PhD Student Wins Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition With Clean Water Technology


A graphic icon representing research in action, from the Beyond Borders strategic planPaige Peters, a doctoral student at Opus College of Engineering, won the Grand Prize in the Governor of Wisconsin’s 20th Annual Business Plan Competition with Rapid Radicals Technology, her Milwaukee-based company that is revolutionizing combined sewer treatment and overflows to prevent untreated overflows. sewage from being dumped into our lakes and rivers during floods.

Rapid Radical’s innovative technology reduces current wastewater treatment time from eight hours to 30 minutes, enabling municipal-scale management where there is a confluence point of storm and sanitary sewers. Peters is the founder and chief technology officer of Rapid Radicals, which was among 13 “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen” finalists to be presented to judges and others at the 20th Annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference. The company markets a technology developed in Marquette.

Rapid Radicals also won the Advanced Manufacturing category of the competition.

“It’s always super exciting to see technology transfer work this way: from an academic invention to a product that will benefit the public and is also good for the Earth,” said Dr. Kalpa Vithalani, Executive Director of the technology transfer at Marquette and a board member of the Tech Council. “Through her research and innovation, Paige brings research to life. She is also a great role model for others at Marquette who aspire to bring their innovations to market and be a difference. »

The competition is organized by the Tech Council, which is the nonprofit, nonpartisan science and technology advisor to the Governor and State Legislature of Wisconsin. Each plan described the main product or service, defined the customer base, estimated the market size, identified the competition, described the management team and provided key financial data.

Peters earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Marquette and returned to college to pursue her master’s degree in environmental engineering with a focus on water and wastewater treatment. Initially funded by the National Science Foundation-funded Water Equipment and Policy – ​​Industry/University Collaborative Research Center, the research focused on developing an advanced high-throughput wastewater treatment process. Marquette has filed patent applications on this important technology. Rapid Radicals has received over $1.6 million in grants that help turn the startup’s foundational technology into a viable product.

Paul Jones, vice president of academic relations and general counsel at Marquette, was also a finalist in the competition with a company he co-founded, ReinventAuctions, which provides frictionless digital trading platforms for wholesale vehicle trades between dealers in targeted industries. The company took second place in the “Business Services” category and won the “Bright New Idea” award.

Contest sponsors contribute cash, office space, legal assistance, accounting, information technology consulting, marketing, event space and more. Approximately $2.5 million in cash and in-kind prizes have been awarded since the competition’s inception in 2004. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. is a major sponsor.


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