BG natives ready to soar at The Hatch
Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 8:30 am
Roger LaPointe, Sentinel-Tribune Staff Writer
Two Bowling Green natives, Sara Clark and Isaac Rogers, will be among the young entrepreneurs competing tonight in The Hatch, Bowling Green State University’s business contest.
The Hatch is a “Shark Tank” inspired event where student entrepreneurs present their business ideas to a panel of investors in front of a live audience, both at the university and around the world through a streaming broadcast.
Over 3,500 attendees watched the 10 student presentations in 2017. More than $500,000 has been committed to student start-ups through The Hatch events.
“Hatchlings” are paired up with alumni mentors and work on their idea through spring semester.
Clark is a graduate of Bowling Green High School and is a member of BGSU’s equestrian team, as well as a student-teacher at Findlay High School.
She has combined her love of teaching the disabled and her love of horses to come up with what she calls the “Magnahalter.”
The new horse halter design eliminates classic buckles and clasps, replacing them with a combination of magnets and Velcro, making it easier to put on or remove. She was inspired to improve on the classic halter design by her work with people with disabilities who had difficulties with buckles, especially during the winter.
“I really love learning, so it’s been interesting learning this aspect of business and seeing what you need to start off with and all the different skills. I’m an education major, so I’ve never even taken a business 101 class. So it’s also been really cool seeing the different people that kind of come out of the woodwork, in a positive way,” Clark said of working with The Hatch.
One of the people she has been able to work with has been Heather Smith, a Paralympian equestrian on Team USA. Smith has been able to give Clark different perspectives from which to approach her “Magnahalter” design.
Clark is majoring in intervention with dual education licensure for K-12 students with mild-to-moderate and moderate-to-severe disabilities through BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development.
Rogers is a graduate of St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo and is in BGSU’s College of Business and the Honors College.
Rogers’ creation is a web-based interactive game called TABS, which is short for Towards a Better Solution. Inspired by his own cystic fibrosis, a chronic disease, Rogers said it will help people who are needing regular medications and physical therapy to “keep tabs on yourself, so you can lead a happier and more independent life.”
Because of the CF, Rogers has to take several rounds of medication per day combined with an exercise treatment for his lungs. The software incorporates a social aspect, in order to help users motivate each other into a healthier lifestyle.
Rogers’ favorite aspect of The Hatch process has been improving his idea with his mentor and the software developers he has worked with at Toledo’s Hanson Group.
“I most appreciate being able to meet these people and the way my idea has changed and become stronger.”
The concept had started with an orientation toward children, but through the development phase it has grown to be more general and adaptable to a wider audience. Other diseases Rogers has considered include depression and diabetes.
The hatch originally was seen as a business student event, but it has evolved, said Kirk D. Kern, director of the The Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the College of Business at BGSU. “It’s blossomed into an educational opportunity for students across the university.”
The Hatch will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Perry Field House on the BGSU campus.