‘The Hatch’ funds student taco business

Scott Hodges never expected to make his passion for food come to life as quickly as it did at The Hatch on Wednesday night.

The Hatch was a “business incubator” created by the University and sponsered by the Dallas Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership on campus. Similar to the TV show Shark Tank, in which nine people presented their ideas in front of five university alumni in the business field. The investers decided wheater or not to invest in their business plans.

Hodges’ idea for creating a completely mobile taco truck to serve to the University’s night life gained support from all five investors creating a total of $40,000 for 40 percent of equity.

“[The Hatch] skyrocketed my ideas,” Hodges said. “When I showed up I just wanted to cook tacos, but my mentor John Meyer really taught me the ins and outs of running a business.”

Hodges taco truck company BUENO!! Told investors that his business was worth the money because it was fresh, locally raised beef and cooked in front of the customer.

“I am 6 foot 8 [inches]. I weigh 300 pounds, and I love to eat. I am the market research,” Hodges said.

One of the investors, Rodenet Heiligman, said Hodges caught his attention by the passion he saw in his sell.

“In any business you invest in, it’s the person behind it,” Heiligman said. “He was such a good speaker, he was excited about his product and he is obviously going to go elbows deep in making [BUENO!!] successful.”

Heiligman invested $10,000 for Gene Port to cast his vote without Heiligman attending the actual meeting.

“We can take ownership in their company, when we say we have 40 percent equity we mean that we own 40 percent of their shares,” Heiligman said.

All five of the investors were graduates from the University. Heiligman said he had only known them for less than half a day, but that he was glad to be apart of it.

“It was awesome being able to do this, I’ve never seen a group get together to support the student initiative help each other invest in a bunch of programs — I was really happy to see the group work together and we have only known each other for four hours,” he said.

Brian V. Sokol, who invested in BUENO!! and some of the nine other student business ideas, said that the “entrepreneurial spirit is what drives this country.”

“I think it is out standing that a university like Bowling Green provides programs like this,” Sokol said.

Investing is all about the business, he said.

“In my experience you are told no all the time and you’ll just have to be persistent. I didn’t see one presentation that I felt couldn’t make it or could never ever get funded. I just saw that in some cases we were the wrong five to see their cases.”

Hodges said his next step will be to sit down with the investors to “put the ink to the checkbook.”

“Right off the bat I think the weeks leading up to it I never thought I’d make it here, this hasn’t sunk in yet,” Hodges said. “Hopefully it will by tomorrow. I am very thankful for this experience.”