December 11, 2023 - 9:30 am

TCNewTech becomes a 20Fathoms program, providing integrated services for startup founders

By 20Fathoms

20Fathoms and TCNewTech are pleased to jointly announce that the TCNewTech pitch competitions will become a program fully owned and operated by 20Fathoms in early 2024. The pitch competitions will return in the spring under 20Fathoms’ leadership.

“TCNewTech is the soul of our region’s startup community and the 20Fathoms team is honored to take over management of the program,” said Eric Roberts, Executive Director of 20Fathoms. “I want to thank everyone who has helped to make these events a success over the years – including the current TCNewTech Board of Directors. These pitch competitions have been a vital launchpad for local startups and inspired a real tech and entrepreneurship culture in Traverse City.”

Establishing a startup community in Traverse City

Founded in 2015 as a way to connect local tech professionals, TCNewTech quickly became a critical component in the region’s growing startup community with their popular monthly pitch competitions where startup founders would compete for a $500 prize awarded by audience vote. Since its founding, more than 250 companies have pitched and $40,000 in pitch prizes have been awarded. The pitch events have helped launch local startups including Hybrid Robotics, First Ignite, Stocked, and MeetingMaker.

“From its inception, TCNewTech has been a beacon in Traverse City’s tech landscape, fostering innovation and bridging the gap between ambitious technology founders and astute local tech investors,” said Russell Schindler, Founder of TCNewTech. “The journey of TCNewTech has been a remarkable testament to the spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurial drive inherent in our community.”

Since 2015, TCNewTech has provided an opportunity for startup founders to pitch their companies and compete for a cash prize. Pictured here, Jamie Kramer makes her pitch in March 2023.

What’s next for TCNewTech

The TCNewTech program will be seamlessly integrated into 20Fathoms services for tech entrepreneurs. Pitch presenters can expect access to wrap-around startup services that support their business success including pitch coaching, mentorship, business education, professional service providers, and connections to funding sources and a valuable network. Investors, business mentors, and local startup enthusiasts can expect high-quality pitch competitions with investable presenters, a fun and energetic atmosphere, and new themed events.

“As the founder of TCNewTech, I am thrilled to witness this new chapter under the stewardship of 20Fathoms,” said Russell. “Their exceptional expertise, coupled with their commitment to nurturing tech talent, assures me that TCNewTech will not only regain its former glory but also soar to new heights. I wholeheartedly support this move, confident in the knowledge that 20Fathoms will infuse TCNewTech with renewed energy and resources, enabling it to continue being a pivotal first step for companies embarking on their funding journey.”

“The TCNewTech Board of Directors is working closely with 20Fathoms to ensure a smooth transition in program ownership and management,” said Chuck Meek, President of the TCNewTech Board of Directors. “Our board is grateful to 20Fathoms for their vision in advancing entrepreneurship in our region and we appreciate their collaboration. I’m confident in the future of TCNewTech under their leadership.”

How to get involved

  • 20Fathoms will be hiring a full-time manager to produce the TCNewTech pitch competitions and other events. Interested candidates can view the job description on our Careers webpage.
  • 20Fathoms is inviting the public to help shape the next chapter of TCNewTech by submitting their feedback and ideas about the pitch events. Complete the form here.
  • Those interested in serving as TCNewTech event volunteers are invited to complete the 20Fathoms Ways to Get Involved form and select “event volunteer.”

“20Fathoms is committed to investing both time and resources into making the TCNewTech pitch competitions a not-to-be-missed experience for founders, investors, and startup enthusiasts throughout Michigan,” said Eric. “I can’t wait until we can welcome founders back to the stage early next year. In the meantime, we’ll be working diligently on the return of this incredible program.”