Frequently Asked Questions
Why Catalyst Campus?
Due to its location in downtown Colorado Springs and its nature as a business incubator, Catalyst Campus is the ideal location. The Catalyst Campus ecosystem has many companies and organization that are centered on space, aerospace and defense, as well as cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. The extensive network of organizations that are tied into the ecosystem provide participating companies a unique experience.
The strong relationships that Catalyst Campus has with not only sponsoring partners C-TRAC and SBDC, but also key Aerospace and Defense organizations not only in Colorado but nation-wide, bring diverse perspectives and connections to the program. Networking and collaboration are key aspects for success for many companies, particularly small businesses. By tapping into this network, companies are provided with a wealth of influential organizations.
How does the program work?
The Catalyst Accelerator is a hyper-intensive business bootcamp designed to take a business from idea to a solid, commercial or government ready business plan. The Catalyst Accelerator does this by immersing participating companies in a rich ecosystem full of industry and government experts, mentors, instructors, and invest. Participating teams will go through a rigorous curriculum with experienced instructors and facilitators that is catered to the needs and business stage of the group. A combination of group lessons and individual team sessions provide a mix of knowledge exchange and meaningful mentorship. Additionally, events throughout will expose the participants to the vast network the Catalyst Accelerator team is tied to fuel key relationships.
How long is the program?
The Catalyst Accelerator will commence with a kick-off weekend at Catalyst Campus January 19 – 21. The Catalyst Accelerator will run for 3 months, with companies having courses every other week, plus additional individual mentoring appointments and events throughout. The Catalyst Accelerator will culminate in a demo day in mid-April 2018.
How much funding do Catalyst Accelerator companies receive?
Participating companies will receive a total of $15,000 in cash, provided to companies at a rate of $5,000 per month for each of the 3 months of the program pending the continuation of participation.
What else does the Catalyst Accelerator provide?
Participants of the Catalyst Accelerator will be able to take advantage of office space at Catalyst Campus, which includes high-speed internet and phone setup, campus concierge, and support services, and access to the state-of-the-art R&D Lab and Space Operations and Cybersecurity Center.
• Dedicated office space at Catalyst Campus for your team during the program including meeting spaces, collaborative areas
• Access to privately funded Space Operations & Cybersecurity Center during the accelerator program
• Technology, industry, and customer mentorship
• Comprehensive accelerator curriculum covering Product & Market Fit, Product Development, Product Test & Evaluation, and Business Development
• Immersion into the Catalyst Campus ecosystem of government, business, non-profit, and investment partners
• Directly engage with Air Force Subject Matter Experts and customers to validate your concept to their mission need
• Accelerated customer discovery - 3 months vs 18 to 24 months
• Demonstration Day to pitch your solution to private investors and government customers
• $5,000 per month of capital investment for three-months
• Perks to include a voucher for up to $25,000 in expert business services like intellectual property law, product marketing, and accounting
• Opportunity for follow-on government funding through Other Transaction Authority (OTA) for further prototype development
When do I need to apply?
Applications for the January 2018 cohort will open on August 21, 2017, and the deadline for submissions will be at 11:59 pm Mountain Standard Time on November 5, 2017.
I already have funding. Can I still apply?
Of course! The Catalyst Accelerator is open to businesses of all sizes, whether you have been bringing in funding, have no funding, or simply need more to do greater things. What we are most concerned with is your understanding of your business, the potential market applications your company or technology fits into, and being able to see that you are on the path toward a solid business model.
My company has been around for a while. Can I still apply?
Yes! All business stage companies are welcome to participate in the Catalyst Accelerator, whether you are a first-time startup, been around for many years, participated in other accelerator programs, or have been a successful serial entrepreneur. The key component is your ability to provide a solution that creates technology for the designated problem statement for the specific accelerator cohort.
Do you accept companies who are from outside the United States?
No, we are not accepting applicants from outside the United States.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the Catalyst Accelerator program?
Admission to the Catalyst Accelerator will be determined by your team’s submitted application to participate, as well as an interview session and deeper discussion about your team, its dynamics, as well as some additional considerations. We are really looking for teams that have the passion and potential for success in the Colorado Springs government and commercial markets, as well as national scalability. The ability to fit your company’s service or product to address the problems or gaps identified for the specific cohort will be a significant consideration to acceptance into the Catalyst Accelerator.
Do I have to be in Colorado Springs to participate?
Full on-site participation at the Catalyst Campus in Colorado Springs, CO is a requirement for participation. To reap the full benefits of the accelerator, it is essential for companies to be completely immersed in the extensive Catalyst Campus ecosystem. The incubator environment of Catalyst Campus provides unhinged access to the network of companies that live here, including both in-house and unannounced visits from mentors. Not to mention, being physically located in the heart of the program helps to foster greater collaboration, innovation, and stronger relationships due to such proximity.
Participation in the accelerator is a large undertaking and one that should not be taken lightly. While we ultimately cannot dictate that you are present 100% of the time, we do expect a high level of commitment from all companies.
Companies accepted for participation in the Accelerator will be notified on December 1, 2017, to allow for ample time to make living arrangements if relocation to Colorado Springs is needed.
Do I have to stay in Colorado Springs after the program?
No! While we would love for your company to stay in Colorado Springs, we understand that it may not be in your company’s plan. We hope that we can equip all of our participating companies with the skills and resources needed to grow and proposer nationally. Our vast network of local strategic organizational relationships provide great resources to the participants and relocating to the local area would simply provide added benefit to your company.
Will you protect my intellectual property? Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won't steal my idea?
While we are excited that you have awesome ideas, they are yours to keep! We are quite busy and taking ideas from others is not in our mission. We will not assume any information you provide in your application as our own and will not steal your proprietary information. Our application does not require you to reveal any of your secrets so do not feel obligated to share if you feel uncomfortable doing so. There will be no NDAs involved in your participation. Our accelerator operating agreement will include a non-compete agreement.
Turn in your application for January's cohort. Applications are due by Sunday, November 5, 2017.