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Catalyst is a unique opportunity for today’s entrepreneurial spirits with early stage science and technology businesses to get the support they need to propel them towards becoming tomorrow’s trailblazers. 

Catalyst is designed to help fast-track innovation-led businesses in the Solent region. It is fully funded for successful applicants and, unlike similar schemes, no stake is taken by any party involved in this programme, so  entrepreneurs retain all equity in their businesses. 

It is an intensive programme which runs over six months, requiring weekly attendance. On completion, you will have benefited from a programme of mentoring and workshop learning with world-class business mentors. You’ll be equipped with the tools and connections you need to drive your business forward. You’ll also enjoy a prestigious business home at Southampton Science Park with opportunities to network with its innovation community for the duration of the programme. 


How it works

The Catalyst programme is run annually commencing in September. It is based at Southampton Science Park.  

Catalyst requires enthusiastic participation in weekly peer group workshops and one-to-one mentoring sessions, so participants need to commit a minimum of two days each week to fully benefit from this entrepreneurial, community-led programme. As with most things, the more you put into it, the more you will get out.  

You can apply for Catalyst at any time using our online application form. These applications are judged by our business mentors and those that have put forward the strongest business case will be asked to attend a selection pitch day. From here, up to ten businesses will be allocated a place to commence the Catalyst programme in September.

Need support? Register for one of our free Entrepreneur Bootcamps to help shape your ideas and experience our approach to helping businesses like yours succeed. 


Accelerated progress for 92 companies.


Secured over £52m early-stage funding for participant companies.


Helped create 240 new jobs for our region.

The mentors

On the panel of the Catalyst programme you will find an expert team with a wide range of commercial expertise and experience. Many have established successful technology businesses themselves and coach from personal entrepreneurial experience.

The coaching team is led by four early-stage business specialists:

  • David Bream is a business mentor for the Science Park’s Catalyst programme and a founder of the hugely successful SETsquared, recently ranked the world’s leading university business incubator for its outstanding contribution to developing the next generation of UK tech entrepreneurs. With a background in technology and business development, he is no stranger to guiding businesses from start-up to global leader.

  • Philip Sharpe is a business coach and a director at Southampton Science Park. After nearly 20 years commercialising technology at QinetiQ, he has been mentoring early-stage businesses at the Science Park for ten years including those in the Catalyst business incubator. His broad experience spans a wide range of technologies and markets.

  • Adrian Braine is the founder of two companies that provide expertise in entrepreneurship, technology acceleration, go-to market strategy and growth for companies working with cutting edge 5G and immersive technologies. In a 40-year career, he has held international directorships, been a SETsquared Entrepreneur in Residence and regularly consultants on digital industrial strategy.

  • Gary Smith is a specialist in early-stage venture funding. Having successfully raised over £50m in capital, he has a proven track record of building high-growth software businesses from start-up through scale-up to initial public offering. As a board level business leader and coach, he works to accelerate the fortunes of a business, drive sales and improve shareholder value.

  • Lucinda Lamont is not only a published author but the Science Park's Business Development Manager, sitting within both the leadership team and on the Catalyst panel. With over 10 years of B2B sales and start-up experience, nationally and internationally, Lucinda has a deep understanding of consultative selling and business development strategy. She is also our cohorts’ main point of contact.  

  • Caryn Morant is the Science Park's Business Support Coordinator, supporting the Catalyst Programme and associated boot camps, as well as the Park's Senior Leadership Team. With over 30 years experience as a PA to C-suite executives, Caryn is well-versed in the inner workings of businesses of all sizes. She is also an integral part of the Park's Leases and desk rentals for our Incubation Centre. 

An extended community of workshop leaders support this core team on the Catalyst programme each year, offering expert guidance on a wide range of specialities including regulation, finance, intellectual property and human resources.

Book a meeting space

We have 11 meeting rooms all of which can be configured in a number of different ways to cater for your meeting or event. Please use the two links below to book a meeting room either as a tenant or a visitor to the University of Southampton Science Park

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