April 3, 2017

Drucker Alumnus Is Veteran Who “Changed Business Forever”

In this photo, a TechShop member operates a water jet cutter.
A TechShop member operates a water jet cutter. (Photo courtesy of TechShop.)

Alumnus Mark Hatch, a former Green Beret who led a business that enables tinkerers, hobbyists, artists, entrepreneurs, and inventors to create, has been named one of a dozen military veterans who “changed business forever” by Entrepreneur magazine.

Hatch (MBA, 1995) is the former CEO and co-founder of TechShop, a member-supported, do-it-yourself fabrication studio that opened in 2006. With nine U.S. locations, TechShop is considered the world’s leading “Makerspace”—a laboratory with the latest industrial tools and design software for burgeoning innovators with creative ideas who may lack the tools and training to bring them to fruition.

The Drucker School alumnus is one of several military veterans who distinguished themselves as CGU students and alumni.

Hatch has said his military experiences taught him the value of perseverance.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth doing, and perseverance is really key in any kind of startup situation,” he said in a December 2014 interview. “Trust me, you learn how to persevere when you’re a Green Beret.”

Credited with popularizing the so-called “Maker Movement,” Hatch spearheaded the idea that humans are made to build and create in his 2013 book The Maker Movement Manifesto.

Photo of CGU alumnus Mark Hatch
Drucker alumnus and former Green Beret Mark Hatch was recognized for co-founding a Makerspace that provides tools and training to entrepreneurs. (Photo by Bart Nagel.)

During his TechShop tenure, Hatch grew the company from one to eight U.S. locations—with others in development—and increased its memberships and revenue by a multiple of 20 in five years. He also helped the company raise more than $20 million in venture funding.

Makerspaces have birthed products such as the Square Reader, a small tile-like device that connects to smartphones and allows small businesses to bypass traditional bank methods of processing credit and debit card transactions; and Embrace, an affordable life-saving blanket that keeps premature babies in developing countries warm until they receive medical attention.

Hatch stepped down from his TechShop role in July 2016 and is currently a general partner at Network Society Ventures, a venture investment firm working with startups in artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, and other technologies.

“Since World War II, military veterans have continuously innovated and created enduring businesses like no other group in America,” according to Entrepreneur’s March 21 article.

Other entrepreneurial veterans who made the list include Steve Blank, a former Air Force mechanic who created the Lean Startup Movement and is known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”; Chuck Wallace, an Air Force major, instructor pilot, and assistant staff Judge Advocate General who co-founded Esurance; and Don Faul, a former Marine who is the CEO of leading wearable tech firm Athos.

“These 12 remarkable veterans … created framework, movements, networks, and methodologies that changed the way people think and do business,” the article states.

CGU counts other remarkable veterans among its student and alumni ranks. Drucker alumnus and School of Community & Global Health doctoral student Mark Dust (EMBA, 2010), an Army veteran of Iraq, works with the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder among veteran and active duty populations and is considered a expert on the disorder by numerous media outlets.

Claremont Graduate University is an approved institution for veterans to utilize their educational benefits and offers support, financial and otherwise, to those interested in pursuing a graduate degree. These include the Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative, which enables CGU to recruit, educate, and retain student veterans, and the Student Veterans of American Claremont Colleges Chapter, which provides resources and advocacy.