Gary Horn, who was a majority shareholder in a White Plains company that designed and manufactured computer components for IBM, sponsored it. His sister was married to a prominent guy on the Factory Committee. They setup a for-profit company that was connected with his White Plains company, and was staffed by Bethelites (free labor of course) and software/hardware guys from his company (who were full-time employees).
This initial goal was not what turned into the MEPS, but a "dumb" terminal connected to a minicomputer (IBM Series-I), and finally connected to an IBM Mainframe to do the text layout. Later, the "design" was changed so that the MEPS consisted of a custom-configured, 4-processor box (Intel 8086), custom manufactured by Gary?s company. Of course, as PC?s came into market, they replaced the original custom box and the only remaining portion is the software.
Also, there was some development at the farm of a custom-typesetting machine, but they bought the laser and film transport mechanisms from somebody, developed a microprocessor controller and did the controller programming. They also developed the fonts and technique for scanline-conversion.