Hatch brings on board new partners

We are excited to announce our new partners for 2017 (alongside the continuing relationships with this year’s partner). These partnerships include The Battersea Power Station Foundation (BPSF), The Ellis Campbell Foundation, J.P Morgan, and The City Bridge Trust

The BPS Foundation is an independent UK charitable body, which has been established by the BPS shareholders to ensure that the diverse and vibrant South London communities surrounding the Power Station have access to a new source of funding. The Foundation’s aim is to fund projects to create new opportunities and make local neighbourhoods even better places. 

Thanks to the funding provided by the Foundation to support the Hatch Community programme, we were able to host our Hatch DIY Weekender, bringing together entrepreneurs and innovators.

J.P Morgan have a long history of giving grants to charities and organisations that provide access to skills training and employment, improving the growth and job creation of small businesses in disadvantaged areas. After funding our initial pilot two years ago, they are now supporting our new accelerator programme and encouraging the business growth of female-run enterprise in South London.


The Ellis Campbell Foundation
was established in 1990, and since then, the Foundation has supported organisations focussed on youth, education and heritage. We are pleased to announce that the Foundation is supporting our young entrepreneur’s programme by way of a grant.

Thanks to their contribution, we can continue with our work here in our local communities in South London!

The City Bridge Trust aim to tackle disadvantage in London through grant making, social investment, encouraging philanthropy and influencing social policy. Due to their Stepping Stone fund, we are now able to look at building our capacity and think strategically about the future of Hatch.

We’re excited to see what 2017 brings!

A Successful StartUp Britain

On the 10th of October, Hatch welcomed StartUp Britain to Windrush Square. As the blue double-decker bus arrived on a Monday morning, it brought with it a host of experts offering free business advice to help prospective entrepreneurs and start-ups. Not even the cold weather could not keep the budding entrepreneurs from flocking to the bus, with the StartUp Britain experts and by our team, helping to offer impartial guidance.

The talent that exists within South London was made clear as a range of exciting entrepreneurs visited us. Mission driven businesses using musical instruments to give young children the opportunity to participate in the arts was just one of many ideas that were floating around the square.

Since the introduction of the nationwide campaign to promote business through StartUp Britain, the emergence of new registered businesses has shown growth every year, with more than 480,000 start-ups already launched this year. The day gave every indication that this number will continue to increase.

It should come as no surprise that beginning a business can be a terrifying experience without the right support and guidance. The Hatch team were readily offering assistance on how to make the passions of the visitors into a reality. We also provided experts consisting of volunteers from legal firms that specialised in corporate law. By discussing the legal steps and potential obstacles entrepreneurs may find along their journey, the entrepreneurs were given a insight into the legal framework they would have to operate in.

Employees from Natwest provided financial guidance to the entrepreneurs, equipping them with the necessary information to raise capital and providing knowledge into the scrutiny they will face in this task. Staff from 123-Reg talked about how to get start-ups online and visible to their customer base to be one step ahead of the game.

The enthusiasm and passion of the entrepreneurs and volunteers reflected StartUp Britain’s success. It certainly is now a question of how many were inspired to make a mark in the business community and change their lives and the lives around them.

Thank you to all that visited the bus and we are sure that you certainly made the first of many stops in your journey to success.

By Mohibur Rahman

Hatch DIY Weekender: Dream, Learn and Play

 

The beautiful Oxfordshire countryside was a fitting setting for the Hatch DIY Weekender, bringing together entrepreneurs and innovators for a fantastic experience. The first Hatch Weekender sought to combine the aspects required to successfully launch and grow a business, allowing the campers to ‘Dream, Learn and Play’.

The backdrop of the British countryside alongside the River Thames provided the opportunity to reflect and pause from the hectic routines of our day-to-day lives.

Through the mindfulness sessions and 1-2-1 conversations available with our well-being coach Andrea, there was the opportunity to truly delve into issues that arise from being an entrepreneur and be given constructive ways to deal with them. ‘The Council’ session that was run by Tom encapsulated the relaxed and thoughtful ways of discussing how to scale your business and the challenges one may face.

