TCNTx20Fathoms: A special edition of TCNewTech showcases 20Fathoms members
A special edition of TCNewTech this week showcased the 20Fathoms community to a packed Opera House. Fifteen 20Fathoms member companies filled the auditorium and demoed their work through booth space and on-stage pitches.
“This was an effort to bring a little bit of our space to the public. Having 20Fathoms businesses showcasing their products and work at TCNewTech – engaging with the community, with investors, with like-minded people, potential employees – was a little taste of what it’s like to be in the 20Fathoms workspace every day,” said Andy Cole, Executive Director of 20Fathoms.
20Fathoms is currently home to more than 50 members and 20 startups. The fifteen companies displaying their work at TCNewTech showcased a diverse array of technologies including remote patient monitoring devices (Spire), UX and web design services (Brightly), a home contracting services platform (TruePro), and environmental data collection drones (Zero Gravity Aerial).
“Exhibiting at TCNewTech was the most engaging I’ve ever found the event. Not only did we get some great sales leads, it led to so many interesting conversations that we think we could turn into customers, potential employees, & even investment. This was a perfect opportunity for us as we are looking to grow our presence in Traverse City”, said Ben Fellows, CEO of Loop, a provider of software testing services and solutions
The sentiment was echoed by other 20Fathoms entrepreneurs. Dennis Wiand, founder of Zero Gravity Aerial said “Having a display at the last TCNewTech event led to three significant connections and one of those to further discussion of collaborating on an area of mutual benefit”.
Three 20Fathoms member companies gave 5-min pitches on stage. First up was Starboard Solutions, which offers a software-based solution for speed and certainty in supply-chain design. Founder, Steve Johanson, said “we put the sexy in supply chain logistics!”. Next up was Aveopt, who presented on their hybrid multi-Infrastructural Unmanned Traffic Management system. The final pitch came from Inphastos, a construction technology company developing a highly automated, scalable offsite platform to design, manufacture, and install high quality wood-framed home infrastructure.
Following a vote from the audience, Aveopt took the prize of $500 for best pitch, sponsored by Profireworks. “Winning the prize was particularly meaningful for us as it reaffirmed the recognition, interest and desire to establish Traverse City and the region as a technology mecca. As a startup, Aveopt appreciates any financial support it can get”, said Tim Nash, VP of Tech Solutions at Aveopt. Aveopt will use the prize money to help expand their business
To add another exciting element to the evening a total of ten 1-minute ‘bar-napkin pitches’ livened up the stage! Presenters had one-minute and one-slide to tell the audience about their idea for a product, company, app, or community service project.
For 20Fathoms members this latest edition of TCNewTech was a fantastic way to network and meet the right people. “Our region is growing because we create opportunities for ‘casual collisions’ everywhere, a term used by Steve Jobs. By that theory, Quarkmine didn’t have an agenda for TCNewTech but we walked away with some very clear action items and leads,” said Philip Leete, Principal and Co-Owner of Quarkmine LLC. “TCNewTech and 20Fathoms continue to cultivate an environment that companies like Quarkmine can thrive in.”
“Bringing 20Fathoms to TCNewTech was a fantastic opportunity for us to spread the word about the community spirit that our entrepreneurs gain when they become a member,” says Andy Cole, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “The community at 20Fathoms is really something you have to be a part of to feel and our members can attest to that. There’s a sense of pride that comes with working on something you feel passionately about, but there’s also the pride that comes with being a part of a community that’s bigger than what you’re working on. Our members are truly engaged, they’re leaning into challenges, and not afraid to fail. But the key is that they’re also investing in the challenges of their peers and the other people in their workspace.”
Becoming a member at 20Fathoms opens up a host of opportunities for an entrepreneur to grow their business. Offering 24/7 access to office space, high-speed fiber-internet, and state-of-the-art video and conferencing technology, 20Fathoms is located right on Front Street. Programming and classes are also provided, as well as mentorship from local experts, Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, Michigan’s Small Business Development Center, and pro-bono services from legal, IT, HR, e-commerce and accounting professionals.
20Fathoms would like to thank TCNewTech for opening up their community and for partnering on this unique event
20Fathoms is the home of technology and entrepreneurship in Northern Michigan. Based in Traverse City, 20Fathoms’ mission is to cultivate a thriving and connected startup ecosystem. Become a Member or Support 20Fathoms!
TCNewTech is a community of tech enthusiasts, businesses, entrepreneurs, and Michigan policy-makers building a culture of innovation, economic growth, and opportunity for local talent in the Traverse City Region. Monthly events are held on the first Tuesday at TC Opera House. Attend the next event!