Startups have long endeavored to be disruptive, pushing established boundaries of business models. Increasingly, a growing number of companies have sought to disrupt more than just markets, turning their attention to some of today’s most pressing global challenges. With entrepreneurial vision, a creative approach and a network that often requires crossing business, political and economic landscapes, impact entrepreneurs look to make a difference beyond just profitability in their KPIs. Balancing a sustainable business model alongside supporting social good can be a challenge, and it is these companies that Switzerland’s Hatch CoLab accelerator has put their focus.
David Rychlewski, Co-Founder and President of Hatch CoLab describes, “Impact ventures present a unique opportunity as a force in solving some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. Impact ventures complement the important work done by governments, international organizations and non-profits using entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most critical problems.”
Hatch's first batch
The accelerator was founded in 2017 and takes no equity in the impact ventures they support. Powered by Fusion, the corporate innovation catalyst, Hatch's program offers early-stage funding, access to networks and coaching to their fellows. According to Program Director Sara Usinger, “One of the things we are most proud of at Hatch are the long-term solutions developed by our fellows, which focus on the root causes of the most challenging problems humanity faces today. They are not looking for quick and easy fixes but for sustainable, long-lasting, positive change.”
On March 28th, the eight fellows, or “hatchers” of Hatch CoLab’s inaugural batch pitched at Demo Day. They include:
• Arcadia: a blockchain solution providing access to financial services for newly arrived refugees • URIDU: pioneering health education for women in the developing world through accessible audio content • Sela: tracks resource flows to provide greater transparency and more accurate measurement of sustainable development initiatives • LOVE FOR LIFE: implements social and development projects in conflict and crisis areas to empower people to lead self-determined lives in dignity and peace • the fair traveler: promotes sustainable travel through multichannel initiatives • The ECO Coin: a new currency to measure, track and reward sustainable activities • Project Access: lowers barriers to elite education for underserved students worldwide • Ellipsis: uses the latest in data scanning technology, drone surveying and machine learning to gather robust, scientifically accurate data of material pollution around the world.