April 8, 2015
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
The Stroh Center

Students have the unique opportunity to launch a business with the assistance of a business start-up program called "The Hatch."  If selected as a Hatchling through an application process, students work on a business presentation with an alumni mentor for ten weeks.  The aspiring entrepreneurs then face a panel of investors, along with a live audience, and pitch their ideas in hopes of obtaining funding to “hatch” their venture, similar to the television show "Shark Tank."


Register for The Hatch!


2015 Hatchlings

Michael Cervantes

College of Business
Hibachi Food Truck
Mentor - Ed Leedom


Michael Cervantes, is a junior from Oak Harbor, Ohio studying finance and economics. A summer job at Nagoya Japanese Steakhouse planted the seed of entrepreneurship for Michael. Working at Nagoya inspired Michael, along with his closest friends and fellow Nagoya employees, to create a fleet of hibachi food trucks.

When he is not dedicating his time to schoolwork, Michael passes the time with music, exercise, and cooking.

Meredith keller

College of Technology
Cystic Fibrosis App
Mentor - Nico Cottone

Meredith Keller is a junior visual communications and technologies student from an area in Ohio known as Shelby Settlement.  She wants to make life easier for families caring for a loved one with cystic fibrosis (CF), a life-threatening genetic disease of the lung and digestive system. Meredith’s idea is to launch an app that can track the calorie intake of someone with CF in order to facilitate proper nutrition and growth and communicate this information to the doctor.

Meredith sees first-hand how challenging CF is.  Both of her young nieces, Lillian and Kailiegh, were diagnosed with CF and it is a constant struggle for her sister and brother-in-law to ensure they have proper nutrition in order to grow and develop. CF causes the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and can lead to life-threatening lung infections.  It obstructs the pancreas and stops natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients. Enzymes must be administered to the CF patient to ensure food is broken down properly for adequate nutritional value.

The app Meredith proposes will be able to do the entire math that is required to figure out how many calories are in foods. The app will also put all the calculations into chart form that is organized and easy to function. The final task the app will be able to do is send all the information that was recorded throughout the week to the CF patient’s doctor. That way the doctor can see that the patient is in need of a prescription refill and can order it in time. 

Mark kohn

Arts & Sciences
Mentor- Al Caperna

Mark Kohn is a nontraditional student who owns a small horse farm in Ottawa County and wants to launch U-Beequity, a beekeeping business to introduce others to this field. Mark grew up in Toledo, Ohio, and was a successful stock and commodities trader for Merrill Lynch and then Bear Stearns & Co. before going out on his own with funding from former associates.  He ended his successful stock trading career after 9/11.  He turned to teaching Krav Maga (the Israeli system of hand-to-hand combat) at a martial arts school and later started up his own martial arts school in Toledo.

Although Mark no longer runs the school, he still teaches private lessons while he enjoys his love of natural farming and beekeeping over the past 6 years.  He and his fiancé also own a small restaurant and bar in Oak Harbor aptly called the Beekeeper.

Mark is a freshman majoring in biology.

Haksun Lee

College of Business
Talking Children's Language Toy
Mentor - Jack Horney

Haksun Lee is a senior business student specializing in supply chain management.  Haksun is originally from Seoul, Republic of Korea, but has lived in Boston and in Moscow, Russia, where his parents still live.  His business idea is to create a language–teaching children’s toy.

While serving in the Republic of Korea Army one mile from the North Korean border, Haksun translated for commanders of the U.S. Army and the United Nations Command and briefed them on current enemy actions. He learned a lot about leadership skills and the need to speak in other languages. He also knows what it is like to grow up near a battle zone.

The children’s toy will teach English and other native languages to young children, making it easier for them to develop essential language skills. It is intended not just to play with, but the focus is on how the toy can communicate with kids. The system is intended to work with smart phones. Parents will turn on the application and select a lesson plan for their child. It can be a lesson about anything, from going to school to shopping at a supermarket. The aim of this business is to provide a better environment for children to learn languages.

Matthew Snider

TRIck Shot
Mentor - Bruce Fisher

Matthew Snider is a senior in the College of Education studying sport management and minoring in entrepreneurship.  His business venture is to design TRIck Shot, a three-in-one game table for popular tailgating challenges - Cornhole, Ladder Ball, and Beer Pong.

Matthew was born in Dayton, Ohio, but moved to Tampa Bay, Florida, with his family and later to Orlando where his dad took a job at Walt Disney World.  Matthew was always interested in using his imagination and drew millions of things.  He participated in drawing courses and enrolled in summer camps at art museums.

While growing up, he also got involved in sports such as soccer, baseball, ice hockey and football and worked in merchandise at Walt Disney World.  Matthew decided to move back to Ohio to go to Bowling Green State University in 2011 and never regretted his decision.

