Meltpoint Environmental takes first in inaugural Launch a Business program

K-State Communications and Marketing
From left: Edgerley Family Dean of the College of Business Administration Ali Malekzadeh; co-owner of MeltPoint Environmental Brad Hall; founder of MeltPoint Environmental Chad May; and Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz with the check Hall and May received for winning top prize in the university's Launch a Business program. (Photo: K-State Communications and Marketing)

MeltPoint Environmental, Caldwell, Kansas, is the inaugural grand prizewinner of Kansas State University's Launch a Business, or LAB, program, earning a prize package valued at more than $50,000.

The winner was selected at the program's Launch Party on Aug. 12.

MeltPoint's innovative proprietary device, the MeltPoint Surgical Bluewrap Recovery Machine, allows health care facilities to reduce the large amount of surgical blue wrap that ends up in landfills. The company beat out nine other startup ventures to take the top prize.

"Winning the LAB competition just solidifies that we have a great idea," said Chad May, founder of MeltPoint Environmental. "We've met with a lot of people and learned a lot over the last few weeks, and now it's time to take the product to market and commercialize it."

The Launch Party was the culmination of the five-week LAB program, which was sponsored by KS State Bank and the College of Business Administration's Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. The program provided the 10 selected Kansas startups with much-needed resources, including faculty-led courses, hands-on student research teams and access to the university's world-class alumni mentor network.

At the event, the 10 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the public. Each person attending could cast one vote for his or her favorite startup, with the top three moving on to pitch their company to a panel of judges that determined the grand prizewinner.

"We have the best business college in the state, and we need to play a major role in helping to grow the state's economy," said K-State President Kirk Schulz, who served on the judges panel for the competition. "The best way to do that is with small businesses and entrepreneurs. By using our faculty and facilities and providing mentoring, we are helping all 10 of these businesses with tools for success. The LAB program is an example of the outreach and service K-State is providing to meet the goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."

NMotion UAS, Hesston, Kansas, and VeriQuik Consulting and Services, Shawnee, Kansas, were the two other finalists to pitch to the judges panel. NMotion provides advanced unmanned aircraft systems and solutions for public safety professionals during emergencies, while VeriQuik is a screening company that performs voluntary background checks.

The other startups selected for the inaugural Launch a Business program were Ligosphere, Kansas City, Kansas; Impact Engineering, Jonah Ventures and Radiation Detection Technologies Inc., all from Manhattan, Kansas; Aphrodite Apparel and Tikitum Sensory Learning Lab, both from Overland Park, Kansas; and Sidesinger Custom Cabinets, Topeka, Kansas.

More information on the Launch a Business program and the entrepreneurs is available at www.k-state.edu/lab.

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