April 11, 2019

BGSU student entrepreneurs will present their business ideas to alumni investors during The Hatch on April 11, vying for funds to launch their businesses in a format similar to the popular television show “Shark Tank.” This event is streamed to Hatch Watch parties across the country and to several countries throughout the world.

What sets The Hatch apart from similar events is that the alumni investors make equity investments providing real money for students to launch real businesses. To date, more than $500,000 have been committed to student startups. The Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, serving as "Hatch headquarters," is one of 20 centers worldwide recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).




2019 Hatchlings

Meet the Hatchlings

This year's Hatchlings represent several colleges within the University, from freshmen to a graduate student. Their business ideas focus on everything from outdoor sporting, wearable health devices for children, recreation and entertainment innovation, creative storytelling to promote literacy, online apparel that supports women in ministry and a speech app.

These finalists were selected from more than 100 applicants. On April 11, they will pitch their business ideas to real investors in a live-audience extravaganza at The Hatch. The event will be held on the campus of Bowling Green State University and is free and open to the public.

Jacob ClarkJacob Clark, senior

College of Education & Human Development

Tourism, Leisure, and Event Planning, Minor: Entrepreneurship

Retractable Duck Decoy Weight

Jacob Clark, of London, Ohio, is a senior in the College of Education and Human Development majoring in tourism, leisure, and event planning with a minor in entrepreneurship through the College of Business. Jacob has worked with the BGSU Outdoor program, leading trips and getting students involved with the outdoors. Jacob is also a member of Alpha Sigma Phi where he participates in philanthropy and service events.

Jacob is a Specialist in the Ohio Army National Guard, the 148th Infantry Regiment based in Bowling Green. He deployed in 2017 for Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield.

Jacob’s business idea is a retractable decoy weight that can be attached to any duck decoy. Jacob’s idea is ideal for waterfowl hunters who want to shorten their time deploying and retrieving decoys. With this time-saving decoy weight, waterfowl hunters can spend more time in the field and less time untangling and retrieving decoys from the water.

Hatch Fact: Jacob enjoys spending time hunting waterfowl and with traveling around the world to places such as United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Argentina and many others. After graduation, he plans on traveling to see the seven wonders of the world.





Laura DworningLaura Dworning, senior

College of Health and Human Services


Diabetes Bracelet for Kids

Laura Dworning, of Leroy, Ohio, is a senior dietetics major with almost five years of experience studying nutrition and dietetics. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics in May 2019. She describes herself as independent, ambitious, passionate and career-driven. She is excited to make a difference in her workplace and community.

Laura’s business idea is to develop a product that is exclusively for type 1 diabetic children. Her device is a bracelet that has an LED screen that will sync to the child’s “site” that is usually located on their arm via Bluetooth. “Site” is a device that most type 1 diabetic patients wear which has a needle inserted into the skin and takes accurate blood sugar readings for seven days before having to be replaced. The site takes accurate blood sugar readings and sends easily understandable signals to the bracelet. The LED screen will show one of three colors - blue for low blood sugar, green for normal range, and red for high. The bracelet will also vibrate to alert the child’s caregiver and/or school nurse when blood sugar is low or high.

Hatch Fact: Laura enjoys connecting with people, cooking, photography, attending local farmers markets, exploring new coffee shops, yoga, hiking and traveling.

Philip ForrestPhilip Forrest, junior

College of Business


SplitPax – a backpacking rig designed for comfort

Philip Forrest, of Cleveland, Ohio, is a junior specializing in business management with a minor in military science.  He is a member of the Army ROTC program at BGSU and will serve four years active duty upon graduation.  Philip also serves as the president of the Outdoor Adventure Club on campus and worked as the Wilderness Program coordinator at his local 4-H camp the past two summers.

Philip's business idea is called SplitPax, a backpacking rig that redistributes pack weight between the front and back of the body.  This product is designed to promote proper posture and reduce back pain and fatigue. It also provides easy access to trail-essential items such as water, snacks, electronics and rain gear.  SplitPax will allow for a more comfortable and pleasant hiking experience in the great outdoors whether for a day hike or a long-distance thru-hike.

Hatch Fact:  Philip plans to thru-hike the 2,560-mile Pacific Crest Trail after fulfilling his service obligation in the Army, a big inspiration in the creation of his business idea.    

Blade FrischBlade Frisch, graduate student

College of Education and Human Development and Arts and Sciences

Special Education and Computer Science

Spoken – a mobile communication assistance app

Blade Frisch, of Toledo, Ohio, is a graduate student pursuing a dual master's in special education and computer science. He earned dual undergraduate degrees in music education and computer science education at BGSU.

Blade’s project is a mobile communication assistance app called Spoken. The app helps people with verbal deficiencies communicate effectively through a simple interface and a customizable experience.

