Students given chance to present business ideas to investors

Raven Rush and Raven Rush

Twelve Hatchlings took the stage to present their business ideas to a panel of five investors.

“The Hatch” gave students a chance to pitch their ideas in front of a live audience that grew from 600 last year to 1,200 and even more online streaming viewers.

The students go through a 10-week program with mentors to better develop their product and business ideas.

Hatchling Angela Lucarelli said that there isn’t just one winner.

“This isn’t a competition,” Lucarelli said.

Hatchling Morgan Smith agreed.

“We all practice together and critique eachother’s presentations,” Smith said.

Even if the Hatchlings do not receive funding from any of the investors of the panel, they will have opportunities to make deals with other investors that showed up to watch the event.

“There will be a lot of networking after the event,” Lucarelli said.

All five of the investors are BGSU alumni who have come back possibly to aid these 12 students. These investors included Joseph J. Fisch, Jr. who is Founder, President and CEO of United States Beverage,

Mirjana R. Gearhart, President of Orion Consulting Ltd., Benjamin Goff, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Ohio, Earle Malm, President and CEO of HighMark Capital Management, Brian Sokol, CEO of Oasis Consumer HealthCare and Alicia Wagner, Owner and Founder of HEELS Coaching & Consulting.

Kirk Kern, the host of “The Hatch” and Director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center of Entrepreneurial Leadership presented and managed all of the Hatchlings throughout the process.

Kern started off the event by explaining how each of the presentations will function and how long each Hatchling has to present. Each student had four minutes to present and five minutes to discuss a deal with the investors, adding that not everyone may get funded.

“It’s not personal, its just business,” Kern said.”So are you ready to hatch some deals?”

Four students in particular pitched ideas that will be benefical to the University.

Junior Jerrod Witt presented “AudibleEye,” a RFID location device for use by the visually impaired. He plans to use this application on campus, then branching out to all buildings. Witt will receive funding from all five of the investors.

Freshman Morgan Smith presented “U-MAT,” an application to help students be aware when washers and dryers are available in campus laundry rooms. This will also include alarms that let students know when their laundry will be done. Smith said this will increase laundry effciency and prevent theft in dorms. Smith had four investors back up her application idea.

Freshman Angela Lucarelli presented “Invest to Impress,” a business clothing line that can be rented to students for a price of $65 for a 3 day period. They can also be rented for a week to a month. Lucarelli received funding from two investors at this time.

Sophmore Taylor Frazer presented “Hidelighter,” a highlighter that fades over a set period of time to let students use them on rental textbooks. Frazer will be funded by one investor.

Although these Hatchlings brought new ideas to the university, the other eight Hatchlings had different ideas.

Junior Loren Branch presented “Vital,” a Detroit-inspired t-shirt line that he hopes will bring Detroit back from the slums by giving a percent of his earnings to local youth groups. Branch was funded by five investors, agreeing to give him a loan to start off his company idea.

“I want to be able to give back to my home town and bring it back to its glory days,” Branch said.

Senior Nicole Braxton presented “Around the World in 7 Days,” that offered international cuisine to festivals and fairs. Braxton was not funded by any of the members of the panel.

Sophmore Alan Eschweiler presented an application that allows its users to find certain products based on their proximity. Eschweiler was funded by 3 investors but only after negotiating with the three investors to match his $8,000 asking price did the three investors decided to accept that deal.

“I want to be able to shake hands and both of us walk away happy,” Eschweiler said.

Senior Caitlin Flack presented a shopping cart charger for cell phones. Flack was funded by three of the members of the panels.

Senior Stefan Grdic magnetized gloves that snap to coats for warming purposes. Grdic wasn’t funded by any of the investors.

Freshman Grant Kirkey presented a plate with a cup holder for tailgating and other party settings. Kirkey wasn’t funded by any of the panel members.

Senior Robert Striblen attends BGSU Firelands and presented a belt system to help transfer boxes easier. Striblen was funded by four of the investors.

Freshman Sara Scacchi presented “Artist Armor,” that prevents smudges with a thin glove that includes a fingertip eraser. Scacchi was funded by three of the investors. She also won the People’s Choice Award. The voting happened through text messaging and was being promoted on Twitter.