Other sessions that were well received included how to make the transition from full-time employment to entrepreneurship and the obstacles within the ‘Hero’s Journey’. Collectively, they offered the campers a wonderful insight for self-growth and reflection. The Weekender also provided the space to let loose. With a yoga instructor and disco instructor among the fellow campers, it should come as no surprise that ‘disco yoga’ was formed! For those that wanted a ‘different’ experience, the opportunity to fish in the Thames and get a real feel of the countryside was available. Thanks to Paddy, campers were offered to visit his Hemp farm and help harvest the crops.

The Hatch community really pulled together to create evenings filled with fun. Through the events put on by the organisers and volunteers, the campers came together to relax. The backdrop of the starry nights the first night was a perfect setting to sit around the warm fire and sing songs together. The second night proved as popular, as the ‘Pub quiz’ certainly put the teams out of their comfort zones through a range of atypical rounds.

The DIY motto of the weekend was certainly reflected as everyone participated either in the cleaning, cooking, and organisation of the events over the three days. As cold as the nights were, this camping experience really brought the best of both worlds together. The next Hatch DIY Weekender has a lot to live up to!  

By Mohibur Rahman

Photo’s by Sebastian Kasmo Wood

My Launchpad Experience

Passionate. Driven. Inspirational. These are the words that came to mind when I reflected on the new intake participating in the Hatch Launchpad programme. As someone who had recently begun my journey at Hatch as an Intern, I was intrigued to see the faces that make up the amazing stories that encapsulate the success of Hatch. I was not let down!

The day begun with an outdoor group activity that bonded the group.  It did not take the group long to come together, reinforcing the collective ambition of the participants.

In business, the story of the entrepreneur can be neglected. Thankfully, I was exposed to the amazing narratives that have summed up the budding entrepreneurs. It is not difficult to see where the drive and vision for their projects come from. From experiencing homelessness in the Congo, to lengthy careers working with the vulnerable in the UK – the influences on their business ideas give a defining factor of originality.  As the day progressed, participants were asked to present their (social) business ideas to the group. The support and feedback from everyone was a testament to how well the group had bonded.

Additional exercises gave the entrepreneurs a better idea of their plans and a chance for them to articulate key aspects of their business that they may not have considered before. The programme also allowed for entrepreneurs to network with one another, with some individuals planning to work together as a result.

It should come as no surprise that when you put like-minded individuals in a room together that they will bounce ideas off each other and see if there are ways to connect. It was refreshing to witness a collaborative approach, which allowed the entrepreneurs to really get to grips with the viability of their business idea.

It would be misguided to think that the programme was not strenuous. The tasks organised by the Hatch team really prodded the entrepreneurs and got them thinking!

When it came to the final activity over the two days, it was astonishing to see how the programme had inspired confidence and a greater sense of awareness around their ideas. Every participant had shown improvement and it certainly provided an incredible platform for the entrepreneurs to take a massive step forward in their lives. It was a pleasure to be a part of their journeys and I am sure the participants will be ones to watch in the future!

By Mohibur Rahman

Gareth’s Epic Climb

Everyone involved with Hatch makes a contribution that helps drive our mission. However, it must be said that some sacrifices are physically more arduous than others. Gareth Davies, a trustee of Hatch, undertook a gruelling nine-day challenge to cycle 1000 miles to end his year dedicated to raising money for Hatch.  Gareth’s generosity was sparked by his passion to help others become self-supporting through enterprise. With a goal to raise a £1000, he had to raise the stakes and put himself through the gears, having to cycle on average more than 110 miles a day to battle his final challenge.

Gareth’s journey would begin on the 8th of September, setting off from Cornwall, England’s south-western tip, endeavouring to travel from Lands End to John O’Groats. The route is still renowned for being one of the most iconic long distance rides in the world. As Gareth recalls about his thoughts the night before, ”Trepidation is a word that really doesn’t start to do justice to what I was thinking about the next day’s experience – could I do it, what would it be like, would the pain be too much for my backside?  Was I up to it? I tried to get some sleep ready for a 7am get-go, but in truth it was a like a 5 year-old waiting for Christmas morning. No sleep at all.

Throughout the journey, Gareth’s experiences would vary from awe of the breathtaking landscapes, to the pendulum of human emotions. Cycling through Glen Coe and into the Shadow of Ben Nevis, as the group planned to travel from Hamilton to Fort William, proved to be the toughest day for Gareth as he said, “I was in a lot of pain with an Achilles tendon problem; my leg was taped up and I was swallowing painkillers.” It was through the pain that Gareth appreciated the importance of group camaraderie and working as a team as they took turns to ride first into the wind for the benefit of each other.

