Sarvodaya – a leading grassroots organization, is partnering with Hatch – Sri Lanka’s largest Innovation & Entrepreneurship development organization, to launch the “GoviLab” AgriTech Accelerator. This is an integral part of Sri Lanka’s Inclusive Digital Agriculture Transformation (IDAT) strategy, a one-of-a-kind national initiative brought about by the collaborative efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with support from PwC India.
The Accelerator aims to identify and prioritize key challenges within Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector like ensuring food security and address them through the empowerment of smallholder farmers by cultivating a digitized agricultural ecosystem that contributes significantly to the IDAT project.
“The GoviLab Accelerator aligns with our focused vertical for AgriTech and Sustainable Innovation – Hatch Green. We are hoping to identify and accelerate technologies that are capable of solving challenges of smallholder farmers across Sri Lanka to empower them and bring disruptive Innovation to the Agriculture sector ” said Mevan Peiris, Chief Program Officer, Hatch.
Hatch’s commitment to fostering innovation extends beyond its 65,000 sq ft coworking space in Fort, home to a dynamic community of over 1,000 members. Through its program vertical, Hatch has successfully implemented 18 Business Incubator/Accelerator programs for a range of partners ranging from international development agencies to charitable organizations, local government bodies and leading corporations and has engaged with 700 startups in Sri Lanka.
“Sarvodaya’s experience of over 65 years, engaging and empowering over 15,000 grassroots communities across the country is complemented by Hatch’s expertise. This partnership provides a unique synergy that hopes to bring tangible benefits to Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector” said Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, President of Sarvodaya.
The primary objective of the GoviLab AgriTech Accelerator is to uplift Sri Lanka’s agriculture industry by adopting a holistic approach. This involves not only identifying and supporting startups with innovative solutions but also working with various stakeholders, including other international development agencies, private sector and the government to scale the country’s agri-technology and startup ecosystem to support smallholder farmers, thus creating sustainable and impactful changes that resonate throughout the agriculture value chain. The first phase of the program will involve stakeholder consultations and focus group discussion to identify specific challenges faced by smallholder farmers and how these converge with government priorities.
The first cohort of the “GoviLab” AgriTech Accelerator will select 10 startups through a competitive application process. Over a 6-month acceleration period, selected startups will undergo a comprehensive scale-up process, complemented by a capacity-building grant.
This transformative program seeks applications from startups that have developed and tested technological solutions, specifically aimed at bolstering Sri Lanka’s agriculture industry. The GoviLab AgriTech Accelerator presents an exceptional opportunity for startups to actively contribute to the country’s agricultural transformation. By addressing critical challenges faced by the farming community, participants in this program become integral players in a collective effort to drive positive change in Sri Lanka’s agricultural landscape.
The application process is now open, and interested startups can submit their proposals for consideration. For more information please contact [email protected]
Join us in driving positive change in Sri Lanka’s agriculture landscape through innovation, collaboration, and sustainable solutions. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the lives of smallholder farmers and contribute to the overall development of the nation.
Brindha Selvadurai-Gnanam, CEO & Co-Founder, Hatch; Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, President, Sarvodaya; Hon. Kanaka Herath, State Minister of Technology; Chandita Samaranayake, Independent Consultant, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Mevan Peiris, Chief Program Officer, Hatch.