MTEC SmartZone start-up, QTEK draws international attention at trade show New mineral technology could greatly reduce spread of germs

HOUGHTON, Michigan (May 5, 2015) – MTEC SmartStart graduate, QTEK, is drawing international attention for its newly developed Surfion technology, an antimicrobial agent that can be added to plastics, paints and coatings. QTEK’s cost-effective, all-natural, mineral-based additive will last the product’s lifetime, ultimately improving the health environment. QTEK’s Surfion technology utilizes ionic copper as an active agent and a natural mineral to efficiently store and deliver ionic copper to common touch surfaces.

QTEK and Surfion received an enthusiastic response among attendees at NPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase, held March 23-27, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. QTEK was one of just 16 start-up companies invited to attend the showcase, which drew 65,000 attendees and 2,000 exhibitors from more than 37 countries from around the world. During the showcase, the QTEK team visited with more than 400 potential customers from 12 countries.

QTEK LLC is a Michigan-based company founded by Dr. Bowen Li and Ms. Amy Zhi. Dr. Li is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan Technological University, and the key inventor of Surfion. He has more than 20 years of R&D and consulting experience in materials and minerals engineering.

QTEK’s success is due in part to the support provided by MTEC SmartZone’s business incubator program, SmartStart. Program Director Julie Melchiori notes, “QTEK is a model SmartStart graduate, a perfect example of the success that’s possible when a company embraces the start-up process and principles and puts them into action.” Since 2012, SmartStart has provided training to
80 Upper Peninsula start-ups. The program offers entrepreneurs and young businesses hands-on coaching, business counseling, access to office space, workshops and a collaborative process.

QTEK was invited to take part in the showcase by NPE2015’s Startup Garage program, which highlights innovations in bioplastics, recycling, 3D printing, polymerization, resin processing, antimicrobial polymers and graphene nanostructures. QTEK exhibited its product within the special showcase section, Startup Garage, which provided prominently located exhibit stations.

For more information about QTEK, their company and eco-friendly solution, visit

For more information about MTEC SmartZone and the SmartStart program, visit or call 906-487-7000.