Award-winning startup ecosystem builder Hatch entered a strategic partnership with Draper Startup House, a global network of spaces connected to resources for entrepreneurs. Hatch shares a vision with Draper Startup House for Sri Lanka and has come onboard to support Hatch’s “Sri Lanka: From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation” initiative which seeks to change the narrative that currently clouds the 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 linking Sri Lankan startups to a global network of investors and enablers.
Draper Startup House was founded as “Tribe Theory” by Vikram Bharati in Singapore back in March of 2018. The foundational concept was to develop spaces for digital nomads to access relaxed yet productive workspaces. In 2019, Tribe Theory joined the Draper ecosystem and rebranded as “Draper Startup House,” described as a “hostel with a twist.” Today, the spaces welcome and empower entrepreneurs, startup teams, remote workers and diverse-minded travelers to connect them with technology venture-building programs, business services, Draper University and the Draper Venture Network.
As part of the partnership, billionaire investor Tim Draper has arrived in Sri Lanka to engage with key stakeholders in government and the local startup ecosystem. During his visit, he will drive discussions focused on supporting founders and local startups as an integral catalyst of Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and future development. Furthermore, Draper will be filming an episode of his TV show “Meet the Drapers,” providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas directly to Tim Draper in addition to achieving global exposure to over 9 million viewers worldwide.
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 by Tim Draper addressing the audience. The panel discussion is titled “From Troubled Nation to Startup Nation,” and will be prefaced by an introductory note by Jeevan Gnanam along the same theme.
“At Hatch, our belief that entrepreneurs are the catalysts of economic development is steadfast 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 across all aspects of building world-class businesses. It’s important to us that we create a platform for young entrepreneurs through Hatch regardless of their personal backgrounds. We are also hoping that Tim’s visit and this partnership will be an indicator to the global business community that Sri Lanka holds great unrealised potential that will be unlocked in the medium to long term and deliver value locally, regionally and internationally,” commented Jeevan Gnanam, Co-founder of Hatch.
Core beliefs including entrepreneurship as an economic catalyst, collaboration as a driver of innovation and equal opportunity for all have driven the team at Hatch over the years to deliver a blended model of startup community, incubators, accelerators, access to capital and mentorship to the community of startups that are being nurtured by the Hatch project. Having commenced with just 28 startups, Hatch has grown to a community of over 500 startups and 60,000 square feet of infrastructure over four years. 37% of the startups incubated by Hatch have been accelerated through startup programs and 33% of them are female founder-led startups. In the coming years, Hatch envisions an economy fueled by purpose-driven innovators that are supported through its thriving startup ecosystem to establish Sri Lanka as a startup nation.
The unique geographical and commercial potential of Sri Lanka has been a point of emphasis for Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem and Hatch has been successful in propelling the value proposition to global stakeholder groups. In further alignment, Tim Draper during his visit will officially open the doors to Hatch X Draper Startup House in Colombo. The space is intended to be a co-living space developed with the objective of supporting the startup ecosystem infrastructure in Sri Lanka. Through this initiative alongside other past ventures, Hatch aims to position Sri Lanka as an idyllic tropical island location 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 clearer as Sri Lanka navigates its worst economic climate in history, and Hatch is well-aligned to support the mission of nurturing local startups to reach their global potential. We are confident in our ability to create meaningful value for local startups and drive Sri Lanka’s journey towards establishing itself as a startup nation through the thriving ecosystem of Hatch. The partnership with Draper Startup House and Tim’s visit to Sri Lanka are early steps in things to come and the journey we will undertake towards a startup nation,” commented Nathan Sivagananathan, Co-founder of Hatch.
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