Managing Director, Venture Services, Innovation, Ecosystems
Michael Binko, Think’s Managing Director of Venture Services, Innovation and Ecosystems, has seen it all and done it all.
From his formative years at PSINet in Virginia to the more recent part of his career when he founded the Maryland chapter of Start Up America, Binko’s extensive career has enabled him to wear every operational hat within technology ventures at every stage of growth. This helped him conceptualize the broader ecosystem startups operate in and how successful startups reinvested in the system, creating what he calls a “virtuous cycle of ecosystem resiliency.”
Binko’s mission at Think is to leverage the firm’s resources to build environments that wholistically support startup companies and ventures. These ecosystems, as he calls them, go beyond simply providing investments to provide the expertise, experience, partnerships, and vision needed to ensure success.
After graduating from college, Binko joined PSINet, one of the first commercial internet providers before the world wide web and email. “They were literally taking DARPA Net, the military network, and putting business on it,” Binko says.
Bill Schrader, the founder and CEO, gave Binko the flexibility to wear different hats.
Binko eventually left PSINet with some colleagues and started a venture accelerator, helping entrepreneurs put together management teams, branding, talent, and a pitch to raise money. They also developed an early-stage venture fund to support the accelerator. He then joined Start Up America and founded the Maryland chapter.
“That’s where I began to conceptualize the ecosystem model,” he says. “At this point, I’d worn all hats operationally within ventures at all stages. It helped me conceptualize the broader ecosystem that ventures inhabit.”
Binko’s career spanned the dotcom bubble and the 2008 financial collapse showing him the importance of resiliency and how swings in the economy could boost or hinder the viability of start-ups. Binko has built an extensive network of connections across the country that can be leveraged to support innovative ventures
Binko graduated from James Madison University with two Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Communications and English. He also attended the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering where he focused on Innovation Management and Computer Engineering.
- Ecosystem Policy, Advocacy, Legislative Affairs
- Venture Capital
- Seed Investing
- Black Butterfly Initiative
- Venture Capital
- Strategic Partnerships
- Business Strategy
- Change Management
- Ecosystem Building and Management
- Quantum Computing
- Mathematical Modeling
- Mergers and Acquisitions