On the final day, Gareth recalls, “John O’Groats came up quite fast. It was only 100 miles that day, and the finish line springs out of nowhere. Turns out that the end of the UK is quite a discrete construction at the end of a road that looks like a farm driveway. We lined up so that we came across at the same moment, no one wanting to be “first”. My feelings were: surprise that the end was actually here; disbelief that I’d done it; elation that we’d made it; expectation of that first beer.” His magnanimous effort on the road culminated into a successful fundraising campaign, which lead to Gareth raising £1,021.88 – which was more than the target initially set.


Gareth would like to thank the overwhelming generosity of the people who donated, the support crew from Threshold sports and Deloitte who sponsored the event. Everyone at Hatch would like to thank Gareth for his incredible sacrifice and kindness to raise the important funds that allow us to carry on our work. Gareth, no doubt, has earned a long and restful break to recover from the blisters and muscle pain.

By Mohibur Rahman

 

Big Ideas event

Have you ever had an idea but not known where to begin? Join the club!

The event, Big Ideas Lambeth was set up for this reason. To help young people with big ideas start something awesome. With a potential £500 on the table for those that pitched it was set to be an exciting day for all involved – And it was.

Located in Brixton East 1871, the event hosted a combination of guest speakers and workshops facilitated by members of the Hatch team, The Princes Trust and more. Everything had been curated specifically with the aim of helping the young entrepreneurs present really get a taste of what starting a business is all about.

Starting with an introduction by Capita, the budding entrepreneurs were treated to an inspiring speech from entrepreneur Onyi Anyado. Nothing he said was overly complicated. He simply did the most powerful thing that he could do – he shared his story, managing to get everyone super excited about the journey that they were about to start.

After a quick pep talk by Princes Trust on how to present your idea effectively, alongside a couple of exciting activities, individuals started to be called to pitch in front of a panel, including Jack Hopkins, Onyi Anyado and Hatch’s very own Laura.

Taking over in the afternoon was Hatch, doing a workshop specifically focused on sales and marketing. Encompassing the Golden Circle and helping budding entrepreneurs figure out there ‘why’, it really helped get to the heart of what the entrepreneurs were doing, helping entrepreneurs go away even more passionate about there idea.

If you have an idea and want to see what you can do with it, get in touch. We’re currently recruiting for our Launchpad program, perfect for anyone who’s in the early stages of starting their business!

Charging for something you love

When you create a business from something that you love doing, it can be difficult to put a price on it. Still, you know that you have to do it and so you price it up. You take everything into account and a number bigger than anything you would ever consider charging is the result.

“I can’t charge that”, you think to yourself, as you start trying to make this number come down, cutting costs wherever you can. Then, when you finally realise you can’t cut anything else, you just stare at the number. You’re still not happy, still not comfortable with charging that much for something that you love doing.

Sound familiar? You are not alone.

When you first start a business it can be difficult to charge what your service or product is worth, and not because people won’t pay – they will!

Instead, the problem lies with your notions of how much what you do is worth, firstly to you and secondly to other people.

Here’s an example. Say you’ve been a gymnast all your life. You’ve grown up doing cartwheels and swinging through hoops, going to classes every week and really making sure that you’re the best at gymnastics that you can be. You didn’t start gymnastics thinking you would be a world famous gymnast, you started because you loved doing it.

Now say you got a chance to do what you love AND get paid for it. You’ve spent a huge part of your life training, probably giving up lots of other things that were less important to you in order to get to where you are. Think about it. How much have you given up or not done because you were so in love with what you were doing that it didn’t even feel like you were missing out? Truth is, you might think that what you do is super easy and not that important in the grand scheme of things, but the truth is that there are very few people with your talent and skills out there, which is why you are needed, and which is why people will pay.

Whatever your gymnastics is, regardless of if it’s coding or music or yoga, remember how much experience and expertise you have in your area. How accomplished you are. And then be confident that you can offer other people that great service that you already know is inside of you – If you’ve gotten this far and think you have an amazing idea for a business then you already know you have talent.

Charge what you are really worth and not a penny less!

“Everyone cooks noodles with boiling water.”

It’s the phrase of the week here at Hatch HQ – and not just because we’re obsessed with noodles.

