Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

November 2, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


The Truth Behind 10 Common Startup Myths

This is a hybrid event – attend in person at the City Opera House in Traverse City or virtually.

As consultants with the Michigan SBDC Tech Team, Melanie de Vries and Jason Pliml advise advanced technology founders and executives on driving growth and raising funds for their early-stage startups.

We’re thrilled to have Melanie and Jason joining us in Traverse City to share their knowledge with our local startup community in this event presented by 20Fathoms and TCNewTech, in partnership with Traverse Connect.

The session covers:

  • The biggest misconceptions tech founders have about building their business.
  • What really is a tech company, and why there are opportunities to create one in any community.
  • What you need to consider and do before building your tech.
  • What key skills you and your team will need to be successful.
  • What it takes to get funding, grow, and exit a tech company.
  • How to avoid key mistakes that can lead to problems that will jeopardize your business.

Who Should Attend

  • Early-stage tech founders
  • Players (investors, consultants, educators, etc.) in the tech startup ecosystem
  • Students interested in entrepreneurship
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about what it takes to create and grow a tech based startup

Event Format

This is a hybrid event – attend in person at the City Opera House in Traverse City or virtually.

Bonus: TCNewTech Pitch Event

To get more from Traverse City’s tech startup scene, stick around after this event for the TCNewTech Pitch Event. In this monthly pitch competition, startups present their business or new technology to the audience who then gets to vote for the winner. Networking begins at 5:30 pm and pitch presentations begin at 6 pm.

About the Presenters

Melanie de Vries is a growth strategy guru with a history of successfully developing marketing and sales strategies that build and improve profitability. Her focus is on identifying plans and tactics for driving rapid growth and building new innovations that obtain and keep clients and expand market share. Melanie mixes her extensive knowledge in business strategy and entrepreneurship with effective processes to tailor solutions for each organization’s specifics needs. She also brings her passion, enthusiasm and compassionate shoulder to cry on to every client meeting.

Her recent experience includes serving as CEO and Co-Founder of PaymentScholar (an edtech start-up). She has worked in the entrepreneurial ecosystem as an independent consultant advising start-up organizations on strategic planning, market positioning, market analysis, brand development, and customer discovery. She has also served as the senior marketing officer for Deloitte & Touche/Deloitte Consulting, The Learning Care Group and ForeSee Results. She is an Honors English graduate of the University of Michigan.

Melanie’s areas of expertise include go-to-market and commercialization strategy and tactics; complex B2B sales and client management; and customer, market and competitive research and analysis; and investor pitch presentation coaching.

Jason Pliml is a self-identified “data nerd” who has owned several profitable businesses, covering an array of niches from remote business services to fantasy sports software. The common thread through each of his businesses is the practical application of cutting-edge technology to solve high value problems. In addition to bringing broad entrepreneurial and business coaching experience, Jason shows up with empathy, creativity, and a clear sense of purpose.

Jason holds a BS degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Lake Superior State University and has completed the coach training program through Co-Active Training Institute. He’s served as a board member for tech companies, industry trade associations, and non-profit organizations.

Jason’s areas of expertise include SaaS business strategy, investor pitch coaching, brand messaging, pricing strategy, and aligning business culture with core company values.

Cover photo credit: Downtown Traverse City


November 2, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


City Opera House
106 E Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684 United States