Innova Memphis, the most active startup investor in the Southern United States according to Crunchbase, and Hatcher+, a unique, data-driven venture firm, have announced a partnership to co-invest in startups accepted into the Memphis, Tenn., accelerator collaboration known as the Summer of Acceleration, now in its third year.
Led by Memphis entrepreneurial partners Epicenter, Start Co., and Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the Summer of Acceleration is a 100-day intensive, hands-on program that speeds the development of high-tech, high-growth startup companies, focused on four regional industries of strength: Home Services, Medical Device, Supply Chain and Logistics, and AgTech.
The partnership will provide up to $250,000 in additional capital to portfolio companies in those programs, as well as allow the accelerators to use Hatcher’s proven AI-based platform to assist in assessing candidates and tracking performance. Portfolio companies will also have access to the extensive Hatcher+ network, enabling soft landing across different geographies.
Hatcher+ has partners all over the world, including Blue Chilli in Australia, Fashion Technology Accelerator in Milan and Blue Startups in the U.S. By bringing Innova into the network, Hatcher+ will now be able to invest in companies from market-leading programs such as ZeroTo510, a Medical Device accelerator that is ranked in the top 25 programs in the country.
“Hatcher+ choosing to engage with Memphis startups is great recognition of not just the momentum, but also the quality of our startup ecosystem,” said Jan Bouten, Partner at Innova. “I believe it’s yet another endorsement of our system-wide strategy to focus on regional industry clusters, allowing us to surround our startups with talent, capital, and customers.”
“We are very excited to partner with Innova. Not only do they invest in some of the best vertically focused programs in the U.S., but their focus on regional industries of strength allows us access to the best early-stage opportunities in those sectors,” said Wissam Otaky, Partner at Hatcher+. “Memphis is a hidden gem of an ecosystem for these industries, and with strong capital support, entrepreneurs are given a fantastic opportunity to build their business on solid foundations.”
Prior to joining Hatcher as Group CFO and now Partner, Wissam served as the CFO of MarkaVIP, at the time the Middle East’s top fashion & lifestyle ecommerce business. Wissam previously spent 5 years with Dubai Contracting Company in multiple roles, including working as the company’s Business Development Manager and Group Financial Advisor, handling multiple acquisitions and greenfield projects, and leading the company’s efforts in Jordan and KSA. He co-founded 2 startups early on in his career in Montreal, Canada and is now is an active angel investor and advisor to startups. Wissam holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University with a double major in Finance and Economics and a minor in Statistics, which he earned with first class honors in 2002, and has been a chartered financial analyst since 2006.
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