Hatch Fact: Blade was a middle and high school computer science teacher in Naples, Florida, before coming back to BGSU for graduate school.

Savannah HindeSavannah Hinde, junior

College of Arts and Sciences

Political Science and Individualized Planned Program

The Holy Dormitory – an online community to support young women in ministry

Savannah Hinde, of Maumee, Ohio, is a junior double majoring in political science and an individualized planned program. She is a scholar in the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy and is president of the United Methodist Student Organization. Savannah is passionate about social justice and works as a guide for her denomination to help churches understand how diversity and inclusion can help their ministries better reflect their communities. After graduation, she plans to continue her education and receive her Master of Divinity to become ordained in the United Methodist Church.

This past summer, Savannah started a successful online business, The Holy Dormitory, selling Christian T-shirts and other apparel. She plans to take this concept and use it to build an online community that supports young women in ministry while selling apparel that is designed through crowdsourcing. She believes that a business plan in which women are listened to has the ability to change the world.

Hatch Fact: Savannah has been an entrepreneur since an early age, starting her own dog show photography business at the age of 12.



Michael JohnstonMichael Johnston, freshman

College of Arts and Sciences

Biology and Computer Science

Sleep-E-Screen - Bedside mobile viewing device

Michael Johnston, of Elida, Ohio, and graduate of Wapakoneta Senior High, is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences studying biology and computer science. He is a senator on Undergraduate Student Government, an ambassador for the Honors College, a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity and a swim coach for the Ft. Meigs Stingrays Swim Team.

Michael’s Business idea, Sleep-E-Screen, is an electronic device holder suitable for tablets, smartphones and e-readers. Sleep-E-Screen adheres to a bedside wall and swings out for easy, comfortable and hands-free device viewing. When finished viewing the electronic device, Sleep-E-Screen returns flush with the wall and stores the device safely and securely.

Hatch Fact: Michael has a passion for swimming and has enjoyed coaching at various YMCAs as well as volunteering with Special Olympics swimming.

Ramsha RashidRamsha Rashid, senior

College of Business



Ramsha Rashid, of Monclova, Ohio, is a senior specializing in management in the College of Business. She is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success where she enhances her leadership skills and expands on her networking to achieve her goals. She is sub-committee co-chair of the Dean's Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion (DACODI), as well as a co-representative for DACODI on the Dean's Advisory Council. Ramsha is also a member of the Women in Business Leadership student organization and attained an Honorary Student Award. After graduation, Ramsha plans on obtaining her MBA and working in the health care industry.

Ramsha's business idea, Rent-a-Toy, is an online website where parents can rent bundles of toys based on their preferences and their kids' interests. Parents can give their kids the toys they want to play with at any given age per their wish list. This will save money and space of all the extra unused, old toys collected over the years.

Hatch Fact: Ramsha is fluent in four languages.

Aubri ReinicheAubri Reiniche, sophomore

College of Education and Human Development

Build a Book - Customizing Children Stories

Aubri Reiniche, of Pettisville, Ohio, is a sophomore studying Inclusive Early Childhood Education in the College of Education and Human Development. In the future, she hopes to teach first or second grade and potentially pursue her business idea.

Aubri’s business idea is an e-commerce business that provides children with a fun opportunity to get excited about reading. Children and their parents can go online to Aubri’s website and complete a form that contains a series of questions relating to the story. What they write on the questionnaire will transform into a story that is customized to that child. No other child will create the exact same story.

Hatch Fact: In her free time, Aubri enjoys cooking and hanging out with friends and family.




DibleGary Dible '97

Gary Dible owns Biggby Coffee franchises in Bowling Green and Maumee. Prior to this venture, he held positions of product manager, engineering manager and supply chain manager for the D.S. Brown Company, an Ohio-based bridge component manufacturer in North Baltimore, Ohio. He is actively involved in his communities both personally and professionally, and understands the key to success is giving back. Dible holds a bachelor's degree in construction management technology from Bowling Green State University.

HookerPaul Hooker '75

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.  

Hooker 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, he grew annual sales from $250,000 when he bought the business in 1977 to over $30 million in 2011.

Hooker'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.

Hooker umpires varsity high school baseball and was the varsity baseball coach at Red Bank Catholic High School from 1974-2000. In 1990, Hooker, along with his wife, founded a not-for-profit sports program for children with disabilities, named RallyCap Sports. Today, RallyCap Sports assists over 150 families with programs in basketball, soccer, Little League softball, golf, flag football and tennis. Hooker plans to take RallyCap Sports 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.

venzelBob Venzel '76, '78

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.

Rogers James100x125 

Legal Organization

Jim Rogers

doug Miller 

Intellectual Property

J. Douglas Miller



Anthony DeMore

Meyer Jeff


Jeff Meyer


Nick CottoneNico Cottone '92

Nico Cottone, a resident of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, is the owner/CEO of SurfTech Inc. and Euclid Refinishing Company. His background and experiences range from start-ups to ‘big 5’ management consulting.  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.

