Entrepreneurs often start businesses to try something new. But what do they do when that business becomes established and they want to walk through the next door in life? For Bill Wagner and Dianne Marsh
, that meant finding a soft landing spot for not only themselves, but their business (SRT Solutions
) and the people who work for it.
“It’s not like leaving a job,” Marsh says. “There is a responsibility there.”
The pair of seasoned software entrepreneurs made a call to a friend earlier this year and a few months later they were able to work out an acquisition of SRT Solutions
to Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object
. The software firm plans to keep on SRT Solutions’ staff (five employees) as the foundation of Atomic Object's new downtown Ann Arbor office. Marsh and Wagner are now going off to take on new opportunities.
“It has been a lot of fun but it’s definitely time to do something different,” Wagner says.
Wagner is going to start creating course content for Pluralsight
and developing the Humanitarian Toolbox
. The toolbox will be an open-source project that leverages software to help first responders better prepare for disasters.
“It’s creative software that has a very big, positive impact on the world,” Wagner says.
Marsh will become the director of engineering for cloud tools at Netflix
in Silicon Valley. She had no intention of taking a corporate job when she started down this new path, but Netflix was able to make a convincing argument to do so thanks to the company’s innovative culture and flat management system.
“When I announced I was going to make a change a bunch of opportunities emerged,” Marsh says. “Netflix reached out to me.”
Wagner plans to stay in Ann Arbor, working remotely for his new employer. He also planned to stay involved in the local tech/entrepreneurial scene.
“It has a lot of potential,” Wagner says. “There are a lot of great ideas coming out of a lot of young companies. We need some more hits.”
Source: Dianne Marsh and Bill Wagner, co-founders of SRT Solutions
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.