Scott Bonge, inventor of the GoateeSaver, returned to his alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University, on Dec. 10 to speak to students and guests about his experiences developing his product and building his small businesses.
Bonge was accompanied by his three children and his wife, who is President and CEO of The GoateeSaver Company, LLC, the company he officially established in February of 2008. He serves as the company’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
After earning his bachelor’s degree at OBU in 1992 and his master’s degree at Henderson State University, Bonge worked in the stock market and pharmaceuticals before publicly releasing the GoateeSaver in June of 2008. He unveiled the product at Inpex, America’s largest trade show for new inventions, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Bonge said it took him two years to develop the GoateeSaver, a shaving template “designed to give you the perfect goatee every time you shave.” Working with his wife and a host of engineers, he slowly progressed from the PlayDoh and Popsicle stick prototype to the plastic and chrome mouthpiece design being sold today. “It is not the most beautiful thing, I’ll give you that,” Bonge says of the mouthpiece, which has been compared to something Hannibal Lecter wore in “Silence of the Lambs.” “But the function of it is perfect.”
Bonge told students that, ultimately, the secret to his success is passion and determination. “You need to follow your heart, and you need to follow your passions. … The money will follow,” he said. “A lot of things in life you’ve got to be determined to make things happen.”
Dr. Jay Robbins, OBU lecturer in business administration, invited Bonge to speak to his small business management classes. “It is important for the students to listen to speakers who have been successful and have that entrepreneurial spirit.” he said. “That spirit and that passion is the backbone of our economy. That’s what we’re trying to teach.”
Currently, the GoateeSaver is available online at the Drug Emporium in Little Rock. Bonge is also in the process of getting the GoateeSaver into WalMart stores in southwest Arkansas. For more information about the GoateeSaver, visit www.goateesaver.com.
by Brooke Showalter