Taronga Conservation Society

Taronga’s HATCH, the world’s only accelerator program that is led by a conservation zoo, is currently open for applications for its fourth intake. Designed to help ecopreneurs take their idea from vision to reality, the program supports founders who are tackling some of the most pressing environmental and conservation challenges currently facing our planet. Applications close Sunday 28 January, 2024 

In addition to fully immersive masterclasses and workshops, successful individuals and teams will have access to Taronga’s extensive network of mentors and experts to develop investor training and pitch readiness. The program will conclude with a competitive pitch, with the winning team receiving the  
$50,000 HATCH Grant and an opportunity for teams to win the additional $5,000 People’s Choice Award. 

“Taronga is driven by its vision to secure a shared future for wildlife and people,” said Taronga Conservation Society Australia CEO Cameron Kerr AO.  

 “HATCH has brought us closer to making that vision a reality. Together with the support of our generous donors, extensive network of mentors, guest speakers, and subject matter experts, we have nurtured some of the nation’s most innovative minds to address the most pressing environmental and conservation challenges. We look forward to seeing the brilliant ideas that come through HATCH in 2024 and working with ecopreneurs to continue protecting our wildlife and environment.” 

Across more than a decade, Taronga has continued to be a leader in identifying and supporting innovative conservation ideas. In 2011, Taronga launched the Taronga Green Grant. Inaugural winner of the Taronga Green Grant, Take 3 for the Sea, was recently named the winner of the 2023 NSW Sustainable Tourism at the NSW Sustainability Awards. In 2020, the Taronga Green Grant program evolved into the HATCH: Taronga Accelerator Program. Over four years since its launch, HATCH has granted $205,000 in funding, and has connected 17 teams with more than 30 mentors and subject matter experts.  

Conservation ecologist Dr Alexandra Carthey was the 2023 winner of Taronga’s HATCH Accelerator program with her innovative start-up ReHabitat – biodegradable ‘habitat pods’ that provide shelter and protection for ground-dwelling wildlife from predators after bushfires.  

Speaking about the win at the time, Dr Carthey said “The HATCH program has turned my vision into a reality. I’ve gone from concept to a clear business plan and now have a good understanding of how to make ReHabitat work. I’ve also met the most amazing people along the way and now have a fantastic network of experts, supporters, and collaborators that I can draw on to fuel the business.”  

Past HATCH initiatives include edible coffee cups Good-Edi and Xylo Systems, a cloud-based platform that uses AI for tracking and managing conservation programs.  

In 2024, HATCH will run from March to June. More details about the 2024 program and the application process are available here 

HATCH is made possible with the support of Taronga’s donors BridgeLane Group Foundation, Wollemi Capital Group, Alexandra Holcomb, and the incredible mentors, guest speakers and subject matter experts who inspire our wonderful founders, including Tom Allen and Impact Boom. 

About Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Taronga Conservation Society Australia (Taronga) is a leader in the fields of conservation, research, animal welfare, wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. Taronga is a not-for-profit organisation with an absolute commitment to conservation and securing a shared future for wildlife and people. Taronga is the largest contributor to veterinary services in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in NSW, and every year, 1,500 animals are admitted to the Taronga Wildlife Hospitals in Sydney and Dubbo.

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