UW-Platteville students, faculty, staff and recent alumni who are interested in starting or expanding a business can turn to the resources available at the Pioneer Launch Lab. Started in February 2012, Launch Lab connects its members with tools, training and contacts to pursue the development of their for-profit business, social or nonprofit venture.
Launch Lab is an entrepreneurial setting that provides a “low risk – high touch” nurturing environment. It is comprised of a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders who dedicate their time, expertise and experience to provide resources, consultation, connections, assistance and mentoring to members.
Brock Waterman, Launch Lab coordinator, explained that he and his team help guide members on the learning path for finding scalable and repeatable business models.
“Our members are likely to have many great ideas in their lives. So what we strive for is to help them understand the process they need to determine if there is a market for their idea and what the minimum features are that it will need to have to succeed,” said Waterman.
Launch Lab resources helped guide UW-Platteville students Ashton Brusca and Jonathan Geissler in turning their ideas into attractive business models. Brusca created Paddle Kicker, a stand up paddle board that incorporates a leg workout, while Geissler developed HealthPet, an automatic wet food feeder for cats and dogs. Both students received $25,000 through Ideadvance Grants to expand and launch their companies.
“Launch Lab has been a huge stepping stone in getting from my original idea to where I am today,” said Geissler. “The fellowship of like-minded people is invaluable – it has helped me continue to tackle challenges that get in the way of making my dreams come true. The Launch Lab has also done an excellent job of guiding my ideas and connecting me with experts in the field and grants such as Ideadvance.”
Launch Lab is currently working with 20 members. To learn more about the program, please visit: http://www.uwplatt.edu/entrepreneurship/pioneer-launch-lab.