Thomas Stevens

College of Business
Campus Taxi
Mentor - Art Curtis

Thomas Stevens is a freshman from Tipp City, Ohio, pursuing a business degree, specializing in accounting and possibly double majoring in finance. Thomas wants to launch a campus taxi service designed to take the customer directly to any building on campus. The inspiration came after realizing there had to be a better way besides either freezing or waiting for the shuttle bus to get to class. He plans on expanding the company to large universities where distances between buildings are farther than at Bowling Green State University.

Thomas enjoys playing golf and his favorite past time is hiking through the local trails near his home. After graduation Thomas would like to obtain a CPA license and eventually become a business lawyer to help other entrepreneurs make their dreams reality.

Allen Viancourt

College of Business
Tech Turf
Mentor - David Bruhowzki

Allen Viancourt is a freshman specializing in sales and service marketing with a dual minor in German and entrepreneurship.  His business idea is Tech Turf digital fields where lines can be changed electronically depending on which sport is being played.

As an aspiring third generation entrepreneur, Allen is following in his grandfather’s footsteps who started his own business called LawnCo. Services and his mother’s path who started her own floral shop.  Allen grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood and currently lives in Hinckley, Ohio.

Besides his academics and his passion for entrepreneurship, Allen plays for the Bowling Green Rugby Team and is a member of the BGSU professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.

Elsa Vogel

Arts & Sciences
Pieces of Me Clothing
Mentor - Paul Hooker

Elsa Vogel is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in graphic design. Her proposed business venture is called “Pieces of Me” which is a web-based program used to create personalized clothing patterns based on personality traits.

The Holland, Michigan, student has a real passion for everything design related.  She already has started several business ventures in her young career with this one being the biggest step. Her “Pieces of Me” web-based program will create a unique design pattern based on an individual's personality traits. The pattern can then be applied to a variety of wearable merchandise.

Elsa has been a graphic designer for the BGSU College of Arts and recently completed her first internship with an international design firm in Cincinnati. She is part of the panhellenic community in Alpha Omicron Pi.

Devon Williams

Arts & Sciences
Mentor - Aggie Haslup

Devon Williams is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in communication with a specialization in promotions and advertising. Her business idea is “MuSync,” a music synchronization application that synchronizes multiple devices together, allowing multiple users to listen to the same music in real time. It eliminates the uncomfortable sharing of a set of headphones and creates a more comfortable music sharing experience. With “MuSync” you could be anywhere in the world and tap into other listeners’ live music session with just a single request through the Internet.

Devon is a BGSU President’s Leadership Academy Scholar and has worked in marketing positions at New Season in Detroit, Kingdom M’Powerment Ministries in Bowling Green and at Allstate Insurance Agency in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She is the co-founding president of S.E.L.F., an organization that empowers and uplifts young women during this transition into womanhood through self-examination.


2015 Mentors

David Bruhowzki, ’97

Client Advisor, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

David Bruhowzki is currently a Client Advisor at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York. He advises an institutional client base across the investment landscape. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, he worked for Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers throughout his time on Wall Street.

Prior to earning his MBA and a master’s of education at the University of Michigan, David founded and directed a nonprofit in New York that focused on providing life skills, tutoring services, and mentoring programs to empower underprivileged youth. He has also advised a number of nonprofits through board service including Youth Inc. and Cornerstone Learning Center.

David graduated from BGSU in 1997 with a triple major in English, Spanish, and International Studies.

Albert J. (Al) Caperna ’76

CEO, Century Marketing Corporation Group

Al Caperna has founded and owned numerous companies since receiving his BA degree from Bowling Green State University in 1976.  His companies have produced a variety of patents, been elected into Inc.’s “500 honor roll” and have been recognized as some of the fastest growing private businesses in America.

Al currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Century Marketing Corporation Group, Bowling Green, Ohio, one of the largest tape, label and tag converter businesses in the United States. His companies manufacture a wide array of print and recycling materials and systems, including food date coding systems, a printing equipment supplier of thermal and laser printers, and print holograms.

Al serves on numerous boards, including New Hope Christian Community Foundation, Bowling Green Covenant Church, and the Juvenile Residential Center of Northwest Ohio. He is also currently a Dean’s Council representative and a member of the College of Business Alumni Advisory Board. He is an avid supporter of numerous community organizations, including Bowling Green Bobcat Hockey, and Adopt America Network.

