Hatch Startups Take Flight with New Applications Sought for 2015
BGSU students have a unique opportunity to launch a business while still in college through The Hatch™ program. Hatchlings, as the finalists are called, work with Alumni Mentors to develop a business presentation to pitch to Falcon Investors, similar to the television show “Shark Tank.”
Over the past two years, the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s program has helped thirteen students receive more than $350,000 in investor support. These students are busy incubating and growing their businesses. Here is an update on several of the student entrepreneurial ventures.
“Cribs on Campus,” founded in 2013 by student Krysten Jablonowski, tripled its sales since the launch. The student entrepreneur’s business is a residence hall furniture store where incoming students purchase a package of a futon, refrigerator, and microwave during the summer orientation program. The items are then delivered to their rooms before they arrive on campus. Move-in weekend at BGSU is less stressful thanks to Jablonowski’s innovative business venture.
“Many parents and students have expressed their gratitude for us providing this service and enjoy the quality of the products,” states Jablonowski. “I added two new models of futons this year, both of which were quite popular. I learned a lot about running a business from last year and was able to apply it this year, making me a bit more independent.”
She adds, “As the 2014 season ends, I'm thankful that the offices of BGSU, particularly Residence Life, provided support for my business on campus and thank my mentor, Paul Hooker, and the College of Business.” The student entrepreneur is in contact with several universities about expanding “Cribs on Campus” to their campuses.
Student Robert Striblen, a 2014 Hatchling, is moving forward with the launch of his product - a quick release belt system to transport boxes and totes. With funding and support from investors, Striblen has formed the corporation Belt Force and issued membership subscription units.
Marketing student, Sara Scacchi, is also a 2014 Hatchling whose product Artist Armor is a lightweight, protective glove to prevent smudges and has a refillable eraser. Scacchi received support from three investors and worked over the summer with investor Alicia Wagner completing a 24-step program in preparation for the launch.
Another marketing student, Morgan Smith, has been working with Falcon Investors and attorney Jim Rogers, a 1984 BGSU alum, on launching her app to notify users about the availability of washers and dryers in residence halls. She plans to work with Thinkit Labs, a software development firm, once funding is in place.
Applications for The Hatch™ 2015 are currently being accepted. All BGSU students are eligible to apply to the Dallas-Hamilton Center by Friday, October 31, at 5:00pm. Click here to apply. Last year, nearly 100 student ideas were submitted and twelve Hatchlings were chosen to present at The Hatch™. According to Kirk D. Kern, director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center, “We look forward to hatching a new class of student entrepreneurs. The 2015 Hatch™ will be moving to a new venue. Our goal is to ‘Overflow the Stroh.’ We hope you join us on April 8, 2015.”