TCNewTech hybrid for new year

·4 min read

Jan. 2—TRAVERSE CITY — A new year will bring a slightly different format to TCNewTech.

The Jan. 4 monthly Pitch Night event — typically held the first Tuesday of every month — will see the relaunch of a hybrid format. The 6 p.m. event will be shown on a big screen television at MiddleCoast Brewing Company, 329 E. State St. in Traverse City, and livestreamed on TCNewTech's Facebook and LinkedIn pages and YouTube channel.

The format is similar to when TCNewTech's Pitch Night went virtual from April 2020 through June 2021 because of the pandemic. TCNewTech returned to the City Opera House for the first time in July 2021, but concerns over surges in the omicron variant will prevent it from being held there on Tuesday.

"For the first month anyway," TCNewTech Executive Director Jennifer Szunko said of the event's absence from the City Opera House. "I'm not sure what February is going to bring."

Networking before and after Pitch Night is a big part of the event and contributed to its departure from the City Opera House.

"Because our event relies so much on face-to-face interaction and networking, they looked at our event a little differently than their usual, say a concert, where you go in, sit down, listen, get up and leave.

"We usually are bringing more of a high-volume networking event and that's hard to do at a distance of six feet with a mask on."

Occurring close to Christmas and following New Year's events likely also worked against TCNewTech, Szunko said.

"We're also the closest event to the holidays, which is a chance for a high spread," she said.

So like TCNewTech did for a year and a half, Pitch Night will be livestreamed on TCNewTech's Facebook and LinkedIn pages and YouTube channel. It can also be viewed on the big screen at MiddleCoast Brewing Company.

"We can safely accommodate up to 75 people at MiddleCoast Brewing," Szunko said.

The difference between the Jan. 4 hybrid Pitch Night and events held between April 2020 and June 2021 is that not all of the presenters will be making their pitches from remote locations. Some will be making their presentations at 20Fathoms, while others will making pitches from remote locations.

The Pitch Night presentations will again by vying for the $500 top prize, sponsored in January by Shift Chiropractic. Szunko said BarHopper App will be the new main sponsor for 2022, replacing Michigan Broadband Services after 3 years.

The first Pitch Night of 2022 will also have a health and wellness theme.

Szunko said it also fits with people making their New Year resolutions.

Pitch Night features a five-minute presentation, followed by questions from the online audience.

Following the presentations, a vote by audience members determines the winner of the $500 cash prize.

Among those scheduled to make Pitch Night presentations on Jan. 4 are:

* Dennis Nash of IndividuALLytics Inc. Based in Ann Arbor and a participant in the 2021 HealthSpark Accelerator at 20Fathoms, IndividuALLytics aims to "provide the best focused, personalized pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments for chronic diseases and mental health disorders for patient and practitioner," according to its website.

* Dr. Kevin Pezzi of IdeaTeem, Inc. Based in Thompsonville, IdeaTeem uses a "diverse spectrum of relevant technologies" that "can reduce transmission of all airborne pathogens by over 99%" in the fight against COVID, according to a release from TCNewTech.

* Bradley Finkbeiner of Auto Glass America. Based in Kingsley, Finkbeiner has "a patent on an idea for a bathroom deodorizing system," according to the TCNewTech release.

* Chuck Meek of SolvePFAS, L3C (Low-Profit Limited Liability Company). Based in Traverse City, SolvePFAs "synthesizes disparate resources for innovative R&D (research and development) projects aimed at delivering cutting-edge solutions to the emerging PFAs (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) crisis," according to its website.

* Brian Cloud of Well Being Connect. Based in Traverse City, Well Being Connect is "a mobile application to provide a streamlined, inclusive platform connecting clients, professionals and venues to facilitate wellness services in ad-hoc fashion," according to a release from TCNewTech.

More information on the Jan. 4 TCNewTech event is available at People can apply for the future Pitch Nights at or by emailing Szunko at

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting