Lakeland University Blog

Launch: Lakeland Student-Run Businesses excels in first year

Launch: Lakeland Student-Run Businesses excels in first year


Launch: Lakeland Student-Run Businesses excels in first year

Launch: Lakeland Student-Run Businesses marked its first anniversary this week, and Lakeland’s latest innovative venture has much to celebrate.

Lakeland students working for Launch spent this semester creating a number of new opportunities to hone their entrepreneurial skills. Launch empowers students to create, develop, manage and lead business ventures. These experiences are part of a campus-wide initiative that instills an entrepreneurial mindset that is applicable across all majors.

There are currently seven student executives employed by Launch, a workforce that will grow to 30 this summer. Among the businesses and initiatives that Launch students currently manage includes:

  • Elementastic, a variety of after-school programs, interactive science shows, in-school field trips and public and company events performed by Launch student workers.
  • The City of Sheboygan’s annual Memorial Day parade, set for May 31.
  • Lakeland’s annual Blaster’s Golf Tournament on June 18 at Blackwolf Run.
  • The 26th Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for July 31-August 1 in Sheboygan.
  • Lakeland’s new Campus Shop, which will open this summer online and in store later this summer.
  • A food/beverage stand at Road America in Elkhart Lake.

“Launch is an extension of our award-winning Cooperative Education program, giving students the opportunity to earn credit and a salary through top-level management and entrepreneurial experiences,” said Lakeland President Beth Borgen. “What this group has accomplished in its first year is impressive, and we are excited to see what more is coming from these talented students.”

Launch students have had numerous speaking opportunities this semester to tell the Launch and Lakeland stories. Although presentations have had to occur virtually due to COVID, Launch has done 10 this semester, with several more planned.

Students have presented about Launch and student entrepreneurism to:

  • The Sheboygan Early Bird Rotary and Noon Rotary Clubs.
  • Wisconsin FBLA Panelists.
  • Women in Management.
  • External and Constituent Relations Committee of Lakeland’s Board of Trustees
  • Lakeland’s Cooperative Education Advisory Board.
  • Lakeland Alumni Board Meeting.
  • Lakeland’s annual alumni events in Florida and Arizona.
  • Lakeland’s administrative leadership team.

“These speaking opportunities give each of us a chance to use our professional presentation skills as we share stories about the many opportunities available to students who are part of Launch,” said Ali Wilson, Launch’s event planner. “These are great ways to spread the word about our work while also showing people how Lakeland is focused on innovation and growing new entrepreneurs.”

One of just three student-run business ventures at the collegiate level in Wisconsin, Launch operates four divisions – hospitality, nonprofit, merchandising and Develop U.

Launch’s mission is to transform Lakeland students into the next generation of innovative leaders by providing paid experiential and entrepreneurial learning opportunities that prepare students for diverse careers in a multi-faceted world.