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Next Meet Up
Jun 05, 2018
Opera House, 106 E. Front St., TC
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Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 - 6:00pm

bar napkin pitch image 6-5-18

June 5th is “Bar Napkin Pitch Night”

Since starting TCNewTech many people have approached us about presenting ideas that they have been “thinking about”. These aren’t projects they’re working on, just an idea in their head. Unfortunately, we must tell them that we don’t normally do “ideas”, we do projects, applications, companies and inventions that are actually in the works. Normally, you must have something tangible to present at TCNewTech. But…. twice a year, June and December, we make an exception. We call it “Bar Napkin Pitch Night”. That not so crazy idea you and your friends came up with over drinks, now is the time to pitch it to the crowd. Give it a shot.

 TCNewTech Bar Napkin Pitch dec 5
The rules are pretty simple, any product, service or idea is open to be presented.  You get one slide and one-minute (60-seconds) to pitch your idea. After everyone has pitched there will be an opportunity to mingle for one and one question and answers. If you have an idea for an invention, mobile app, some kind of hardware or a new application for an existing technology or a community service project that you think could use some kind of technology to give it an edge, here’s your opportunity. All ideas will are welcome. Pitch your idea to a crowd of people that could actually help you make it happen. It doesn’t have to be a big world changing idea, it could be something modest that makes life just a little bit easier. It’s TCNewTech’s idea to provide a “Shot of inspiration” and the opportunity to possibly turn an idea into the start of something big. You never know unless you try. Take a shot.

To get signed up, simply fill out the short form on website linked here ( to be placed in the pitch night lineup. You will receive an e-mail confirmation 2-days before the event regarding your position in the line-up.

You never know unless you try. It’s only one minute, take a shot! The deadline for submittal is 12-noon Sunday June 3rd (limited to 15 pitches). Each pitch is limited to 1 static slide only, no multiple clicks. Each pitch is also limited to one-minute only, that means 60-seconds, no more, so practice, practice, practice.

Several past bar napkin pitch ideas have gone on and turned into ongoing businesses. It could happen to you too, but you have to try.


We had a great evening May 1st and had a great turnout. Congratulations to Shaun Quinn from Smartwhere ( as he was the winner of the DGN Advisory $500 pitch competition.  Smartwhere is a well-funded startup and Shaun Quinn generously donated the prize money back to TCNewTech to continue our cause of helping area startups. Thank you Shaun Quinn and Smartwhere!

We also held our board elections. Seven winners emerged from a tightly fought campaign among 21 well-qualified candidates. The winners of the election, all appointed to three year terms are, Ben Marshall, Tony Klemptner, Justin Blanchard, Kelly Ignace, Ashley Sloat, Josh Kent and  Jenny Craig.

Congratulations to all the new board members. We are looking forward to a very productive three years.

Your new board members and their bios and LinkedIn profiles are listed below. Connect with these people, these are good people to know.

The next TCNewTech is June 5th. Be sure to RSVP at

The New Board Members

Ben Marshall has spent his entire career working to improve business productivity while reducing the cost of doing business with the application of technology in businesses large and small. From 150,000 end-users to 10 employees, the application of technology and business process in a proper and measured way can be impactful financially to any business. I am creative and entrepreneurial in problem-solving while having the ability to see the big picture and make connections to all of the affected entities. Networking is not just a technical or social term but can be described as the ability to connect the points of opportunity within our personal and professional realms of existence.  I would like to help promote this idea at TCNewTech by supporting the creation of opportunities of giving 1200 members a voice and a place to learn who and what organizations are available to help them achieve their goals!

