Concordia, president shoot, student, ted talk, lutheran educators conference.. April 8, 2016. Patrick Flood Photography

More than 10 CUW students played the role of inventors this fall, producing creations that ranged from a self-charging lamp to an educational computer app that allows users to participate in stock trading in a game like setting.

The innovations were part of the University’s first annual CU Launch program, in which students interested in entrepreneurship had opportunity to learn about business basics and then create their own idea to market.

“The goal really is to give our students a chance to be entrepreneurs, and team up to form businesses around their ideas,” said Dr. Daniel Sem, Dean of Concordia University’s School of Business Administration and an organizer of the launch event.
Taking home the first place award of $5,000 in seed funds was Colin Murdy with his creation of glow lamps. The product, called Vialamp, is a lamp with primary and secondary light purposes, that is built with specialized fluorescents that glow with a short burst of light. According to Murdy, after two minutes of use, the lamp will have charged up the tube so that it glows bright enough to use for another 30 minutes. For every lamp purchased in America, Murdy says he plans to donate one in the developing world.

The CU Launch program was about more than just winning; it is about learning more about how to turn innovative ideas into a functioning business. For more information on the CU Launch program, contact Dr. Sem at

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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