Concordia is doubling down on its student entrepreneurs.  

On Saturday November 16, Concordia students and Milwaukee community members competed for $8,000 of seed money for their startup ideas—double the amount offered last year. As a part of Startup Week, CU Launch was one of over 150 events taking place all over the Milwaukee area.

CU Launch provides CUW’s budding entrepreneurs with an opportunity to present their business ideas to successful professionals. This was the event’s fifth year and brought a total of 10 budding small business ideas to the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. The potential prize money doubled last year’s amount, totaling $8,000.

This year’s 10 teams were divided into three tracks: apps, services and technology ideas, and small businesses. Students from a variety of academic schools participated and used their respective expertise to create professional pitches for the judges. This year CUW were honored to have Richelle Martin, Winnow Fund Managing Director and venture capitalist (Wisconsin’s only active female-led venture fund that focuses on students and pre-revenue startups – recently featured in BizTimes Media), Joe Poeschl, Program Director and Co-Founder of The Commons (The Commons creates a comprehensive framework for developing, connecting and retaining innovation workers across a region), Dr. Amy Coon, Marketing Professor at Cardinal Stritch University, project manager and former Motorola executive, Loren Peterson, Entrepreneurial Advisor and CUW’s Entrepreneur in Residence as judges.

The teams’ ideas ranged from clothing companies to time management apps. After about a month of planning through the Lean Startup process, the participants were well versed in the early stages of cultivating a business venture. Here are this year’s award winners.

Small Business

Emma Schlie Photography $1,500

A photography company that specializes in weddings, senior pictures, engagement photos, and family pictures. Schlie started the business in the fall of 2019.




Cosmic Cookies $500

Amanda Bales provides gourmet cookies to the Mequon area. Cosmic Cookies specializes in delicious and unique cookies.






Wetterau Homestead $2,000

Wetterau Homestead is a Wisconsin-based transportation company dedicated to the dairy, chemical, and concrete industries. Their goal is to integrate a younger demographic in trucking as they move forward.




Launch MKE

Under My Wing, Inc. $2,000

Under My Wing is an all-girls mentoring organization that serves youth ages 8-18. They focus on building character, confidence, and making meaningful connections. Their goal is to create a culture of young women who will be the mentors of tomorrow.




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

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