Anthony (Tony) Klemptner is an intellectual property attorney at Traverse Legal, PLC and has represented independent inventors, tech startups, and publicly traded companies with their intellectual property needs.  As a patent attorney, Tony enjoys helping inventors protect their inventions/technologies, from assisting with identifying whether an invention is worth the investment of a patent to preparing and prosecuting patent applications.  Tony previously worked as an intellectual property associate at Michigan State University’s Technology Transfer Office where he helped asses the commercial and patent potential of technologies developed at MSU.  He graduated from Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Biology and received his J.D. from MSU College of Law.  Tony has lived and worked in Traverse City since 2014 and loves spending time exploring beautiful northern MI with his wife and two boys.  Tony has served on the TCNewTech Board since September 2016.

Justin Blanchard a tech entrepreneur with 15+ years experience leading teams and tech products. Over the past 3 years, I’ve worked with over 50 startups and founders using a hands-on and founder-friendly approach to product management, design, development, and marketing. My expertise is in product design, business model generation, rapid prototyping, growth strategy, and building teams for SaaS based products. I currently lead Growth and Product Design at Venturit, a product development shop and startup studio. We work with funded early stage startups to launch new tech based products. I’m also the CMO of PhotosynQ, a platform for accelerating plant and crop insights by collecting and analyzing real world plant data using connected devices, data science, machine learning. In addition, I’m also the VP, Marketing at AvidCor a hand-held heart monitor for detecting atrial fibrillation. I enjoy kayaking, biking, basketball, traveling, and spending time with my wife and two daughters.

Kelly Ignace is TCNewTech member since Oct. 2015 — I’m hyper curious most things, but particularly about tech, start-ups, restart-ups, economic development, and effective design. I would love to serve on the BOD. I’m excited about the launch of Startology, and I look forward to the role that TCNewTech will continue to play in its development. Additionally, I’m working on a project to raise levels of tech literacy in the TC area. I’m creative, resourceful, solution oriented and goal focused. I would bring strengths in the areas of business development, visual strategy, marketing, PR, and planning to the BOD.

Ashley R. Sloat, Ph.D. is a USPTO-registered patent practitioner and owner of Traverse City-based Aurora Consulting ( Aurora specializes in the development and management of patent portfolios for startup ventures and emerging growth companies. Aurora uniquely offers on-demand, cost-effective in-house counsel to startup ventures that would otherwise be unable to afford such high-touch services. Previously, with Silicon Valley’s Hudak Consulting Group LLC, Ashley drafted and prosecuted patent applications for robotic systems, intracardiac devices, wireless healthcare technologies, physical activity equipment, biotechnologies, surgical training systems, and other medical and consumer product devices. Ashley has also served as a technology transfer fellow in the U of M Office of Technology Transfer analyzing nascent technology for commercialization potential, a U of M patent infringement researcher, and a regulatory writer for an Ann Arbor-based, early stage pharmaceutical company. Ashley earned her Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in the biomedical sciences from the University of Michigan.

Josh Kent is a serial entrepreneur, CEO and founder of; the globally leading online t-shirt platform, philanthropist, industry disruptor and a spokesperson for those striving for life and professional greatness. Featured on,, and in Forbes & Crains, Josh Kent has been listed as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs to Watch. He is often sought after for business advice and has appeared on various podcasts, including Sharkpreneur and was honored as one of Michigan’s Top 50 Business Entrepreneurs of the year. Also, TCNewTech’s own speaker of “Quick Tips by Josh Kent”

Jenny Craig has been in the technical and business space since the early 1990’s. She’s an extroverted analyst which means she can code, explain and teach to all audiences and understands the value of the bottom line. She has Global Fortune 500 Corporate and Small Business Experience. She understands the needs and constraints of business at all stages: Seed and Development, Start Up, Growth and Established, Expansion, and Maturity. She has a formal education and trade skills in: Computer Science and Mathematics from MSU- (BA), Business (BA), Marketing (MBA in progress), Data (MBA Certificate in progress) from Davenport University, Real Estate, Insurance License and API Accreditation. Executive level experience as Board Chairs, Business Owner,  Director, ROI Analyst for Executive’s for a Fortune 500 Global Corporation and experience with million dollar marketing budgets.  She has been participating in TC New Tech since 2016. Please review her resume on LinkedIn for full details on technical experience.