We’re obsessed with ideas.

Every business is created from a single idea, just like everyone cooks noodles with boiling water. However, it’s how you bring the final dish/ business to fruition that counts.

Imagine trying to cook noodles with cold water, or boiling orange juice. The result just wouldn’t be the same; just like making an idea happen isn’t creating a website, logo and business cards.

To really have a successful business you need to take small steps. Test your idea out. Sell it to family and friends, and most crucially get feedback.

Without feedback in the initial stages, you could miss something crucial about your target market, or identify a need that you hadn’t thought of already.

Identifying these issues in the early stages and carrying out market research is incredibly important, you don’t want to create a product that nobody wants to buy after all. Plus, once you’ve carried out this initial research, you are more equipped to getting stuck into building the foundations of the business.

A business isn’t something that you can create overnight, regardless of what you may have read. It takes time, but the time you invest in the beginning really does make a difference. The time you put into developing your idea and getting to know your customers can be the thing that differentiates you from your competitors which matters as much on day one as it does five years from now.

This is why we have created a brand new programme called Launchpad. Launchpad is our pre-incubator programme that has been created specifically for individuals that have an idea, but haven’t tested it out yet. If you have an idea, no matter how big or small, we want to hear about it.

Interested in finding out more? Contact us and we’ll be in touch!

Hatch Demo Day 15.12.2015

Demo day, together with the graduation ceremony took place at Brixton East on 15.12.15. It was the last day of the 5th Hatch-Incubator programme based in Lambeth.

The room was filled with people from within the valuable Hatch eco-system, as well as people who where interested in the entrepreneurs pitching and in the Hatch Incubator programme.

We were glad to introduce our well known dragons to the audience: Phil Millo from financial services boutique Magpar, Ben Warren from Big Society Capital, Claudia de Oliveira from Senzala, John Citron from J.P. Morgan, seasoned entrepreneur and investor Darrel Sheinman from Gearbox Records and one of our trustees and entrepreneur Gareth Davies.

The dragons were not only rating the performance of the pitches, but rather asking the “right” questions and giving advice to the entrepreneurs. Some good connections and meetings took place in the adjoining networking session. We believe that having the right supportive network is the foundation for good business.

All of our entrepreneurs were well prepared and had 7 minutes to pitch in front of our jury. It was great to see that the past 12 weeks in the incubator program had further developed the enterprises and given them extra confidence.

The pitch was the last step in the program and also a very good opportunity to lay down the foundation for further growth through addressing the actual needs to the dragons. The program was lead by Kate Weiler, who was also in charge of leading the group through the past few weeks.

As one of the participants said: “Although I have been running my business activities for some months, I never thought of myself as a business owner. Through the Hatch Incubator programme, I am truly a business owner with a clear strategy for the future of my business.”

This time, the winner of the Hatch Award was Lee from WildFire. The jury awarded Lee for his marvellous business idea of combining music festivals with adventure festivals. Over the past few years he has brought excitement to more than 6000 people. Lee’s comments about the support of Hatch was a quote from Winnie the Pooh “As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen” – we couldn’t agree more Lee! And the best thing is, the adventure has just begun!

Second place was given to Cemal of Change Please, a social enterprise “doing good, one coffee one at a time”, providing employment to homeless people in London by training and employing them as baristas on the streets of London.

Thanks once again to our partners, who made it possible to have prize money of 600 Pounds + 200 Brixton pounds: 

  • Senzala restaurant
  • Elemental Design
  • Phoenix Café
  • Brixton Pound
  • Magpar
  • Flirtology

The Benefits of One-to-One Business Mentoring

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
– Business Mentor, John C. Crosby

Effective one-to-one business mentoring has been described as the holy grail of the entrepreneurial journey. That might sound theatrical, but when you dig down into the bare-bones of the mentor / mentee relationship you find that great benefits can be achieved through the pairing of experienced mentor and ambitious entrepreneur.

Here at Hatch Incubator in Lambeth, we are very aware how vitally important it is to match entrepreneurs with the mentors who can best support them in growing and developing their enterprise. But, for many entrepreneurs who have never experienced such a service, there remains much uncertainty and confusion about the mentor / mentee relationship; what precisely does the role of a mentor comprise, and what value can an entrepreneur expect to get from the relationship? Justified as such concerns are, they do pose a potential problem regarding the success of the relationship; a lack of understanding can chip-away at the potential benefits, and cause entrepreneurs to under-utilise the opportunity that is being given to them. To help, we will now describe and explain some of the biggest benefits that you can expect to get from working side-by-side with a business mentor!

