BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation Inc. has made an investment in Pleasant Prairie company FreshEx Corp.

FreshEx Corp. has been developing a solution to extend the shelf life of foods like breads, berries and cheeses that are highly susceptible to mold.

The company estimates that the global opportunity for extending the shelf life of these products, even by several days, is in the hundreds of million of dollars.

Co-founders Toby Thomas and William Belias each have more than 30 years of product development and go-to-market successes. They were instrumental in the development of scented Hefty garbage bags and Hefty OneZip food storage bags.

FreshEx was discovered at a Hatch event, BrightStar’s entrepreneurial pitch program.

“My experience with BrightStar has been terrific,” said FreshEx CEO Toby Thomas. “From my first pitch through to funding my venture, BrightStar has been very supportive.”

BrightStar’s $100,000 investment is the first awarded to a Hatch program participant.

BrightStar is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation created to facilitate job creation and increase Wisconsin’s economic activity by deploying donated funds into equity stakes in early-stage, rapid-growth companies.

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