Dr DrerupMichelle Drerup '00

Dr. Michelle Drerup is director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bowling Green State University in 2000 and completed a doctorate in clinical psychology at Indiana State University in 2005.  

She focuses on the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders, as well as other health conditions linked to disturbed sleep. Dr. Drerup is a licensed psychologist and board certified in behavioral sleep medicine. She is involved in teaching, research and clinical services at the Cleveland Clinic. She serves on the Practice Committee of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine and as a senior representative for the Women's Professional Staff Association at the Cleveland Clinic. 

One of her most recent ventures has been development of Go! to Sleep, a six-week, web-based program to help people improve their sleep.

Michelle is married to her Falcon Flame, Matthew Yourkvitch and are the first married investors to participate in The Hatch!

earl malmEarle Malm '71

Malm began his career with RCA where he held senior executive positions in sales, marketing and general management. He was responsible for revitalizing RCA’s consumer services business, expanding RCA’s commercial television business and leading the development of new business ventures into communications and services businesses.

Prior to joining ValueClick, Malm embarked in the investment industry with GT Capital Management, Inc. Initially he was responsible for developing GT Capital’s Institutional Business and later he assumed responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer for the GT Global Mutual Funds.

After successfully completing the ValueClick IPO, Malm returned to the investment industry as President and CEO of HighMark Capital Management, Inc., a wholly-owned registered investment advisory firm of Union Bank located in San Francisco. During his tenure, Malm was chairman of HighMark’s Board of Directors, president of HighMark Funds and a trustee of the HighMark Funds Board. In addition, he was a member of HighMark’s Investment Policy Committee and a member of Union Bank’s Fiduciary Management Committee.

Since retiring from an active senior executive role in 2012, Malm has been devoting his time to entrepreneurial, consulting and advisory activities through NVMLI, Inc., his private investment company. He serves as a member of the Service Marketing Institute Business Advisory Board for the College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). He was one of five inaugural alumni investors in BGSU’s entrepreneurial program, “The Hatch”.

Malm earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1971 from Bowling Green State University. In 2008, he was honored as one of BGSU’S Accomplished Graduates from the College of Business. He has been named to Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.

Mark WestMark C. West '90

Mark C. West is an executive with more than 25 years of experience in developing and implementing high-performing procurement and supply chain organizations. His proven leadership capabilities came through experience in key roles with multibillion-dollar companies, specializing in the re-engineering of procurement organizations due to mergers, acquisitions or historical underperformance.

West joined SharedClarity LLC in 2011 after serving as vice president of supply chain management for UnitedHealthcare since late 2009. He is responsible for the launch of SharedClarity, focused on improving the quality and cost of medical supplies industry-wide. SharedClarity became operational in early 2013.

From 2005 to 2009, West was executive director of supply chain management for the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare System. His re-engineering efforts challenged industry-wide health care purchasing practices, yielding bottom-line cost savings nine times historical levels. He also implemented state-of-the-art technologies to improve materials management processes, highlighted by the deployment of a new 230,000-square-foot service center.

West was also the founder and president of Purchasing Partners Incorporated, a purchasing services company dedicated to helping companies reduce their cost of acquiring goods and services. His experience also includes serving as the vice president of corporate purchasing for US Airways and corporate director of operations support for Honeywell International.

He received a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from Cleveland State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Bowling Green State University. He is also Green Belt certified in Six-Sigma and sits on the Board of Managers for SharedClarity LLC.


matthew yourkvitchMatthew P. Yourkvitch '99

Matthew P. Yourkvitch, Esq. received his B.A. degree in Psychology from Bowling Green State University in 1999 and his Juris Doctorate from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

He is a founding partner of Moore Yourkvitch & Dibo, a boutique law firm in downtown Cleveland that provides a range of legal services, including business counseling, formation, contract drafting, venture capital financing, and real estate acquisition and development.

He is passionate about the redevelopment of Cleveland and works with various community development corporations on real estate acquisition and redevelopment, tax credit financing, and small business advising. Since 2011, his law firm has been a funder and legal service provider at the Incubator at MAGNET, working with product-focused technology start-up companies in Northeast Ohio.

He has served as an adjunct professor of law at C-M Law, in the Urban Development and Transactional Law Clinic. He is a frequent speaker on community development lawyering and Nuisance Abatement Actions under O.R.C. Section 3767.41. He serves on the Board of Directors of Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, a non-profit that serves the neighborhood surrounding the Cleveland Clinic. 

Matthew is married to his Falcon Flame, Dr. Michelle Drerup-Yourkvitch and are the first married investors to participate in The Hatch!



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