Investors Hope to Find the Next Big Idea from BGSU Student Entrepreneurs
The popular network television show “Shark Tank” features a group of investors who listen to entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas and deciding whether or not to invest in those possible start-ups. The BGSU version of this "Shark Tank"-type of event is called “The Hatch."
So let's meet "The Hatch" investors.
Larry Davenport is the Principal Owner and Investor of Davenport, Hanf & Company LLC, a CPA firm based in Toledo, Ohio. Larry retired from Ernst & Young, LLP, after a 35-year career, 24 as an audit partner. He is also a current member of the Regional Growth Partnership Board of Directors and is actively affiliated with BGSU. Larry has served on numerous committees for the University and is an active member of BGSU’s Board of Advocates. He has also been a member of the President’s Club at BGSU since 1986.
Jeff Goldshine graduated with a BS in Management Science from The State University of New York at Binghamton in 1976. In 1991, Jeff co-founded and served as CEO of a healthcare enterprise, Commonwealth Communities, located in Massachusetts. This company acquired twenty hospitals, assisted living residences and skilled nursing centers from bankrupt entities. In addition to developing new healthcare companies, Jeff has been an angel investor in Big Belly Solar Trash Cans, Quickable Marketplace (online marketplace for smart phone users) and Agile Diagnostics (decision tree software developed for medical students and physicians).
Rodney Heiligmann, PhD, is President and Principal Partner of LifeFormations, an award-winning sculpting and animatronics studio that creates lifelike static and animated characters for museums, trade shows and attractions. As a highly successful entrepreneur, Rodney has been involved with numerous start-up companies and has written articles as well as co-authored two books with BGSU Professor Gene Poor called "The Entrepreneur’s Journey: From Dreaming to Doing" and "Animatronics – A Designer’s Resource Guide." Rodney also served as the Director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership for two years, guiding others to pursue their ventures, and was an executive-in-residence and Assistant Professor of visual communication technology at BGSU.
Earle Malm graduated from BGSU in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in selling & sales management. Earle was President and Chief Executive Officer of HighMark Capital Management, Inc. in San Francisco before retiring in 2012. HighMark Capital Management has over 90 years of institutional money management experience. During his tenure at HighMark, Earle also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of HighMark Capital Management and was a trustee of the HighMark Mutual Funds Board of Trustees. Prior to joining Highmark in 2002, Earle was President and Vice Chairman at ValueClick, Inc., an Internet advertising network, and formerly was the Chief Operating Officer for AIM Funds. He began his career in consumer electronics with RCA where Earle held Senior Executive Marketing and General Management positions in service and communications businesses. The 1971 BGSU graduate was honored in 2008 as one of BGSU’s Accomplished Graduates from the College of Business.
Brian Sokol' 82 has spent more than 26 years growing consumer products companies through product innovation, brand building and business integration. In 2010, Brian and a group of partners from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University acquired the Oasis Mouthwash business and formed Oasis Consumer HealthCare of which he is currently CEO. In 2001, Brian founded The Idea Institute, a business that created and commercialized new products for clients such as Kimberly Clark, Slazenger Golf, and Activity Targeted Supplements.
Prior to this, Brian served as Vice President of Marketing at Loctite and was responsible for the commercialization of automotive aftermarket products in international markets. Brian also served as president of Blue Coral, a privately held auto appearance products business and was a corporate executive with Quaker State Oil Company where he oversaw the merger and acquisition of four consumer products businesses. In his career, Brian invented or co-invented six patented appearance products. Brian earned an MBA from Bowling Green State University in 1982.