“Sri Lanka: From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation” New initiative launched

Award-winning startup ecosystem builder Hatch has entered into a strategic partnership with Draper Startup House, a global network of resource-connected spaces for entrepreneurs. Hatch shares a vision with Draper Startup House for Sri Lanka and has joined the team in supporting Hatch’s “Sri Lanka: From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation” initiative which seeks to change the narrative that currently obscures media. Both parties believe in the country’s immense future potential and hope to leverage the partnership to attract and retain high-quality talent while connecting Sri Lankan startups to a global network of investors and enablers.

Draper Startup House was founded as ‘Tribe Theory’ by Vikram Bharati in Singapore in March 2018. The fundamental concept was to develop spaces for digital nomads to access relaxed yet productive workspaces. In 2019, Tribe Theory joined the Draper ecosystem and was rebranded as the “Draper Startup House”, described as a “hostel with a twist”. Today, the spaces welcome and enable entrepreneurs, start-up teams, remote workers, and travelers with diverse ideas to connect them to tech startup programs, business services, Draper University, and at the Draper Venture Network.

As part of the partnership, billionaire investor Tim Draper arrived in Sri Lanka to engage with key stakeholders in government and the local startup ecosystem. During his visit, he will lead discussions focused on supporting founders and local startups as an integral catalyst for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and future development. Additionally, Draper will film an episode of his “Meet the Drapers” TV show, providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas directly to Tim Draper in addition to gaining global exposure to over 9 million viewers in the world.

Draper will also headline a panel discussion alongside Sonia Hirdaramani and Mahela Jayawardene, moderated by Nathan Sivagananathan during his visit, followed by a short segment of Tim Draper addressing the audience. The panel discussion is titled “From Struggling Nation to Startup Nation” and will be preceded by an introductory note by Jeevan Gnanam on the same theme.

“At Hatch, our belief that entrepreneurs are the catalysts of economic development is unwavering and has been instrumental in establishing this partnership and bringing a Silicon Valley investor of Tim’s caliber to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan entrepreneurs will be able to collaborate with a global network of mentors, investors and peers to drive innovation and accelerate growth in all aspects of building world-class businesses. It’s important to us to create a platform for young entrepreneurs through Hatch, regardless of their personal background. We also hope that Tim’s visit and this partnership will be an indicator to the global business community that Sri Lanka holds great unrealized potential that will be unlocked in the medium to long term and bring value locally, regionally and internationally. commented Jeevan Gnanam, Co-founder of Hatch.

Core beliefs, including entrepreneurship as an economic enabler, collaboration as a driver of innovation and equal opportunity for all, have driven the Hatch team over the years to offer a blended model of community of startups, incubators, accelerators, access to capital and mentorship to the startup community that is nurtured by the Hatch project. Starting with just 28 startups, Hatch has grown into a community of over 500 startups and 60,000 square feet of infrastructure in four years. 37% of startups incubated by Hatch were accelerated through startup programs and 33% of them are founder-led startups. In the years to come, Hatch envisions an economy fueled by driven innovators who are supported by its thriving startup ecosystem to make Sri Lanka a startup nation.

Sri Lanka’s unique geographic and business potential has been a focus for Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem and Hatch has successfully propelled the value proposition to global stakeholder groups. Additionally, Tim Draper during his visit will officially open the doors of Hatch X Draper Startup House in Colombo. The space is intended to be a co-living space developed with the aim of supporting the infrastructure of the startup ecosystem in Sri Lanka. Through this initiative and other past ventures, Hatch aims to position Sri Lanka as an idyllic tropical island for digital nomads, with a strategic geographic vantage point to connect, inspire and build successful businesses.

“The emphasis on the importance of startups as the backbone of a resilient economy is becoming increasingly clear as Sri Lanka navigates the worst economic climate in its history, and Hatch is well aligned to support the mission of encouraging local startups to reach their global potential. We are confident in our ability to create significant value for local startups and lead Sri Lanka towards establishing a startup nation through Hatch’s thriving ecosystem. The partnership with Draper Startup House and Tim’s visit to Sri Lanka are the first steps of things to come and the journey we will take towards a startup nation,” commented Nathan Sivagananathan, co-founder of Hatch.

About Hatch

Hatch is an award-winning Sri Lankan coworking space, start-up incubator and accelerator. Founded by Jeevan Gnanam, Brinda Selvadurai-Gnanam and Nathan Sivagananathan in 2018. Hatch was founded on three core principles:

  • Entrepreneurs are the catalysts of economic development
  • Collaboration drives innovation
  • Regardless of background, everyone should have the opportunity to create and have a meaningful impact on the world

Guided by these beliefs, Hatch’s mission is to make innovation and entrepreneurship more accessible, sustainable and inclusive to reflect the diversity we see in the world. With a blended model of startup community, incubators, accelerators and funds, Hatch focuses on helping early stage startups by providing access to capital, training tools, mentorship, research customers, hiring talent, providing them with 60,000 square feet. of co-working space, and a whole support system.

Starting with just 28 start-ups, in four years Hatch has backed over 500 start-ups. Of these, they incubated and accelerated 37% through programs and 33% of founders are businesses led or targeted by women. Hatch envisions an economy fueled by purpose-driven innovators and is on a mission to develop a thriving startup ecosystem to firmly establish Sri Lanka as a startup nation. (NewsWire)