The Entrepreneurship Ecosystem at BGSU – From Start to the Hatch

Mr. Kirk Kern
Director of the Bowling Green State University Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Mr. Kern D. Kern, director of the Bowling Green State University Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, has led a diverse career path which truly embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. As a natural risk-taker and businessman with a keen sense of creativity and foresight, Professor Kern is passionate about helping students realize their own dreams through his involvement with them in the classroom, as well as "The Hatch". Mr. Kern began his professional career at the age of 12, working as an on-air radio personality for WTOD-AM in Toledo, Ohio and continued to work in that industry for over twenty years. When local broadcasting began to change, Mr. Kern and his future wife became entrepreneurs: dreaming, developing and creating their own unique mobile teachers' supply store, appropriately named The Bus Stop. After obtaining his Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Findlay, Mr. Kern decided to seek teaching opportunities in higher education. Since 2005, he has taught twenty-one different classes in multiple disciplines at the University of Findlay, University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. He has been involved with 12 start-up entrepreneurial ventures. In 2013, Professor Kern along with Dean Ray Braun built the program called "The Hatch", at BGSU which pairs student entrepreneurs with alumni mentors for a 10-week course. At the end of the 10 weeks, the students pitch their ideas to alumni investors in a live event, similar to ABC's hit show "Shark Tank". This program has grown astronomically in its two years of existence, and has generated great excitement and creativity at BGSU and beyond. Professor Kern has also reached out to high school business teachers to help them introduce entrepreneurship to their students.