Nico Cottone, ’92

CEO, SurfTech Inc. and Euclid Refinishing Company

Nico Cottone, a resident of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is the Owner/CEO of SurfTech Inc. and Euclid Refinishing Company. Nico’s background and experiences range from ‘big 5’ management consulting and start-ups.  A serial entrepreneur, he has focused the last 15 years of his career on start-ups and turnarounds. Nico graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1992 with an accounting degree. He enjoys sailing and fishing with his wife and two sons.

Art Curtis, ’71

Founder, CurtisClubAdvisors

Drawing on over 30 years of experience as CEO and Chief Operating Officer of several major club and spa companies, Art Curtis formed CurtisClubAdvisors LLC in 2011 to serve the global club industry by providing advisory services that help companies grow and improve profitability.

Over the years Art has led business turnarounds, successfully guided the acquisition of numerous companies, opened new clubs, developed and implemented new management systems and created multi-year reinvestment plans resulting in the deployment of several hundred million dollars of capital.

Art graduated from BGSU in 1971 with a business pre-law degree.

Bruce Fisher ‘68

Vice President International, Hayward Pool Products Division (Retired)

Bruce Fisher is a highly regarded leader in the swimming pool industry, who had been with the Hayward Pool Products Division of Hayward Industries for approximately 22 years. He joined the company in 1991 as Vice President of Marketing. Since that time, he was promoted to Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Vice President of Global Marketing and International Sales and most recently, Vice President International with line responsibility for this segment of Hayward’s business.

During his tenure, Fisher led Hayward's global expansion via strategic acquisitions and internal growth initiatives. He successfully spearheaded the expansion of Hayward's product line, brand, sales organization, and marketing department.  He also is credited with introducing an industry-leading dealer relationship marketing program (Totally Hayward) that built partnerships between Hayward and its dealer network around the world.  For the past three years he has driven the growth and profitability of Hayward’s International business segment to help offset the decline in the domestic market as a result of the 2008 recession.

Fisher has been an active volunteer within The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP), serving in 2010-11 as Chairman of the Manufacturer's Council.  In 2012-13, he was asked to be Chairman of the APSP CEO Search Committee due to the pending retirement of the current executive in this role and the project was successfully completed in July of 2013.  Continuing his service to the Pool and Spa Industry, Fisher was elected to the Board of Directors of the APSP Trade Association as of November, 2013 as its first outside director.

Prior to joining Hayward, Fisher was a product manager, Vice President of Distributor Sales, Vice President of Marketing of the Residential Division and Vice President and General Manager of the Decorative Lighting Division of Lightolier, a division of Genlyte, now owned by Phillips Lighting.

He was also General Manager and COO of The Light Store, a start-up retailer/wholesaler of lighting products and ceiling fans located in Texas and Colorado which grew from one location to 17 under his leadership.

Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University.  He has served as an executive-in-residence for the College of Business at various times since graduating in 1968.

He joined the Northwest New Jersey Chapter 24 of SCORE (sponsored by the Small Business Administration) in March of 2013, a volunteer organization that mentors entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Aggie Haslup ’74, ’88

Business and Marketing Consulting, Technology

Aggie Haslup is a technology and software marketing executive with deep experience in developing and executing corporate, product marketing, and product management strategies, as well as sales enablement programs, across the Americas, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Having held leadership positions in marketing, sales enablement, research & development, business development, technical support, auditing, and systems, she has worked with Fortune 100 public international companies as well as start-ups (Quest Software -acquired by Dell 2012), Health Care DataWorks, Aelita Software, Symix, ABB, Goal Systems (acquired by Legent 1994), Marathon Oil.)

She previously served as a board member of HealthCare Transaction Processors, Inc. (acquired by McKesson in 2008), a privately held company that provided innovative solutions to connect providers, health plans and financial institutions.  Aggie’s current interests are angel investing, business and marketing consulting for technology companies, and mentoring/advising. She serves on the Advisory Board of Facilities Management eXpress, a leading-edge provider of workflow management solutions and is a Business Mentor at TECHColumbus. She is a member of X Squared Angels (angel investors for gender-neutral companies), Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD), and Women at the Table (WATT).

Haslup has an MBA in Marketing (1988) and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (1974), both from Bowling Green State University.

Paul Hooker ’75

Owner and former CEO of SFERRA

In 1977, just two years after graduating from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Paul Hooker purchased the New York City based luxury household linen importer, SFERRA, from the last of two family members who started the firm in 1891, Enrico and Albert Sferra. Paul recognized the need to maintain the company's identity and encourage growth within the luxury market. With that in mind, he took SFERRA from a one-room office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to a 35,000-square-foot distribution facility in Edison, New Jersey, plus a beautiful showroom just off of Madison Square Park in New York City. In the process, Paul grew annual sales from $250,000 when he bought the business in 1977 to over $30 million in 2011.

