A well-hatched plot

Cre­at­ing a busi­ness model from cheap beer deals


IMAG­INE THE SCE­NARIO: Three young univer­sity stu­dents are en­rolled in the Vic­to­ria Univer­sity Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. They like drink­ing and are run­ning out of money quite fast, so need to find the cheap­est wa­ter­ing holes in Welling­ton. Oh, and they also need an idea for the boot camp.

They start in­ves­ti­gat­ing places with happy hours, 2-for-1 deals, Thurs­day san­gria jugs, drinks spe­cials; the list is end­less. Ta dah! An in­spi­ra­tional idea: one that fu­els their drink­ing as much as it does their com­pany.

What if they could cen­tralise all the spe­cial of­fers in the mar­ket on on a par­tic­u­lar day in their area, onto one plat­form?

Danesh Abeyratne ( 35), Con­nor Fin­layson (25), and Josh Brake (25) are co-founders of this vi­sion, which they have named Hatcher.

They have come up with an app that al­lows peo­ple who need a place to go tonight – but don’t have much money – to see which venues have spe­cials on, and what the deal is.

Gone are the days of frag­mented advertising on Face­book or crum­pled fly­ers: Hatcher's vi­sion is to give cus­tomers one place that lets peo­ple see only ads which are rel­e­vant to the time and place they want to go out.

With their main tar­get mar­ket be­ing stu­dents, there is also an em­pha­sis on be­ing able to con­nect with friends. Hatcher al­lows peo­ple to see which bars and restau­rants their friends are fre­quent­ing.

“At the mo­ment there is no app out there which com­bines the so­cial as­pect of things that are hap­pen­ing around you,” Fin­layson says.


The com­pany is mov­ing at speed. Hatcher was cre­ated at the boot camp which ended in Fe­bru­ary. By the end of the month, the idea was in place and the com­pany was born.

The Hatcher team pre­sented to the panel at Idea­log’s Pitch Cir­cus in April, along­side two other start-up ideas. The prod­uct was launched on May 27 and al­ready has 1104 events in 793 venues listed in Auck­land and Welling­ton.

The three part­ners – and three em­ploy­ees – have now found a home at start-up base Cre­ative HQ, where they were in­vited to set up af­ter the boot camp, and where they are now en­rolled in the Global Growth Pro­gramme.

Head of In­cu­ba­tion at Cre­ative HQ, Alan Hucks, says he has chal­lenged Hatcher to think about an in­ter­na­tional busi­ness model. “If they are able to build a prod­uct that can be used suc­cess­fully in smaller places, it will be able to grow glob­ally in larger cities.”

Fin­layson says ideally Hatcher could be in Europe in five years, with a tool that could also help trav­ellers find the bars and restau­rants be­ing used by lo­cals.

“We want to go all over the world”, start­ing with a scale model for Welling­ton, then Auck­land and later larger and larger cities.

Based on feed­back and in­ter­est they re­ceived from busi­nesses dur­ing tri­als in early May, Fin­layson says they are con­fi­dent they can grow rea­son­ably fast in New Zealand.

“We started the week with 15 test users to find bugs and are now up to 59 users, af­ter they started shar­ing it.”


The co-founders say they aren’t charg­ing for list­ing on Hatcher while the app is still in de­vel­op­ment.

“The idea is that we want to prove what we are do­ing works be­fore we ask any­one to pay,” says Abeyratne.

They are also not look­ing for in­vest­ment at the mo­ment, be­ing so close to their launch date.

“When it comes to the stage to go in­ter­na­tional we may start to do that.”

Abeyratne says the plan is to use ads on Face­book, and posters at the univer­sity to bring more users on board – with the aim of get­ting “a few thou­sand users” within the next few weeks. Af­ter that they will ap­proach more busi­nesses.

Depend­ing on the suc­cess of the cam­paign, sign­ing up to Hatcher will cost venues be­tween $35 and $80 a week, Fin­layson says.

Hatcher is avail­able in iOS for Ap­ple and in the Google Play store for An­droid.

The Hatchet guys (From left to right) Danesh Abeyratne (co-founder), Con­nor Fin­layson (co­founder), Tom Nu­man (lead de­signer), Josh Brake (co-founder,CTO), Sam Etheridge (lead devel­oper)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.