Fast tracking growth
On 6th and 9th September, the Science Park welcomed 40 entrepreneurs from across the South, all hoping to be awarded a place on the sought after Catalyst programme, a business accelerator conceived to support innovative, high potential businesses here in the South.
Following introductory presentations, each applicant had just 5 minutes to pitch to, and field questions from, two teams of judges who then had the unenviable task of deciding which of these had the greatest potential to grow into highly successful companies once armed with the advice and support to do so.
Catalyst’s Gary Smith commented: “Interest in Catalyst is considerable so it’s a hard task even to whittle down applications to this stage, let alone choose the ten companies that will begin the programme later this month. Over the last two days we’ve heard presentations from such an array of sectors including artificial intelligence to coffee grinders. Once the judges have made their final decisions we will be revealing which entrepreneurs will be joining us here at the Science Park for their Catalyst journey.”
Catalyst is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs with an early stage business to fast track their vision. The programme runs twice a year and is fully funded for successful applicants. On completion, participants will have created an investment-ready Business Plan, Management Team Plan and Funding Plan and will have benefitted from high-level one-to-one mentoring, weekly peer group workshops with world class business leaders and two business review panels.
An entrepreneur who completed the Spring/Summer Catalyst programme commented on the specific benefits that Catalyst afforded his business. He said: “We received great value in terms of redefining the value proposition, understanding the real needs in terms of management team, refining the business model and the investment strategy and placing the business elements in order to define the strategy and prioritise.
The programme mentors and workshop leaders were great, providing amazing insights from their experience helping us to avoid common pitfalls and taking into consideration new tactics allowing us to better define our strategy and implement it. Overall it was a great programme and we highly recommend it to other startups.”