TRAVERSE CITY — Makeena aims to make the world a better place through a series of small choices.

The audience at TCNewTech’s Pitch Night made its small choice as well.

Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, Makeena was chosen to win the $500 prize at this month’s Pitch Night event, held May 4. Makeena CEO and Founder Karen Frame made the pitch for an app working in the $252 billon natural products industry.

Makeena is a “B-certified loyalty platform that rewards consumers with incentives for buying ‘better,’ while providing brands with real-time shopper insights and data ...,” according to a release from TCNewTech.

“We want everyone on this big, beautiful planet of ours to easily find and afford healthier food, eco-friendly products ...,” reads the company description on “So we created an app that instantly connects you to better choices — products that are better for your health, better for your life, and oh yeah, better for the planet.”

Makeena has worked with Nick Beadleston, founder partner of Good Impacts in Traverse City, to become a Certified B Corporation.

Makeena topped two other entrepreneurs for the Pitch Night prize.

Entrepreneurs make a 5 minute presentation about their start-up companies, followed by a 5 minute question-and-answer period. At the end of the event, livestreamed on TCNewTech’s Facebook and YouTube pages, an online audience votes for the winner.

Other pitches at the May 4 event were by Brad Basar of Elk Rapids-based High Street Data and Brent Massey, CEO of Ridar Systems in Palmer, Massachusetts.

High Street Data is “the first cloud-based platform to bring the proven power of insight communities to the cannabis industry,” according to a release from TCNewTech. Ridar Systems is a cloud-based mobile system that “runs in the background and verbally notifies the driver when a (two-wheeled) rider is approximately five seconds from that driver’s location” to prevent accidents, according to its website.

For the second straight month, TCNewTech ran Pitch Night on the Catch app.

Held the first Tuesday of the month, the next TCNewTech Pitch Night is scheduled for June 1 at 6 p.m.

Apply to pitch at, or by contacting TCNewTech Executive Director Jennifer Szunko at

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