Milwaukee company wins governor’s business plan competition with technology for cleaner water


Rapid Radicals Technology, a Milwaukee company with a system to prevent untreated sewage from entering waterways, won first prize in this year’s Governor of Wisconsin’s business plan competition .

Each year, trillions of gallons of untreated sewage are dumped into the Great Lakes due to sewage overflows. The problem affects more than 700 cities in the country and thousands more around the world.

The company’s innovative, municipal-scale technology moves stormwater and wastewater through a conveyance system and returns it safely to lakes and rivers. The company is commercializing technology developed at Marquette University.

The technology cuts the eight hours it currently takes for a sewage treatment plant to treat sewage to 30 minutes and promises to raise effluent quality standards, according to company management.

Paige Peters, founder and chief technology officer at Rapid Radicals, was among 13 finalists making presentations to judges at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference in Milwaukee on June 1. In addition to winning the grand prize, the company was named the winner of the advanced award in the manufacturing category competition.

The competition, organized by the Wisconsin Technology Council, involves finalists presenting a seven-minute pitch outlining the product, customer base, estimated market size, key competitors and key financials. They also produce a slide deck for a 15 minute presentation.

“Rapid Radicals was born out of a flood in Milwaukee that frustrated homeowners, businesses and city officials,” said Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still. “At a time when the resilience of municipal water systems is vital, our judges saw the value in Rapid Radicals’ ability to dramatically speed up effluent cleanup.”

Other category winners in this year’s competition include:

Business services

In this category, Stellar Tech Girls, a Madison-based company, offers engineering camps and events for middle school girls taught by female engineering role models. Its goal is to inspire and empower girls to become engineers. Presenter: Marina Bloomer.

Computer science

HeyGov of Sturgeon Bay, an e-government management software provider, won this category. It is the first suite of mobile tools that helps cities run their business digitally. HeyGov’s tools allow citizens to report and track issues, make payments, complete license forms, and book and rent government facilities. Presenter: Dustin Overbeck.

Life sciences

This category was won by Verona-based Cold Water Technologies, which has developed an over-the-counter pet nutraceutical for itch relief called Dermigan. The patented product, developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supplements an antibody blood protein in dogs to eliminate itching. Presenter: Jordan Sand.

This year’s finalists shared over $100,000 in cash and prizes.

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