Newton’s Road Executive Director Barb Termaat makes her presentation at TCNewTech’s Pitch Night at the City Opera House on Sept. 14.

TRAVERSE CITY — The winner of TCNewTech’s Pitch Night presentation wasn’t hard to deduce, even if it was a week later than normal.

Newton’s Road Career Investigator platform took the top prize Sept. 14 at the monthly Pitch Night presentation held at the City Opera House. The event also was live streamed on the organization’s YouTube channel, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Normally the first Tuesday of the month, the September TCNewTech gathering was pushed back a week because it immediately followed the Labor Day holiday and was on the first day of school for much of the region.

After the four presentations, Newton’s Road Career Investigator earned the most votes from the audience and the $500 prize provided by RJG, Inc.

Newton’s Road Executive Director Barb Termaat and board chair and co-founder Bill Myers made the winning pitch.

Career Investigator is “designed for 8th-12th grade youth wishing to explore (Science Technology Engineering Math)-related careers in our region and to also be a useful tool for parents, counselors, and other youth mentors that support their career journey,” according to

Based in Traverse City, Newton’s Road is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM-related learning for all youth in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties.

Other Sept. 14 Pitch Night presentations included:

  • Debra Lanning of LaLa Insights. Based in Traverse City and one of the original members and volunteers from TCNewTech in 2015, Lala Insights “is a directory of Michigan businesses related to weddings and tourism,” according to its website.
  • Damien Allen of Freedom Elevated Defense Solutions. The Grand Rapids-based company is “a virtual range simulation used to educate new and experienced firearm owners on safety, proper mechanics and building a strong and safe foundation without the use of live ammunition,” according to a release from TCNewTech.
  • Michael Bisson of All Lacrosse Sticks. The Traverse City-based company offers a fetching line of products for dogs, according to the release.

Besides the Pitch Night presentations, Aurora Consulting, LLC President and former TCNewTech board member Ashley Sloat give a presentation titled “Knowing When to Share Your Idea and When to Shush.” The topic of the presentation was to help entrepreneurs know when their idea is “patent ready” and difficult for others to copy.

TCNewTech’s Pitch Night returns to its traditional slot in October. To apply for the Oct. 5 event or future Pitch Nights, visit or email executive director Jennifer Szunko at

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