TRAVERSE CITY — The TCNewTech spotlight shone on Lighting Designer at the June monthly Pitch Night.

The audience chose the app for film, TV, theater and event planners from among four tech start-ups at the June 1 event.

Clayton Combe, who splits his time between California and northern Michigan, made the winning presentation for Lighting Designer on TCNewTech’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Lighting Designer won the $500 top prize for his “Apple application as a quick and intuitive way to create overhead lighting plots, with real-time collaboration on multi-platform workspaces,” according to a release from TCNewTech.

The three other start-ups vying for the top prize sponsored by 4Front Credit Union were:

  • Reese Gallagher of Novum Automation in Traverse City. One of the five finalists for the 2021 Scale Up North Emerging Business awards, Novum Automation “designs, develops, and builds accessible automated insights that enable advanced product development decision-making,” according to its website.
  • Peter Price of Aradatum. A technology company based in Brighton, Aradatum “provides the keys to ubiquitous wireless connectivity,” according to its website. “We put infrastructure in places that other tech companies can’t, crossing previously impenetrable barriers to bring access to the last mile.”
  • Keith Evans of Great Lakes Crystal Technologies. The East Lansing-based company “develops semi-conductor grade crystalline diamond materials for applications in advanced optics, detectors, electronics, and quantum technologies (sensors, computing, communication, etc.),” according to a release from TCNewTech.

While all the start-ups were seeking funding, Novum’s Gallagher took a slightly different tack during his Pitch Night presentation.

“As an innovative emerging business here in northern Michigan, we’re not seeking funding for the next milestone or resources to launch a new product,” Gallagher said in a release. “We’re seeking honest feedback on our business model and opportunities to support manufacturers that keep northern Michigan employed.

“If you have honest advice for us, let’s chat. If you have someone in your network that would benefit from our expertise, make an introduction or let them know we exist.”

The next TCNewTech Pitch Night is scheduled for July 6, beginning at 6 p.m.

Anyone with an entrepreneurial idea is encouraged to submit ideas to Additional information is available by contacting Jennifer Szunko by email at

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