Growing Our Entrepreneur CommunityBy Ron Gilbert on July 17th, 2014 /
There was a simple and modest goal for the first year of Techweek Detroit, the first ever week long tech celebration hosted at the end of May. The goal was to test the waters and to grow Detroit’s tech and startup community.
“The goal was to just see what kind of response would be given to a Detroit tech festival. Turns out the response was overwhelming,” said Ted Serbinski of Detroit Venture Partners, who spearheaded the national conference to come to Detroit.
Approximately 2,000 people attended this year’s event, with some conference attendees from Ohio, Chicago, and even New York. According to Tech Week’s Chicago-based management team, Detroit’s inaugural festival attendance was the highest year one total for one of their festivals, which are also held across the year in Chicago, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Large events like this, Mr. Serbinski believes, are vital for continuing to grow a technology industry and startup community in Michigan. He’s aiming to bring back Detroit Tech Week over the next several years. In 2015, the conference hopes to attract 3,000 people to the event, with an ultimate attendance goal of 20,000 by the year 2020.
“It all came together pretty quickly. Probably the thing that we’d like to improve on most is getting the word out earlier to the community,” he said.
Having a week long event like this helped connect and attract others to come together around Detroit technology and innovation. But a large event like Tech Week is held only once a year. So, we asked Ted Serbinski to share a his insight into growing our entrepreneurial and tech community year round. What could help most? Ted’s answer is more great events that unite all types of entrepreneurs all across Michigan.
“There are a lot of events in Detroit and Michigan in general, but it is very hard to know when and where everything is,” he said. “We need information that creates an awareness that we should support all of our entrepreneur communities, everywhere in Michigan.”
Events create a place where entrepreneurs can network, learn more about the community around them, and also practice their pitch. It’s especially vital for the entrepreneur who’s just getting started. Serbinksi says entrepreneurs should use events to really practice their pitch and find out the resources in your community.
“Use the networking experience to learn how to effectively communicate your startup idea. I think a founder should practice and develop a crisp way of telling their startup story,” said Serbinksi.
At Michipreneur we’re listing all events and conferences on our Michigan Startup Calendar, and are always happy to share what’s happening in your town anytime. Please reach out to us if you’d like to promote an event that benefits Michigan entrepreneurs.