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September 21, 2023

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Hatch program announces this years finalists

Last night in the Union ballroom, the 2015 class of Hatchlings was announced.

The announcement came following the final event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, sponsored by the College of Business, Cookie Jar, Key Private Bank and more.

Kirk Kern, director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center in the College of Business said that this year’s class of Hatchlings is unique.

“Well, this year we had over 80 applicants, and from there we narrowed it down to 10 Hatchlings,” said Kern. “It was a hard decision, and my team and I had some quite lengthy debates about who should stay and who we had to let go, but I’m confident in the abilities of this new class.”

Along with Kern, there was a team of six other people that helped make the decision about the new class: Morgan Smith, one of last year’s Hatch finalists and owner of U-Mat Laundry, LLC; Charlie Kanwischer, who is in the College of Arts [E-Ship]; Dean Braun of the College of Business; Gene Poor, associate dean Zubair Mohamed; and Herb McGrath.

The team graded the business ideas with a specific set of criteria, and they scored strictly on ideas.

“We looked for uniqueness and creativity, if the proposed product was feasible, marketability, commercial and social impact, appeal to investors and my favorite, the ‘cool’ factor,” Kern said.

Since the team did not have pictures of the applicants, the reveal of the Hatchlings was a surprise to everyone, matching the idea with a face, Kern said.

This year’s Hatchlings class had some different ideas, ranging from a cystic fibrosis app that sends information straight to the doctor’s office, to a game called Trickshot that combines beer pong, cornhole and ladderball into a three-in-one game.

“The three projects that really blew my mind was one where a student came up with a short film about an antisocial teenager who disguises himself to fight off a high school rival,” Kern said. “We’ve never done a short film so this is so exciting. We have a non-traditional student who wants to introduce people to beekeeping, and a girl designed a program that takes traits of a person’s personality and designs them into clothing. These are million-dollar ideas, all of them are.”

Kern is excited to be working with the new Hatch class.

“The Hatch is a unique program in itself,” Kern said. “But it’s not easy. Pairing these kids with mentors and getting their awesome ideas up and running is so exciting and I can’t wait to go through the process with

these kids.”

Sophomore Devon Williams, creator of MuSync, a music app that lets users tap into another users music live at the time of play, said she was in disbelief when her name was announced.

“I was sitting with my boyfriend when my name got called, and he rushed me and said go on up there,” said Williams. “He helped me with the idea and it just evolved. I’m overwhelmed and

so excited.”

Meredith Keller, junior and creator of a cystic fibrosis app, was nearly in tears upon seeing her name on the screen.

“This is for my sister Kyle and my niece Lily, and everyone who has cystic fibrosis,” said Keller. “My sister has to write down everything Lily eats down to the calorie, because Lily doesn’t grow without proper nutrition and medication. When she called me crying because she couldn’t find the calories in a Cheeto, I knew I had to help.”

Allen Viancourt, who created Digital Turf, a program where lines can be changed electronically to match the sport, said that he was ecstatic.

“I’m really excited, especially because I’m a freshman and my idea was far-fetched, but it works,” said Viancourt. “I work for a small business right now, so this is a dream come true.”

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