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Milwaukee firm wins Governor’s Business Plan Contest with technology for cleaner water

June 6, 2022
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Rapid Radicals Technology, a Milwaukee company with a system to stop untreated sewage from being dumped into waterways, took the top prize in this year’s Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Each year, trillions of gallons of untreated sewage are discharged into the Great Lakes due to sewage overflows. The problem affects more than 700 cities nationwide and thousands more globally.

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

The technology reduces the eight hours it currently takes a treatment plant to treat wastewater down to 30 minutes and has the promise of raising standards for effluent quality, according to company leadership.

Paige Peters, founder and chief technology officer at Rapid Radicals, was among the 13 finalists making presentations to judges during the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Milwaukee on June 1. In addition to taking the grand prize, the firm was named winner of the contest’s advanced manufacturing category.

The contest, produced by the Wisconsin Technology Council, involves finalists making a seven-minute pitch describing the product, customer base, estimated market size, main competitors and key financial data. They also produce a slide deck for a 15-minute presentation.

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

Other category winners in this year’s contest included:

Business services

Taking this category was Stellar Tech Girls, a Madison firm that provides engineering camps and events for middle-school girls taught by female engineering role models. Its aim is to inspire and empower girls to become engineers. Presenter: Marina Bloomer.

Information technology

Sturgeon Bay’s HeyGov, a provider of e-government management software won this category. It is the first mobile suite of tools that helps cities conduct business digitally. HeyGov’s tools allow citizens to report and track issues, make payments, fill out license forms and reserve 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 the itch. Presenter: Jordan Sand.

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

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