The TCNewTech line-up for Tuesday, June 5th will be about a week before the meeting!  Networking starts at 5:30pm, presentations start at 6:00pm.

City Opera House located 106 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI.


TCNewTech is giving away $500 to the “Best Pitch” as voted on by you the audience via text.

We will be broadcasting live on Facebook if you can’t make it in person.

Traverse Legal

We are pleased again that a major sponsor this month is Traverse Legal.  Specializing in internet law, trademark law, copyright law, patent law, and other intellectual property areas. The team at Traverse Legal has been involved and a supporter TCNewTech and local technology entrepreneurs since the beginning and we are fortunate to have them once again sponsoring our event.

Michigan Braodband

Another repeat major sponsor this month is Michigan Broadband Services.  From small businesses to large corporations, Michigan Broadband Services offers a service option that fits your needs at the most competitive rates. Michigan Broadband Services have been involved with TCNewTech for quite a while now and we are fortunate to have them now participating as a major sponsor for our events.


We are proud again this month that Susan Soffredine Rauser with State Farm Insurance is again a supporting sponsor.  Susan offers a full suite of Auto, Home, Property, Business, Life and Health Insurance products.

Another valued and continuing supporting sponsor this month is AccessPointAccessPoint helps business owners save time and money by providing expert human resource solutions, workers compensation, safety and risk, benefits administration and payroll.


Another ongoing supporting sponsor this month is Boomerang-Catapult, LLC. Venture Capital investing in Traverse City companies that create high-value through intellectually intensive effort and exporting it to the world.

NMA logo
Northern Michigan Angels are a repeating supporting sponsor as well. The mission of the angel group is to help grow the economic base of the region through investment in early stage companies. They have invested in numerous successful local start-ups already and are looking to continue.


We are happy to announce that SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives) will be joining the effort as a supporting sponsor. SCORE is volunteer mentor group of local business veterans. SCORE is committed to building a strong and prosperous Northwest Michigan business community through face-to-face mentor/client meetings to provide guidance and advice on how to start a new business or grow an existing one.


A social hour will be held immediately following the presentations. There is no charge for the event. Be sure to sign up and RSVP your attendance through the app which is linked at


LOCATION:  106 E. Front Street in downtown Traverse City, MI (City Opera House).

TIME:  Tuesday, May 1st, Doors open at 5:30 pm, Presentations Start at 6:00.



To be announced…







How TCNewTech works:

We have 5 presenters each month. Each presenter is allowed 5 minutes to present and 5 minutes of Q&A (time limits are politely enforced). Between presenters the audience is allowed to make brief announcements for things such as job openings, persons seeking employment, and other events happening in the area related to technology. We also make announcements related to various TCNewTech initiatives such as the area wide fiber-optic, co-working/incubator space, etc.


The audience is typically made up of technology-minded people and consists mostly of programmers, IT staff, people looking for opportunities for their tech company, tech companies looking for staff, individuals looking for investment opportunity, start-up founders at all stages looking for investors and tech geeks that just like learning about new offerings.  Meetups are broadcast live via Facebook live stream. You can watch the live stream on the TCNewTech Facebook page. The videos remain there for later viewing.


After the presentations, attendees mingle for refreshments, food, and networking.


There is no cost to attend or to present at TCNewTech.



If you would like to present your technology related product or service at a future meeting, please submit you request via the form on the pitch request page linked at the top of the page and here.


For additional information you can contact with TCNewTech in the subject line and a brief description of your question or request.


TCNewTech Membership Donations.

TCNewTech is going to remain free to the public and to the presenters. However, in order to maintain our financial viability as an organization, we are asking for members to kick in a minimum $15 a year, which will go towards covering costs like website hosting, software expenses, etc.  What your $15 subscription fee gets you is the right to run for and/or vote for our Board of Directors and a TCNewTech tee shirt (while supplies last). You can pay the $15 fee by cash, check or credit card at the door.


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