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Ted Serbinski - Techstars, Managing Director

Ted is an early stage software VC, successful tech entrepreneur, and open source hacker. In 2011, he relocated to Detroit from San Francisco, joining Detroit Venture Partners as a founding team member, after having sold his company to Lifetime Television in 2008.

He is widely regarded as one of the most influential, emerging venture technology partners in the Midwest and a key player leading the startup renaissance in Detroit.

He has been a founding or 1st institutional investor in more than a dozen startups, nearly always getting involved at the company inception phase.

Ted is an internationally recognized web architect that has been building websites for 15+ years, including 7 years as a lead, open source developer for Drupal.

Ted earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Cornell University.

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Walter Solomon - Ashland, VP & Chief Growth Officer

Walter Solomon has learned a lot about growing businesses through 30 years in both Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 business environments. He currently serves as VP/Chief Growth Officer for Ashland Inc, where he and his team architected Ashland’s transformation from an 87 year old Kentucky oil refiner into an $8 billion global specialty chemicals company. Walter spent the first decade of his career in brand management with Procter & Gamble, ultimately as a Marketing Director in P&G’s hair care and juice drink businesses. As brand manager, he led Pantene’s initial growth, from a $4 million boutique business into a $100 million brand, en route to becoming one of P&G’s billion dollar global brands. He spent the next decade leading multiple start-ups in health care and software, including an Inc. 500 Company, and another sold to a publicly-held competitor. Walter served as the first President of Over-the-Rhine technology incubator Main Street Ventures, and currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of BBYO, Inc., which trains over 30,000 Jewish teens globally in leadership, social action and community service.

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Michael Stich - Rockfish Interactive, Chief Innovation Officer

Michael Stich is Chief Innovation Officer at Rockfish Interactive. Michael’s specializations include e-commerce, analytics / measurement, mobile, digital retail, social media, relationship marketing, product development and organizational consulting. Prior to Rockfish, he served as group director of strategic planning at WPP agency Bridge Worldwide. While at Bridge, Michael and his team served market leaders in CPG, retail, healthcare, technology and financial services. Previously, he served in venture capital, marketing and strategy roles for Texas Instruments, McKinsey & Company, and Dell. Michael holds a B.S. in computer engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. with a marketing focus from the MIT Sloan School of Management. @mstich

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Randy Stocklin - One Click, CEO and Co-Founder

Randy is CEO and Co-Founder of One Click. Founded in 2005, One Click is on a mission to be the world’s most people-focused eyewear company through its family of brands: Readers.com, Sunglass Warehouse, and felix + iris. Prior to co-founding One Click, Randy held a variety of technology roles with Angie’s List, Aprimo, and Digital Insight (VIFI). In addition to his current work at One Click, Randy enjoys supporting other entrepreneurs as an investor and advisor. Randy received a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Franklin College.

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Stephen Surman - Mead Johnson Nutrition, Senior Brand and Digital Marketing Executive

Stephen has spent 15 years leading the digital marketing programs for some of the world’s largest consumer goods brands. Currently, Stephen heads digital marketing strategy for Mead Johnson & Company, the global leader in Infant & Toddler nutrition. Previously, Stephen served as Vice President of Digital Strategy for Anheuser-Busch, where he was responsible for setting direction and developing marketing plans to support the company’s U.S. portfolio, including Budweiser and Bud Light. Stephen began his career at Procter & Gamble, leading digital marketing for the company’s Baby & Toddler Care and Feminine Care divisions, with responsibility for brands like Pampers, Tampax, and others. Stephen is a graduate of Cornell University, where he received a bachelors degree in engineering. He also holds a masters degree in computer science from Northern Kentucky University and an MBA from the University of Chicago. @stephensurman
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Adam Symson - E.W. Scripps, Chief Digital Officer

Adam Symson is The E.W. Scripps Company’s chief digital officer, responsible for developing the products and services for digital-platform consumers and advertisers in more than 26 Scripps newspaper and television markets (as well as for consumers of a myriad of other digital services that are not market specific). He previously was responsible for the operation, content and revenue for the TV division’s interactive businesses, including community news and information websites, micro-sites and mobile businesses in nine local TV markets across the country. Before that assignment, he spent a year as the director of content and marketing for the Scripps interactive media division (which was spun off into Scripps Networks Interactive in 2008). Symson joined Scripps corporate in 2002 as the director of investigations and special projects for the television stations group. Shortly thereafter, he was named director of news strategy and operations, with responsibilities for the station’s 9 NBC and ABC affiliated stations. Symson first joined The E.W. Scripps Company as the executive producer of investigations and special projects for KNXV TV, the Scripps-owned television station in Phoenix, Arizona. Prior to his work in Phoenix, Symson worked as an investigative journalist for CBS stations, WBBM TV in Chicago, and KCBS TV in Los Angeles, and served tours of duty in newsrooms across Los Angeles, including KNBC TV, KCAL TV and KGIL AM 1260. Mr. Symson has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives with his wife Sherri, and daughters Logan and Hannah, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Justin Thompson - Senior Director of Business Development, CinRx Pharma

Justin Thompson is the Senior Director Business Development at CinRx Pharma, an early stage biotech venture. Prior to CinRx Pharma he spent 8 years at CincyTech, a seed stage investment fund. At CincyTech he focused on new company investment, portfolio company management, and internal operations. He received his Master’s in Finance from the University of Cincinnati and his Bachelor’s in Business Administration, specializing in Finance and Marketing, from Washington University in St. Louis.

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Hunter Thurman - Thriveplan, President

Hunter is the Founder and President of Thriveplan: showing brands how to innovate and grow where strategy meets Behavioral Science. Throughout his career, he has helped global brands reframe to create inspired new products and meaning for their consumers everywhere – one of Hunter’s creations is guaranteed to be in your home right now. Beyond his clients at Thriveplan, Hunter works with a variety of venture-backed and bootstrap startups. www.thriveplan.com  

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Suzanne Tosolini - Brand Strategy Consultant

Suzanne Tosolini has 22+ years experience as a Brand Strategist – 18 years at P&G and 4 years as a consultant. For 18 years she led big global brands for P&G in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and North America. Now she works as a Brand Strategy Consultant with clients across the apparel, food, publishing, finance, automotive, sports, beauty, fashion and CPG industries.Suzanne made her mark at P&G as a thought leader in all things related to Brand Strategy and Communication. As Director of Integrated Communications and Corporate Marketing she developed and deployed many of P&G’s best practices including those for Digital Marketing. As a consultant Suzanne enjoys working with Brands and Companies to identify their unique and purposeful positioning in the marketplace. She primarily does this work with large Fortune 500 companies but has also played a significant role as advisor and active member of some start-ups.Suzanne holds a Masters degree in Business and Social Studies from The University of Dublin, Trinity College in Ireland.

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Jonathon Triest - Ludlow Ventures, Managing Partner

Jonathon Triest is currently the Managing Partner for Ludlow Ventures. In 2011, Jonathon was awarded the Crain’s Detroit Business award for 20 in their 20’s. That same year, he co-founded Funded by Night, a vehicle to help internet startups launch and get discovered. Previously, Triest served as creative director for New York’s Discovery Productions. In 2005 he launched the Atlanta-based Triest Group, a mid-level advertising firm. In addition to his role at Ludlow, Triest is a mentor at The Brandery and a board member of The Trico Foundation, and Venture for America. previously creative director for New Yorks Discovery Productions. In 2005 he launched Triest Group, a mid-level advertising firm. Jonathon sits on the Board of the Trico Foundation, and the Board of Investors for Venture for America. He is currently Managing Partner of Ludlow Ventures.

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