Come see QTEK and all the Great Eight Finalists in the Wharton Business Plan Competition pitch live, for over $125,000 in prizes, at the Venture Finals, Thursday, April 28. Register here.Team Leader: Mengya Li WG’17
Team Member: Bowen Li
The QTEK team offers Surfion, a durable, safe, and effective chemical additive that could make any surface antibacterial and antifungal. Surfion is built into the end product, and will not wash off or wear away. Only one application of Surfion is needed to provide continuous self-decontamination protection over the lifetime of the product.
How has Wharton helped you start your business?
We had a lot of help from Wharton Communication Program 615 classmates and other friends at Wharton who gave us really good insights on every detail of our business plan. They helped us to see where the audience might get confused, and how we can improve on our presentation skills. We hope to present the most engaging and personal story of our idea and our journey along the way.
How did you come up with this idea?
Over the last few years there was an increasing amount of E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks that could be easily prevented. Dr. Bowen Li was working on a copper-clay material and noticed its antibacterial and antifungal properties. After extensive research, he found that existing additives are toxic, expensive, and ineffective. He improved the formula over several years to focus on consumer and industrial applications, and provide a safe and effective antimicrobial solution for 50% less than competitors.
What does it mean to you to be one of the eight Finalists in the Wharton Business Plan Competition?
It’s an honor and we’re so grateful for the opportunity! There are so many fantastic ideas coming out of Wharton. It’s amazing to see the energy and passion from each team. It has been an incredible learning opportunity just by observing and collaborating with my fellow classmates.
What’s one fun fact about each member of your team?
- Bowen was one of the first 50 internet users in China back in the early 90s, when the internet was only one page.
- Mengya had a 10-minute conversation with Brad Pitt without realizing who he was.
If you win the Perlman Grand Prize ($30,000 cash prize, $10,000 in legal services, $5,000 in accounting/strategy services, GLG Share Fellowship), what will you do with the money?
We’re racing to get EPA approval and begin commercial sales in North America. The cash prize will be used for safety testing to satisfy EPA requirements. We’d like to file additional patents with legal services to better protect our IP. We’re also looking forward to getting help from strategy service and improve our marketing, sales, and operational efficiency.