TCNewTech Returns To Pre-Pandemic Attendance

Over 175 people showed up to hear four local startups pitch their ideas at The City Opera House on Tuesday, April 5. The high energy audience voted Nevada Rector’s startup Fresh Life as the Audience Favorite to win the $500 cash prize provided by Michigan Broadband Services. Watch the replay.

TCNewTech’s mission is to expedite the launch of startups. A startup is a business in its first stages of operations – that covers a lot of territory. Presenters at the April event included everything from pre-seed to exit stage startups. TCNewTech is always looking for new ideas, especially new tech ideas, in the hopes of helping entrepreneurs launch new ventures that will add to a high value economy in Northern Michigan.  Unlike the typical tech ideas shared at TCNewTech, Fresh Life is a prepared meal delivery service based in Kinglsey, Michigan. Meal kit and pre-prepped meal delivery services are perhaps one of the most innovative businesses our nation has seen develop over the past few years. Meal kit services are a representation of both technologies’ part in the lifestyles of working consumers, along with consumers’ request for more convenience.

Meal delivery services have seen a major uptick in sales, especially during peak pandemic as people sought ways to avoid grocery shopping and to destress at least one aspect of their lives: food prep. The meal delivery business model originated in Sweden in 2007 and quickly gained popularity throughout Europe. One example with global reach, HelloFresh, was originally funded by a startup studio in Germany and completed their IPO in 2017.

Within the pre-prepped meal-kit industry, several trends have developed and Nevada Rector of Fresh Life plans to check all the boxes: Sustainability Commitment, Diet Specialization, Organic Foods, and Pre-Made Meal Choices. The prepared meal kit delivery industry is estimated to be worth $11.6 billion by 2022 (Statista). Could TCNewTech’s winner be the area’s next Unicorn?

Here is a brief overview of the other three presenters:

Jim Millar presented Atterx Biotherapeutics, a life science company developing clinical innovations that prevent and treat antibiotic-­resistant bacterial infections. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Atterx has received initial funding and is now looking to complete their Series C Preferred offering and move their business to Traverse City.

John Levandowski has a finished prototype for his iSanitize Case and is looking to make connections that will help to bring his product to market. The iSanitize Case is a phone case with embedded UVC lights that kills germs and bacteria. The unique design of the case allows you to sanitize external surfaces as well as the phone and case itself. Levandowski is planning to launch an Indiegogo campaign that will attract smaller investors in order to raise the funds needed to begin production.

TCNewTech Founder, Russell Schindler presented an opportunity with H20 Investigations that would allow him to exit the startup or find a business partner. H20 Investigations specializes in cost effective and efficient water sampling. H20 Investigations samples groundwater, soil vapor intrusion, storm and surface water, landfill, wastewater, and other sources. They currently have sampling projects all over Michigan and would like to find a partner to operate or acquire this emerging startup that has huge expansion potential.

In addition to a full list of entrepreneurs, the TCNewTech audience heard from the organizers of the 10 Northwest Michigan VEX Robotics teams that are heading to the world championships in May. The collective group of teams raised over $2000 toward their campaign to raise $50,000 to fund the expenses to attend the competition in Texas. 

TCNewTech’s monthly events are made possible by support from Main Sponsor BarHopper which announced the launch of their new platform and need for beta-testers and software engineers interested in getting in on the ground floor of a startup.

Supporting Sponsors of the monthly TCNewTech events include Susan Soffredine Rauser with State Farm Insurance, Michigan’s Creative Coast, the Meg Zammit Group, and AccessPoint.

Anyone with an entrepreneurial idea is encouraged to submit their ideas to TCNewTech. No idea is too big or too small – TCNewTech wants to hear it all! 

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