Aiman Hamdouna came to Australia seeking a global experience that would help him make a positive impact in the world. Now, more than a decade after arriving as an international student, he and his brother are doing just that through their innovative startup incubator. Based in Melbourne, Hatch Quarter offers strategic services, networking opportunities and coworking facilities for local and international entrepreneurs.
Q. Tell us about your journey to Australia.
I was born in Saudi Arabia and grew up in Jordan, but I consider myself to be a global citizen. I’ve always had a global mindset and knew I wanted an international education. Travelling in other countries teaches you more than a textbook can.
I didn’t know much about Australia before I came here in 2007. I nearly went to Canada, but I prefer the summer weather here. I wanted to see the beaches and surfing that Australia is known for, so I chose the University of the Sunshine Coast. Their teaching approach really works with students on a personal level. I love Australia. The people and the country.
Q. How did Hatch Quarter come to be?
After we finished our studies, my brother Mo and I moved back to Melbourne where we had first lived. I worked in a range of industries like hospitality and PR to learn about Australian businesses, their outputs and their expectations. I also worked with Mo in his creative agency, Mo Works.
When we saw the issues entrepreneurs, especially immigrant entrepreneurs, were facing in terms of networks, support and the lack of understanding of the Australian business landscape we wanted to help. We already had the creative and technical skills, and through Hatch Quarter we provide space, networks and strategic services founders need to start successful businesses.
Our mission is to bridge the gap between local and immigrant business people and to ignite the local startup industry.
Our mission is to bridge the gap between local and immigrant business people and to ignite the local startup industry. We work with local and international founders, helping them connect the dots. We don’t care about your background. It’s about your skills and ability to deliver the business.
Q. Tell us more about the Hatch Quarter success story.
I’ve led the team to grow the community to over 3350 members. We’ve helped over 1000 entrepreneurs and worked with 20 Victorian and global startups from ideation to incubation and beyond. Hatch Quarter is also one of the five organisations selected to share a total of $1.4 million round 3 grant from LaunchVic to produce the HQ Playbook to guide and inspire early-stage international entrepreneurs through a series of events.
In a short time, we’ve helped many startups launch and grow. We love to see our businesses outgrow the HQ space. When they leave us because of their size, that’s a sign of our success.
Q. Tell us about the HQ playbook.
The HQ startup playbook is a free interactive resource available in five languages. It’s a guide for migrant and refugee entrepreneurs who want to engage with the Victorian startup industry and begin their journey to business success. In response to the HQ Playbook, we have become honoured recipients of the TechDiversity Merit Award Winner 2019 in the Education category.
We love to see our businesses outgrow the HQ space. When they leave us because of their size, that’s a sign of our success.
Q. Describe what your ideal world looks like.
I’d like to see a multicultural world where everyone is contributing with their skills towards advancing humanity.
In a few short years, Hatch Quarter has made a significant impact on the startup ecosystem. Their innovative approach is supporting founders with a global mindset and empowering migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to thrive in business and succeed in a new country.
For more information, visit Hatch Quarter.
Download the Hatch Quarter startup playbook for international entrepreneurs.
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