Four Hatch startups: Hyperglade, Miris by Islandmom, True by Tina, and Feelo have acquired funding to take their businesses to the next level. The most significant of these funding opportunities came from Silicon Valley investor Tim Draper who funded Hyperglade with USD350,000 proving that the local entrepreneurial talent among Hatch startups is capable of making a global impact.
Hatch prides itself on being the center of gravity for all things startup empowering entrepreneurs, through its startup incubator and accelerator programs and co-working space. Hatch strives to connect entrepreneurs by creating a collaborative environment that provides equal opportunity to all, with the goal of creating a thriving startup ecosystem that powers Sri Lanka’s economy.
At the start of 2023, Hatch launched an initiative titled ‘Sri Lanka: From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation’ to highlight how Sri Lanka’s top entrepreneurial talent could pave the path to recovery. The first part of this initiative saw Tim Draper, founder of the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, visiting Hatch in Colombo to connect with its startups and provide them the chance to pitch their ideas to a global audience through his TV show, ‘Meet the Drapers’.
It did not take long for local talent to be recognized: Hyperglade, a Hatch community startup specializing in BlockChain and Web3 migration solutions, secured $ 350,000 (Rs. 112 million) in funding from Draper Associates. Hyperglade previously made waves as a regional pioneer by hosting Sri Lanka’s first single-artist NFT auction. The auction was executed in cooperation with a fellow Hatch community member and hosted at Hatch, further proving the benefits of Hatch’s collaborative environment to burgeoning startups.
Draper Associates’ investment in Hyperglade serves as a strong endorsement of the significant startup potential in Sri Lanka that Hatch has been working to nurture through its various startup incubation initiatives. Another of its notable program in this area is AccelerateHER, implemented in partnership with the US Department of State. AccelerateHER is a bespoke female-focused accelerator in Sri Lanka designed to help female founders grow their businesses. Alongside the AccelerateHER program, Hatch empowers female entrepreneurs through its gender-smart fund HERCapital. “HERCapital aims to help women overcome the disproportionate challenges they face in running their businesses, thus mitigating gender inequalities in the startup ecosphere” states Brindha Selvadurai-Gnanam CEO & Co-founder of Hatch. As part of this effort, two notable graduates from the AccelerateHER program’s first cohort received funding recently from HERCapital enabling them to scale their businesses globally. The lack of an investment ecosystem for female entrepreneurs has meant only 25% of the country’s entrepreneurs are females. Despite females accounting for over 50% of the local population. This milestone demonstrates that Hatch’s accelerator program and business advisory truly foster a more inclusive environment enabling more female entrepreneurs to contribute to economic development.
In working to enhance the startup ecosystem in Sri Lanka, Hatch is also home to some digital nomad entrepreneurs, one of whom is the founder of Feelo a startup that offers unique experiential packages. Founded just four months ago, the venture has acquired a sizable customer base and announced its first investor partnership just four months into the business. Feelo’s Co-Founder & CEO – Ondrej Lang aims to build a Sri Lankan company that can disrupt the entire South Asian market.
These are some of the success stories originating from Hatch, proving its effectiveness as an ideal growth environment for local entrepreneurs to acquire the skills and resources they need to achieve sustainable business growth. From facilitating the acquisition of funding from Silicon Valley giants to providing bridging capital to promising female entrepreneurs to take their businesses global – Hatch takes pride in cultivating a global mindset amongst home-grown talent.