Techstars Mobility–bridging the automotive & startup cultures of Detroit

| Ted Serbinski

As part of our ongoing focus on the innovative people and civic technology initiatives in Detroit, we look for people who are influential and making a difference in the local technology and startup community. It seems like the “yellow brick road” repeatedly leads to Ted Serbinski and Techstars Mobility. Ted’s bio is below, but suffice it to say that that he is a major catalyst and cheerleader for Detroit and we are thrilled to have him as a guest at

Our Microsoft Detroit team has enjoyed working with Ted and Techstars. We’ve provided volunteers to help mentor the Techstar Mobility startups in Detroit last year. This included 1:1 discussions, needs analysis and  providing technical guidance and ideas.  A great example of working together is how one of the startups used Bing Ads (calling it his “secret sauce” since the ROI was so much better). Jennifer Marsman, our Technology Evangelist, had this company featured in a Bing Ads case study: Jennifer and Drew Costakis, our Director of Solutions Sales and the Microsoft Technology Center in Southfield, both supported Techstar’s final demo day, as well as support the BizSpark program with Techstars.

We hope that by spotlighting innovation in Detroit in the startup and civic tech arenas, we will help accelerate business growth and economic development. We’d love to hear your comments about others in Detroit who are making a big difference.

— Shelley Stern Grach

I’m excited to announce that we’ve opened applications for the 2016 class of Techstars Mobility. You can apply online by going to Applications are open through March 20.

Click here to watch this video for a great overview of the program.

Live from CES 2016

To kickoff the 2016 program, I’m at CES and it’s pretty clear the entire industry is talking about the future of mobility and connected car solutions. Techstars Mobility’s title sponsor, Ford, kicked off CES yesterday with a keynote from CEO, Mark Fields.

“In 2016 Ford will become a mobility company, not just an auto manufacturer” said CEO Mark Fields. Fields pointed to Techstars Mobility as a key part of their strategy.


For full coverage on all of Ford’s other mobility announcements check out this article on CNET. You can also check out the full Ford press release announced Techstars Mobility 2016 here.

What is Techstars Mobility?

Techstars Mobility, driven by Detroit, focuses on the rapidly changing mobility and transportation industry. We’ve partnered with 8 leading mobility corporations including Ford, Verizon, Manga, Dana, Honda, McDonald’s, Munich Re and Michelin.

We look for software, hardware, and advanced materials businesses across all stages of development — pre-seed, seed, Series A and later. Because of the 8 corporate partnerships, no startup is “too far along” to see a huge benefit from participation in the program.

We define mobility as technologies that power the efficient movement of people, goods and services across all modes of transportation. We look for startups that not only fit this thesis but also align across innovation themes including: connected car, trucking and multi-modal transportation solutions across connectivity, mobility, autonomy, customer experience, big data, safety and security.

Techstars is committed to operating this program in Detroit, operating at the intersection of Detroit’s automotive dominance and its entrepreneurial resurgence.


2016 Program Key Dates

  • Jan 5 – Applications Open
  • Feb 16 – Early Application Deadline
  • Mar 11 – 13 – Early Application Interviews at SXSW
  • Mar 20 – Applications Close
  • May 3 – 4 – Final Interviews
  • May 8 – Notification of Selection
  • Jun 13 – Program Starts
  • Sep 8 – Demo day

2016 Recruiting Event Tour Dates

2016 Webinars

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