With passions for business and making a positive impact on the world, CUW students participated in the fourth annual CU Launch event on Thursday, Dec. 7. Five teams took home a total of $4,000 in funding for their startup ideas.


Eight teams competed in this year’s competition, which has been compared to a scaled-down version the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.” For Concordia’s equivalent, the budding entrepreneurs are coached and use the “Lean Startup” process to take their business ideas from startup through the launch process.  

The eight groups came with unique ideas for self-made business proposals, ranging from Swedish food trucks to an app focused on improving teens’ mental health. Because of the large number of participants, the teams were split up into graduate and undergraduate groups, each competing for a portion of the $2,000 of prize money.

The groups presented their startup ideas to a respected panel of judges including David Latona, President of Milwaukee Economic Development Corp., Joe Wood, Chief Marketing Office at Sendik’s, Joe Poeschl, Director and co-founder of The Commons, Loren Peterson, Former Principal at Venture Investors, and Mike Reilly, Former VP at J&J Pharmaceuticals, Brian Curry, President of CUW’s MBA program, and Angie Belz, Assistant Professor in the Department of Qualitative Business.

The students each gave 20-minute professional pitches to the judges to explain their budding business ventures. Here’s how this year’s teams fared.

Graduate

Klug Management System ($500)

Jason Klug, Jacob Ryan

Klug Management System is a sports-focused way to streamline fundraising efforts. With an online portal, users can see fundraising projects and progress for their school and even start their own. This new concept for fundraising will give donors an assurance of where their funds are going and create a community within respective efforts. This program will change the fundraising game.

Capture Productions ($500)

Jonathan Schotte, Ethan Danz, Nick Margrett

Capture Productions is an exciting new way for people to document their experiences. The business would allow vacationers to rent out a camera for their trip. Upon their return home, Capture Productions staff would then edit the footage captured, lending an expert eye to the experience in order to capture the most engaging moments of the trip. With Capture Productions, clients will not have to pause the fun to capture photos but instead keep the camera rolling throughout their experiences to achieve the best representation of their trip.

Undergraduate

HBU (First, $1500)

Grace Koester, Madie Martens, Anni Proscinske

Hbu is an app designed to bridge the gap between technology and mental health. Not only will students be able to record their moods, feelings, sleep schedule, and meals, but the app will have capabilities to help students improve their mental health. We are managing our mental health, how about you?

Diner’s Delight (Second, $500)

Kenady Minley

Diner’s Delight is changing the traditional dining out experience for the better. By ordering and reserving a table ahead of time, patrons are able to come in and sit right down, cutting the wait time down to less than five minutes. As a direct bridge between consumers and vendors, Diner’s Delight combines the best aspects of eating out with the modern commodities of internet-ease to optimize the dining experience.

The Mobile Kaffe Company, LLC

Ryan Westenberger

My company is called The Mobile Kaffe Company, LLC and I am a Swedish food truck selling speciality coffee and some Swedish food items such as Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and crisp bread. I will be operating in Milwaukee and I hope to expand to use my business to participate in community improving events such as environmental cleanup and other charitable activities.

StUDs Collective

Steven Hartl, Daniel Jones, Armand Lulo

StUDs Collective, an Etsy-esque online marketplace, is focused on cultivating ideas into products for a higher purpose. With a commitment to empowering men to give glory to God in their lives, StUDs’ goal is to bring ideas into fruition to start a conversation about manhood. This for profit brand will be a benefit corporation to bring masculinity back into the faith.

Second Chances Thrift to Gift

Rebekah Moran

Second Chances Thrift to Gift focuses on connecting high quality, gently used apparel and home items to socially and price conscious individuals at a low cost, all the while addressing the issue of waste in the clothing industry. We believe that well-made products deserve a second chance in the arms of consumers. This conviction mirrors our core values, which include a commitment to individuals, and the belief that everyone deserves a second chance.

— Madelyne Arrigoni is a sophomore studying English and Mass Communications. She plans to graduate in 2022.

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