Newton’s Road Cruises to a Successful Win

Newton’s Road, an independent non-profit organization based in Traverse City, was the audience favorite at the TCNewTech pitch event on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 winning the $500 prize provided by RJG, Inc.. Barb Termaat and Bill Myers presented their pilot version of Newton’s Road’s Career Investigator platform which encourages students to consider STEM-related careers. TCNewTech’s in-person Pitch Event held at The City Opera House was also live streamed on the TCNewTech Youtube Channel , LinkedIn, and Facebook Page

The dynamic, winning presentation of The Career Investigator platform was delivered by Barb Termaat, the Executive Director of Newton’s Road and Bill Myers, Co-Founder and Board Chair for Newton’s Road. Other pitches included Debra Lanning of Lala Projects, Damien Allen of Freedom Elevated Defense Solutions, and Michael Bisson of All Lacrosse Sticks. With each of the companies at different stages of launch, they all had the common need for additional funding in order to scale their startups.

Newton’s Road beat out three other entrepreneurs including Debra Lanning of  Lala Insights. Lanning has created a database of local businesses with accompanying WordPress plugins that pull data into multiple websites via an API that is specifically focused on wedding industry professionals.  Lanning and her company are based in TC and she is one of TCNewTech’s original members and volunteers from 2015.

Presenter Damien Allen is the founder of Freedom Elevated Defense Solutions, a virtual range simulator used to educate new and experienced firearm owners on safety, proper mechanics, and to build a strong and safe foundation without the use of live ammunition. Allen is seeking his first round of funding mobilize his company that is designed to help build a better community of informed firearm owners. 

Michael Bisson (serial entrepreneur with 28 product patents pending), presented his line of products, All Lacrosse Sticks, for the 20 million fetching dogs market.  He achieved success as a nationally ranked LaCrosse player, coach, and retail store owner and is now looking to manufacture products for fetching dogs. Based in Traverse City, Bisson is seeking funding as well as marketing and manufacturing assistance.

In addition to the four pitch presenters, Ashley Sloat of Aurora Patents gave a Quick Tip Minute titled, “Knowing When to Share Your Idea and When to Shush”. Often entrepreneurs are terrified to share their ideas for fear of someone stealing it. However, public disclosures only really count if the idea is “patent ready” and it’s hard for someone to steal the idea if the inventor hasn’t shared any implementation details. Ashley is a former TCNewTech board member and a USPTO-registered patent practitioner who specializes in the development and management of patent portfolios for startup ventures and emerging growth companies.


After the entrepreneurs presented their startup companies to the hybrid audience, they answered questions about their companies and awaited the contest’s results, cast by people online and in-person via SMS text messaging poll. In the end, the audience selected Newton’s Road to take home the $500 prize.


TCNewTech’s 2021 Main Sponsor is Michigan Broadband Services, offering lightning-fast fiber internet in Northern Michigan.

Barb Termaat and Bill Myers of Newton's Road
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