Paul's tireless focus to develop new business and his attention to details have established SFERRA's leadership position in the luxury linens industry and galvanized the company's emergence into the new global economy. Today SFERRA presents the most comprehensive range of luxury home textiles for the bed, bath and table worldwide.

Paul umpires varsity high school baseball and was the varsity baseball coach at Red Bank Catholic High School from 1974-2000. In 1990 Paul, along with his wife Margo, founded a not-for-profit sports program for children with disabilities he named Challenged Youth Sports. Today, CYS assists over 150 families with programs in basketball, soccer, Little League softball, golf, flag football and tennis. Paul wants to take CYS national, making his volunteer run program available to children with special needs nationwide. He worked with BGSU student Luke Sims to launch RallyCap Sports at Bowling Green State University.

Jack Horney ‘72

Founder, Driving Performance, LLC

Jack Horney is a seasoned sales and business executive with forty years of experience across financial services, training/consulting and Information technology. Most recently, Jack founded Driving Performance, LLC, a management consulting and training company helping banks and companies improve the effectiveness of their sales and sales management organization.  His experience and insight has improved management routines driving increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.

Prior to launching his own company, Jack was a Senior Vice President for Capital One, responsible for developing the bank’s branch strategy for small business and investments.  Previously he was the Sales & Service Executive for the New York Metropolitan Market, responsible for the development and execution of strategic sales and service initiatives across 360 branches.

Prior to joining Capital One, Jack was a Senior Executive for Omega Performance, a consulting and training company focused on the banking industry. Here he helped banks develop and implement sales management routines and sales processes that delivered double digit improvement. Jack began his banking career with Chemical Bank responsible for developing a sales culture for the retail bank. During his career he led multiple organizations as Chemical Bank merged with Manufacturers Hanover and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Jack also enjoyed a seventeen-year career with the IBM Corporation where he held successive leadership positions across sales and staff organizations. Experience included new product launches, organization design, and sales leadership positions for new business sales teams and major account teams across financial services, insurance and medical industries.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1972 with a business pre-law degree.

Jack serves on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer for the Community Blood Center and its Foundation. He is also treasurer of Five Brothers Fraternity, an alumni organization supporting Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s undergrads

Edward G. Leedom, ’89

Senior Vice President, Registered Principal of Harbor Funds Distributors, Inc.

Ed started his career with Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc. in 1989 and held various positions in the sales/marketing area from 1989-1996. From 1997-2001, Ed was Regional Marketing Director in the Great Lakes region for First Mercantile TrustCompany.

Ed rejoined Harbor Capital Advisors, Inc. in 2001. As a Senior Vice President of Harbor Funds Distributors, Ed’s responsibilities include developing and maintaining new and existing institutional client relationships in the Lower Midwest region as well as managing internal sales support activities.

Ed received a Bachelor of Science of Business Administration from Bowling Green State University in 1989 and a CFP designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, CO.


welcome high school students!

Your high school is invited to take advantage of a unique opportunity to teach students about entrepreneurship! Participate in activities throughout the fall and spring and then attend the live Hatch event on April 8, 6 p.m. in the Stroh Center at BGSU.


Attend the 3rd annual Hatch event at Bowling Green State University. Teachers and high school students will have the opportunity to experience the following:

  • Attend pre-Hatch events and activities
  • Receive t-shirts for all students and chaperones
  • Enjoy a pizza party, courtesy of the College of Business, prior to The Hatch
  • Hear shout-outs to your high school during the event

In addition, we will pair your school with a Hatchling and you will receive the “inside scoop” on their business idea and pitch during the weeks leading up to The Hatch.

Want to win a BGSU scholarship, gift cards and recognition for your school?!?!?

Participate in The Hatch Music Video Contest. Click here for additional information on prizes and video specifications.  


2015 Sponsors:



Get Involved!

Many BGSU alumni have launched their own start ups and can share their insights and provide valuable business advice to students who want to follow in their footsteps. A perfect way for doing this is to serve as a mentor or angel investor for the Falcon Hatchery. 

Mentors will work with students to prepare business idea presentations. The Dallas-Hamilton director coordinates the eight week mentorship program between students and mentors. Mentors and students may interact in person and/or via telephone and email to complete the business idea presentation. 

If you would like to guide students and help them make their business dream come true, then please send your resume and a 500 word statement of mentorship qualifications to Dean Ray Braun, rwbraun@bgsu.edu.

Perhaps you don’t have the time to be a mentor. A beneficial way to help our students make their dream of a business venture come true is to consider becoming an angel investor. These special investors will participate on a panel to review student presentations for potential investments.  

If you are interested in being an angel investor, please send your resume and a 500 word statement of qualifications including your capacity to invest in new businesses to Dean Ray Braun, rwbraun@bgsu.edu.