A former winner of Fortune's small business plan competition has been recognised for the second time in the national press for its successful progression into the business world.

Green Dragon Pest Solutions, which was awarded the magazine's 2007 prize for its environmentally-friendly, pet-safe insect killer, has already introduced its product into 16 state markets since its inception in January 2008.

In a CNN Money article entitled Pest Control Pros Take the Bait, the insecticide company has been praised for its methodical approach to establishing its boric acid formula in the extermination industry.

Described as a 'killer start-up', Green Dragon was officially created after the award by chief executive Jay Mullis. Portrayed as a cockroach enthusiast by Fortune in 2007, the bi-weekly business magazine suggested that Mullis was so knowledgeable about the insect that he was creating the company around the roach's taste buds.

Having acquired an Environmental Protection Agency license for his product, Mr Mullis began to distribute free samples to pest control professionals. This marketing technique proved fruitful and now Green Dragon has a contact book full of repeat clients.

Avoiding the consumer market for the time being, the chemical specialist has wisely focused its energies on asserting itself in one area of the industry. To this end, it has also recently agreed a partnership with the distributor Univar, which will allow Green Dragon to market its formula in more locations.

Citing the exposure garnered from the press coverage of First Place: Green Dragon to Kill, the chief executive explained that it had generated a customer-base for the business, before it had even existed.

He told the financial website: "When the FSB article went up, we got so many calls for people wanting the bait, but we weren't established yet.

"Now we can start assisting those interested parties and actually take advantage of the publicity."

In the future, the company anticipates further expansion, with a wider range of products expected to be created. Plans are already being drawn up for an ant killer compound with the same chemical formula as its roach counterpart. Mullis is confident that it too will be successful.

He told Fortune: "People are going green at home. They want something safer than the chemical bombs."

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