BGSU Schmidthorst College of Business to host Entrepreneurship Week with focus on sustainability

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business at Bowling Green State University is set to host its annual Entrepreneurship Week (E-Week) from April 11-14, 2023. This year's event will focus on sustainability and will feature a variety of activities, including presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

E-Week is the most significant annual event for the Schmidthorst College of Business, bringing together entrepreneurial leaders from around the world to share their experience and expertise. The week's programming is centered around the theme of sustainability, highlighting sustainable ventures within our communities, businesses and everyday lives that create positive social impacts.

The schedule of events for E-Week is as follows:

Tuesday, April 11

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch and Learn: Young Entrepreneurs – Creating a Sustainable Life and Community

Young entrepreneurs will discuss why they chose entrepreneurship, the process of starting their own companies and lessons learned. Location: Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium

Wednesday, April 12

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch and Learn: Leveraging Digital Technology for a Sustainable Community and Business 

BGSU alumni will discuss their careers in technology, focusing on intrapreneurship, impostor syndrome and understanding your value as an employee. Location: Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium

  • 3:30-5 p.m.: Scholarship Honors and Awards Reception (by invitation only) 
  • 6-8:30 p.m.: Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame Ceremony 

This ceremony honors three outstanding alumni for their entrepreneurial spirit in shaping our economies, driving growth, changing industries and improving our quality of life. Alumni being honored are Tony Drockton '88, '96, founder and chief cheerleader of Hammitt, America's fastest-growing handbag brand.; Dr. Jennifer Higdon ’86, ’14 (Hon.), Pulitzer Prize and three-time Grammy-winning composer and major figure in contemporary classical music; and Damon Ragusa ‘89, data scientist, management consultant, corporate executive, startup investor and unintentional entrepreneur who has spent more than three decades developing technology-enabled companies, teams, products and services. Location: Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Lenhart Grand Ballroom

Thursday, April 13

  • 1:30-4:15 p.m.: Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame Honoree Speaker Series

Learn from the 2023 Hall of Fame honorees at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theatre. Attendees will hear more about the entrepreneurial journeys of BGSU alumni Ragusa, Higdon and Drockton. Audience members will also have the opportunity to ask these distinguished alumni questions following the presentation. Location: Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater, Room 206

  • 6-8 p.m.: The Hatch

Watch student entrepreneurs present their business ideas to alumni investors, vying for funds to launch their businesses in a format similar to the popular television show “Shark Tank.” Meet the Hatchlings, the Mentors and the Investors. View the livestream. Location: Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center, William F. and Peggy L. Schmeltz Atrium

Friday, April 14:

  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship 

The renowned program welcomes world-class entrepreneurs for a day of inspiring presentations. Location: Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Lenhart Grand Ballroom

Speaking during the Sebo Series are:

* Keynote speaker Kara Goldin, founder of Hint Inc., one of the largest privately held beverage companies in the U.S. Goldin’s business journey is one of the great American success stories of our time. Like many other consumers, Goldin found herself struggling with a diet soda addiction. She had fallen victim to the sea of “healthy perception” products that often trick consumers into believing they are doing better. Goldin made it her mission to not only get healthy and kick her diet soda habit, but also figure out a healthy alternative to boring plain water that she and others could actually enjoy. In 2005 Hint water, an unsweetened flavored water, was created – helping millions enjoy better-tasting water while also prioritizing health. She has been named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” among many other honors and accolades. In 2017, she received the incredible honor of being named one of EY’s Entrepreneurs of The Year in Northern California, one of their most competitive regions. In her recent bestselling book, “Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts & Doubters, she chronicles her journey including the founding of Hint and shares her own experiences of overcoming doubts and facing fears to make your goals happen.  

*Pat Bowe, agribusiness expert and industry leader. Bowe joined The Andersons in November 2015 and has more than 40 years of experience in the agricultural sector. He previously served as corporate vice president of Cargill, Inc. and as one of the leaders of the company’s food ingredients and systems platform since 2007. Prior to that role, Bowe was the president of Cargill’s corn wet milling business from 1999-2007.

*Eric Planey '95, CEO of SolaBlock. Planey joined SolaBlock as chief executive officer in September 2021. Planey has more than 25 years of international banking and economic development experience with a focus on automotive, aerospace and energy industries working in New York City, London, Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai.

*Mike Thaman, former chair and chief executive officer of Owens Corning. Thaman joined Owens Corning in 1992, where he served as CEO from 2007 to 2019 and chaired the board from 2002 until 2020. Before joining Owens Corning, Thaman spent six years as a strategy consultant at Mercer Management Consulting as vice president. Currently, he serves in an advisory capacity to start-up ventures with technologies that target CO2 reduction.

"We are thrilled to host another exciting E-Week, this year focused on sustainable communities. Events will feature BGSU alumni, along with regional and national entrepreneurial leaders who exemplify a commitment to the public good," said Dr. Jennifer Percival, dean of the Schmidthorst College of Business. "This event provides an opportunity for our students, faculty, alumni and community members to learn from and network with some of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs in the world."

For more information and to register for events, visit the E-Week website.

Updated: 04/07/2023 01:39PM