Introducing the First Half of the 2022 Hatchlings and Mentors

The Hatch is a 10-week immersive program that helps students and alumni take their business ideas from their brains to the stage, all while trying to impress the judges and secure equity investments to incubate their businesses. To date, more than $800,000 has been committed to student startups.

Written by Ellie Barnett, Schmidthorst College Communications Intern

The lineup of budding entrepreneurs vying for funds to launch their businesses at The Hatch has been released! Meet the first half of this year's Hatchlings.

Jade Rush

Jade Rush, of Mentor, Ohio, is a junior Marketing major minoring in both Entrepreneurship and Environmental Science. On-campus, Jade is a Resident Advisor in McDonald Hall and is involved in Women in Business Leadership and The Environmental Action Group. She will be presenting 100 percent recyclable and sustainably-produced children’s books at The Hatch. “I am going to break down broad topics, such as Climate Change, to a level that children can easily understand so they can be informed and make an impact on their environment,” Rush said. Rush's idea will allow children to understand the importance of sustainability and the actions they can take to make a difference on our planet. With her minor in Entrepreneurship and guidance from her mentor, Bob Venzel, Jade is prepared to apply what she has learned to take on the opportunity that is The Hatch. Rush is looking forward to gaining more insight and knowledge about what takes place behind the scenes in creating and perfecting her product. She is excited for this opportunity to showcase her passion and to continue shaping herself into the businesswoman that she is becoming.

Bob Venzel, Jade’s Mentor
Bob Venzel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in marketing from Bowling Green State University in 1976 and an MBA from BGSU in 1978. In 1991, he became the co-owner of Venzel Communications, Inc., an advertising and public relations agency, based in Perrysburg, Ohio. The company’s work encompasses a variety of non-profit and for-profit clients in a cross-section of industries including business, manufacturing, education, health care and municipalities. 

Cori Byrge

Cori Byrge, a second-year Master’s student in the Biology Department collaborating with the Center for Photochemical Sciences, will be presenting, “Hydrogel-ponics,” an at-home produce growing system that recirculates nutrient-rich water to crops. Her product differs from the typical recirculating systems by using a patented hydrogel technology. The hydrogel directs essential plant nutrients from moving water to the root zone and refreshes the water for continuous recycling. In addition, the hydrogel supplies the plants with essential micronutrients as it biodegrades, which will ultimately prevent nutrient deficiencies that can limit crop yield. Cori is most excited to step out of her comfort zone to develop her entrepreneurial skills during The Hatch. She is grateful to the Schmidhortst College of Business for its rigorous 12-week program where she and the other Hatchlings met a large network of people who want to help them succeed. With her background in Environmental Science and Microbiology, she feels confident in her product and can’t wait to continue learning throughout this opportunity.

Richard Myers, Cori’s Mentor
Rich Myers graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting from Bowling Green State University in 1971. After working for one and a half years with the State of Ohio Tax Department, he turned to be a principal in his family business, Myers Crop Center, Inc., as a fertilizer and agricultural chemical dealer. While there, Meyers utilized his accounting degree to not only provide financials but also to enjoy his life’s joy of crop production. Today, Myers enjoys working the land and the look of a ‘well fertilized’ and ‘clean’ field of corn and soybeans. Myers feels blessed to have worked alongside several innovative people during his life and still has a ‘couple ideas’ for businesses in his head today.

Madison Smith

Madison Smith, of Bowling Green, Ohio, is a freshman accounting major. She is working towards her goal of becoming a Certified Public Accountant and eventually running her own accounting firm. As an avid Starbucks coffee drinker, Madison noticed that her coffee would rarely stay warm by the time she made it to her classes in the morning. To solve this problem, she created, “The ToastySleeve,” a reusable drink sleeve that can maintain the temperature of warm beverages, such as coffee. Along with being a part of The Hatch, Madison is currently the Secretary for the BGSU Women’s Chorus. Madison is most looking forward to the educational experience she plans to receive about entrepreneurship and networking during The Hatch.

Bruce Fisher, Madison’s Mentor
Bruce Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 1968 and has served as an executive-in-residence for the College of Business in the 1990s. He was a highly regarded leader in the swimming pool industry. He joined the Hayward Pool Products Division of Hayward Industries in 1991 and held multiple leadership roles for the company, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing and before retiring, Vice President International. He is currently the principal of Walker Lake Holdings, L.L.C. He is credited with introducing Totally Hayward, an industry-leading dealer relationship marketing program. Since retiring from Hayward, Bruce has been active as a member of the Board of Directors of various Private Equity owned businesses as well as serving in an advisory role for an equipment start-up company in the swimming pool industry.

Updated: 03/14/2022 02:54PM