BGSU students pitch business ideas during The Hatch
Alumni investors back student proposals
Bowling Green State University student entrepreneurs presented their business ideas to alumni investors during The Hatch April 6, vying for funds to launch their businesses in a format similar to the television show “Shark Tank.
This is the fifth year for the event in which alumni investors make equity investments providing real money for students to launch real businesses. To date, more than $500,000 has been committed to student startups.
The student entrepreneurs, called Hatchlings, come to this night after being paired with mentors, mostly BGSU alumni, who have helped coach business ideas, plans and presentations. The event was streamed to Hatch Watch parties across the country and to several countries.
"BGSU and the Hatch program have given me the opportunity to pursue my passion and contribute to transforming U.S. education and the future workforce, and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity,” said Hatchling Shannon Ebert, who was backed by investors.
Meet the 2017 Hatchlings and find out how they did:
Camara created 10,000 Threads, a clothing line that merges rich, traditional African textiles and forecasted fashion styles of Western society. Growing up on different continents made her realize that although African immigrants constitute a large population in Europe and America, there is no substantial effort to market to them in particular. She wants to make a social impact in the African textile industry by providing better job opportunities to the local artisans who will be a part of this journey. After presenting her idea and story to investors, Camara secured a $10,000 investment.
Investors also backed Ebert’s pitch, Workforce Academy, an online learning software that high schools can subscribe to so that they can offer more elective classes to students to help better prepare them for college, careers and the real world. Subjects include areas like personal finance, professional development, career exploration and college readiness.
Andrew Hood and Sarah Walter
The team pitched a new form of dispensing prescription medicines with the implementation of a new pill canister design. The idea arose from the rising abuse of prescription drugs and the effects on families and loved ones. Their main goal is to ensure pharmaceutical drugs are being used in the way they were intended, to help people. Investors did not back this idea because they were not convinced there was a large enough market, or that it would have a strong impact on the abuse of prescription drugs.
Nostalgia – Alzheimer’s Assistance
Kielmeyer created Nostalgia, a multifunctional Alzheimer’s therapy tool. Nostalgia started out as a senior DECA project inspired by his late grandfather, but quickly morphed into an obsession that he has been working on for over a year. Nostalgia is a personalized tool that features four established Alzheimer’s therapies as well as one Kielmeyer developed himself. He hopes that the personalization that Nostalgia provides will help reconnect families with their loved ones who suffer from Alzheimer’s. While he did not secure funding, he was offered a meeting with researchers from the Cleveland Clinic.
Wearable Charging Device
Lisa pitched a wearable charging device for phones. His idea would make forgetting phone chargers practically impossible and give users the freedom to have them without even realizing it; however, it was not backed by investors.
Virtual Reality Sales Trainer
Moody pitched a virtual reality sales software used for hiring positions in the sales industry. His idea, a company that would expand virtual reality technology from the world of gaming into the world of everyday professionals, was not backed by investors.
Tavpash pitched the ice sleeve, which is to be used as a compressor for athletes when they are injured. The ice sleeve is an alternative to a traditional ice pack because it won’t leak, uses ice instead of a frozen ice pack and will stay in place. Investors gave her a deal, responding to her pitch and even suggesting a larger demographic. “I will tell you, this is a very impressive idea,” said investor Brian Sokol.
Thompson created an application for helping adults with autism become more independent by assisting them to make executive decisions. The app will be completely customizable for each user and will utilize icons that give a description of the situation with which the user is struggling. From there, the user will be given a set of instructions that is set up by the user or caregiver to aid in decision making. Investors supported this idea with a $5,000 commitment.