Perspective

When you become an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get so close to a project that you find it difficult to take an objective standpoint. Issues and problems, which to others might be very obvious, are masked by your proximity to them, as poor practices, and wasted efforts are repeated continuously, with little hope of positive resolution. A good business mentor can provide a fresh perspective, using their wealth of enterprise experience to identify problems, inefficiencies, and barriers to growth, which would otherwise be allowed to fester and prevent meaningful progress. It is the mentor’s distance from the project, which allows this to happen. Having little or no prior knowledge of the business, allows them to make a valuable appraisal, and evaluate in an impartial way the aspects of the business which need to be improved.

Networks

Whilst the most obvious benefits of business mentoring are those which can be achieved through the one-to-one relationship, you shouldn’t overlook the potentially wider-reaching opportunities that can be encouraged through engaging effectively with your mentor. Business mentors have reached their position because they are well respected experts in their field, and this status cannot be achieved without building a network of trusted contacts and useful working relationships.
‘Give and take’ is so important to the mentor / mentee relationship; it is a two-way street, and if you want to gain the trust and confidence of a mentor, you should be ready to demonstrate drive, passion, and willingness to engage in mutually beneficial activities.

Our mentors work with us because it a very worthwhile experience for them. It gives them the opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial muscles, engage with ambitious entrepreneurs, and give back to the next generation of business leaders! John Citron, (VP at J.P. Morgan Asset Management) had this to say about being involved with The Hatch:

“Mentoring at Hatch was a rare instance where I was able to use the skills I have acquired from a career in the financial services industry in a volunteering context. I felt like I had unique skills to offer and also that I had learnt something socially valuable in my professional life, which was not something I had been able to see before. The fact that the program is so professionally organized made it a very convenient experience from a volunteering perspective”

Working well with a mentor can open doors in your industry that would otherwise be very difficult to unlock. Therefore it is incredibly important that you view your mentor not only as someone who can help sustain your business, but can also who can also aid in its continued growth and prosperity.

Self-Assuredness

Every entrepreneur, no matter how experienced, will have times when self-doubt and fear threaten their ability to run their business. This is human nature, but when excessive such feelings can prevent growth, leading to stagnation or decline. This can be particularly true for the first-time entrepreneur; having little experience of enterprise can leave you questioning your every decision, underestimating your own abilities, and fearful of actions that might lead to growth and long-term success.

Here an experienced mentor can be something of a game-changer. Just knowing that you have a successful mentor on-hand can give you the confidence needed to push the business forward; to make the difficult decisions and strive for greater achievement. You should never underestimate the power that such a situation have over you; an experienced mentor can be a firm and constant wind at your back, giving you the confidence needed to push your business in the right direction.

Strategy

The ins-and-outs of business strategies are only learned in one way; through experience. No one is born with the ability to navigate the world of enterprise like an expert mogul; skills and knowledge are learned and built upon through a series of successes and failures. One of the most valuable things about having a business mentor, is that no matter how inexperienced you might be, they have been through it all before. They have learned the lessons which only experience can deliver. They have tried, and failed. They have tried again and succeeded. They have developed knowledge of the marketplace which allows them to strategise in a way which is not yet possible for you as a first-time entrepreneur.

Vanessa (Coco Gourmand) from our second cohort at Hatch Incubator recently summed up this mentor value rather well in a blog post;

“Being matched with my mentor – Audrey Khoo – really helped my decision-making process. I was able to really sit down and flesh-out every single aspect of the business, especially finances which happened to be the most difficult part for me in handling the business. We went through the cash-flow statement, forecast, every single cost and these cold-hard evidence helped me pivot in the right direction. I only had a number of solutions when it came to sustaining and growing the business and the support helped me choose the right one.”

Here at Hatch Incubator in Lambeth we place effective business mentoring at the heart of the entrepreneurial support we provide. It is vital in pushing our startups to achieve development and success! Insightful and dedicated mentoring is much more than support in the practicalities of business development; it is giving a new perspective, it is inspiring entrepreneurs to push harder, it is giving voice to a more successful future and helping to place it firmly within reach!