Five Tech Startups Compete for the $500 prize

TCNewTech Returns to In-Person Pitch Events!

On Tuesday, July 6, Ola Filter Corporation won TCNewTech’s Pitch event with its easy-to-use, ultra-affordable water filter that uses proven ultrafiltration technology to remove bacterial contamination from drinking water in developing countries. Theresa Smith, Ola Filter’s co-creator, pitched in TCNewTech’s return to in-person events, including live streaming on the TCNewTech Youtube Channel and Facebook Page. Ola Filter Corporation is a women-founded, triple bottom line social business focused on people, the planet, and profits to build true sustainability in a market of over two billion people worldwide in need of decontaminated drinking water. Ola Filter Corporation is based out of Ann Michigan, Oregon, and, Guatemala, where they’re currently implementing their filtration system.

Smith’s Ola Filter beat out three other companies to take home the $500 prize, sponsored by DGN Advisory. Other pitches included Marshall Downs of Sitedropp, Philip Hallstedt of, Steven Lenon of Vert9 Company, and Joe Gleason of genusConnect.

“The contest added a new level of excitement …Thank you for that.  I didn’t realize I had a life goal of winning a BIG CHECK on stage until it happened!”  

Theresa Smith, Co-founder, Ola Filter Corporation

All of the companies are at different stages of launch, yet all are seeking funding. Based in Benton Harbor, MI., Marshall Downs developed SiteDropp, an on-demand delivery service for the construction and home improvement industry with the intention of aiding builders and renovators to find materials. Philip Hallstedt pitched on his, a charging station to create a more sustainable future less dependent on fossil fuel with their cutting-edge battery technology and charging infrastructure, based in North Port, MI. Steven Lenon of Vert 9 Company, a unique modular drone system based in Midland, MI. Along with Joe Gleason of genusConnect who designed a content delivery and engagement platform for the healthcare market to connect partners, families, and community resources in an instructive manner, based in Detroit, MI, with some investment coming from Traverse City, MI.

After the five finalists presented their startup companies to the hybrid audience, they participated in questions from the in-person audience members and awaited the contest’s results, cast by people online and in-person via SMS text messaging poll. The audience selected Ola Filter Corporation, who took home the $500 prize sponsored by DGN Advisory!

TCNewTech is a nonprofit organization intended to energize a community of entrepreneurs by showcasing new tech ideas and facilitate connections at their monthly pitch contests with an end goal of expediting the launch of startups in Northern Michigan. 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! Anyone interested in connecting with any of the pitch presenters should contact Jennifer Szunko at TCNewTech sponsors include Michigan Broadband Services, Susan Soffredine Rauser with State Farm Insurance, SCORE, Northern Michigan Angels, AccessPoint, and the Nielson Family Foundation.