Milwaukee shines in Business Plan Contest

Milwaukee-based Rapid Radicals, was the grand prize winner of the 19th annual Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest.

Rapid Radicals Technology, which can treat water at a municipal scale where there is a spill point confluence of storm and sanitary sewers, was also the winner of the contest’s Advanced Manufacturing category.

Founder and chief technology officer Paige Peters presented for Rapid Radicals, which was among 13 “Diligent (Baker’s) Dozen” finalists to present June 1 to judges and others during the 20th annual Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

“Rapid Radicals was born of a flood in Milwaukee that frustrated homeowners, businesses and city officials alike,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “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.”

Independent judges recruited by the Tech Council heard pitches from 12 other finalists in four categories: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Services, Information Technology and Life Sciences.

Other Milwaukee area winners include:

Wauwatosa-based My Hearing Care, founded in 2017 by Dr. Yi Hu, placed second in the Life Sciences category. Engineer Santhosh Yegnaraman explained the company’s plan to launch their over-the-counter hearing aid technology as soon as the FDA approves pending legislation to allow consumers non-prescription options for treating hearing loss.

ContraDoc, located in Brookfield, placed third in the Business Services category. The company, founded by David Meyers, offers AI review of legal contracts for small businesses that cannot afford to hire legal counsel. Sold using a SaaS membership model, the company is hoping to raise $500,000 to support its launch.

ReinventAuctions out of Fontana placed second in the Business Services category and won the Bright Idea award for their online dealer marketplace. The company is currently serving 400 RV and motorsport dealers and that number will rise to 700 dealers as they add auto and motorcycle sales to the site in the coming months.

The Wisconsin YES! winner for youth businesses plans was William Moertl and Emily Scott of Wauwatosa’s Whitman Middle School. The pair created Signfluent, an online tool to help translate and teach sign language to users. While presenting the plan for their company, the duo thanked their STEM 8 teacher, Ryan Pevalk.

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