About Challenger X

The IFS x Hatch ChallengerX incubator is a 6-month residency at Hatch, which has made its mark as the world’s best coworking space in 2021 at the Global Start-up Awards. This residency will provide the ChallengerX finalists with access to events and membership benefits at Hatch, where they will also be mentored by international experts from Hatch and the IFS mentor pool. 


The Incubator will focus on improving Predictive Modelling systems capable of maximizing the readiness of organizations in the service industry to face unforeseen circumstances, such as natural disasters. Workforce composition and location, overall impact on a customer’s assets and readiness factor are all elements of concern to IFS customers, and the participants will be providing a solution that addresses these concerns as best as possible utilizing the AI and machine learning talent in Sri Lanka.

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Problem Statement

 During the first three months of 2022 alone, natural disasters caused economic losses of US$32 billion worldwide. With climate challenges forecasted to increase, organisations are required to quickly mitigate for natural disaster-led challenges to maintain business continuity and operational excellence with minimal disruption.


IFS is looking at building a comprehensive event-modelling suite, which allows clients to define one or more events and view the resulting workload as well as model the workforce they would utilize to address this workload. Events could include everything from earthquakes to wildfires; anything that affects a geographical area where an organization’s assets are deployed.


The overall requirement of this challenge can be reduced to:


Given a map of my service area, can I model an event of any kind and determine the best response strategy for it?


The expected outcome should be a fully optimized, comprehensive analysis of a given workforce scenario against an event, recommending a course of action of how best to be prepared to face it.

For a detailed outline of the ChallengerX problem

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  • 1

    Nov 2022

  • 3

    Late Nov 2022

  • 4

    Early Dec 2022

  • 4

    Dec 2022 - May 2023

Demo Day - May 2023

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The ChallengerX teams with the best solutions will stand to win from a stipend and prize pool of Rs.3,000,000 along with other exciting benefits including:
  • Prize of Rs.1,500,000 for the the winning solution as determined by advisory panel and IFS product experts 
  • Stipend for startups for the duration of the incubator
  • Hatch coworking membership for 6 months with access to exclusive events and Hatch community partnerships
  • Coaching and mentoring from a world class panel of AI/ML experts
  • Directly work with product experts from IFS
  • PR and Social Media features

Board of Advisors


The program is looking for teams of no more than 4, consisting of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning enthusiasts, UX Designers and SEs, Web front-end developers (Front-End heavy), Backend developers for the server, Individuals experienced in building on spatial databases, large-scale spatial maps, and GIS and those with development experience with open-source geospatial software or ESRI is preferred.


At Hatch and IFS we believe in culture add over culture fit. We provide equal opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, marital status, or other. We proudly uphold a zero-tolerance policy.

About the partnership

Hatch and IFS, are collaborating on a new initiative to fast-track the development of open innovation through the startup community by elevating them up the global value chain. The incubation program aims to drive innovation within Sri Lanka’s growing technology industry by providing a new opportunity for entrepreneurial talent. With a proven commitment to the industry and over 20 years of operating in Sri Lanka, IFS is dedicated to investing in the Sri Lankan technology landscape. Together with Hatch’s record in Open Innovation in Sri Lanka and IFS’s support, ChallengerX is the perfect environment for collaboration, success, and innovation.
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The digital-tech-led industrial revolution has changed the way enterprises approach innovation. Traditionally, companies invested heavily in siloed and secretive R&D and innovation capabilities. Enterprises with big budgets were better at innovating. In the early days, startup entrepreneurs travailed for years to build successful companies, and there were more failures than successes. Closed innovation usually encounters some challenges. It consumes far too many resources and time, and solutions sometimes fail to satisfy market expectations because developers are far removed from the real world, where market upheavals are frequent and rapid.


Open innovation emerged as a solution to these problems. Now, companies do not need to reinvent the wheel and can access more market information to build better, more relevant solutions. Open innovation has significantly improved the speed of innovation, productivity and success rates for companies worldwide. Also, governments use open innovation to engage tech companies to build better solutions for public sector infrastructure maintenance and disaster management.


With purpose-driven open innovation, Sri Lanka can fast-track tech industry growth, giving large companies and startups better opportunities to build successful global solutions. And the Hatch and IFS partnership is a perfect match to promote the concept of purpose-driven open innovation.