Hatch Co-Founders Jeevan Gnanam, Brindha Selvadurai-Gnanam and Nathan Sivagananathan celebrate the global award for ‘The Best Co-Working Space’ received at the at the Global Startup Awards 2021 – Pic by Upul Abayasekara
By Jibraan Mohamed
Hatch has created South Asian history by becoming the first in the region to win the coveted ‘The Best Co-Working Space in the World’ at the Global Startup Awards 2021.
The co-working space, startup incubator and accelerator said the award marked a momentous milestone for Sri Lanka’s startup ecosystem.
Hatch was selected from two rounds on a regional and global level from more than 18,000 nominees. To secure the coveted final win, Hatch won against five world-class global finalists who had been awarded regionally.
The Global Startup Awards seeks to recognise the ‘future-shapers’ of the world and has awarded companies like UiPath, Zendesk, Supercell, Turbine and Grab over the last decade. In 2020, Hatch was selected as best co-working space in the South Asian Region.
The latest criterion for best co-working space acknowledges a “co-working space that deserves the recognition of its services, support and resources to fast-growth startups, and for creating a culture and environment that fosters innovation and focuses on positively impacting the world.”
Inspired by a slew of accolades, Hatch plans to support more start-ups and entrepreneurs emerging in the country and also tap prospects overseas by replicating its success in countries such as Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan.
For Hatch, the global accolade is a welcome validation of their work over the years.
“We are thankful that within just three short years, our vision and efforts to be a platform for entrepreneurship and innovation is recognised on a global stage. This is a reflection of the evolution, phenomenal growth and capacity of South Asia’s ecosystem of startups,” Hatch Co-Founder/CEO Brindha Selvadurai-Gnanam said.
“We’re excited to show the world that the emerging start-up ecosystem in Sri Lanka is advanced, powerful, and is fostering the next generation of startups. The strength and resilience of any ecosystem lie with its community – our sincere appreciation goes out to all our partners, mentors and supporters who have contributed towards forging this vibrant ecosystem and placing Sri Lanka firmly on the map. Despite the challenges of the past years, we are hopeful for our journey ahead,” she added.
“When Hatch was recognised as the best co-working space in the South Asian Region in 2020, I thought we had reached the pinnacle. However, to be on the same platform with great communities like ‘ImpactHub’ and ‘Mesh’, whom we used to benchmark against, is a dream. With the right conditions and mindset, an effervescent community, mutually supportive partnerships and a whole lot of hard work, anything is possible. Hatch stands as a shining example of this,” Co-Founder Jeevan Gnanam added.
Hatch Co-Founder Nathan Sivagananathan said: “Bringing a global platform for local entrepreneurs has been the forefront of our vision. This award enables us to continue to position Sri Lanka and Hatch as an entrepreneurial hub globally and showcases the depth and range of our work.”
With locations in Fort and Jaffna, what sets Hatch apart is its commitment to offering much more than physical space. Since its inception in 2018, Hatch has worked to nurture startups and offer a vibrant atmosphere in which entrepreneurs and disruptive organisations can thrive. With hybrid working options for corporates, SMEs and startups, Hatch’s spaces and facilities are designed to enable effective co-working and collaboration with an emphasis on user-friendliness and creativity. It has created positive impact and knowledge sharing through seven pioneering programs – ‘Kickass’, ‘Green Energy Champion’ and ‘HatchX FinTech’ to name a few. These bespoke programs are built with a deep understanding of the current needs of each start-up and provide them access to local and international resources, networks and capacity-building techniques. These programs lead to much-needed market access opportunities beyond Sri Lanka.
Hatch actively partners with several private sector organisations, Sri Lanka’s public sector as well as international agencies to incubate and accelerate the growth of the Sri Lankan startups and are now working with regional ecosystems to nurture talent and create market opportunities.
Hatch fosters an inclusive culture that is supportive and agile, innovating new opportunities, including creating pathways for under-represented entrepreneur communities. Their commitment to this was demonstrated through the launch of Sri Lanka›s first-ever women-focused accelerator program ‘AccelerateHER’ during the World Entrepreneurship Week.
The Global Startup Awards seeks to find, publicly recognise and connect dynamic startups on different verticals and maturity levels, investors, incubation/acceleration programs, coworking offices and influential founders, working closely with hundreds of local partners. Founded in 2012, it is the world’s largest independent start-up ecosystem competition, recognising the best startups, individuals, VCs, co-working spaces, accelerators or incubator programs from all over the world.