Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Catalyst Accelerator?
Our program is unique among accelerator programs due to its co-location in Colorado Springs with Air Force Space Command. By locating the accelerator on the resource-rich Catalyst Campus in proximity to the customer, the customer discovery process is significantly reduced, from an average of two years in the typical government market to less than three months through the Catalyst Accelerator. Participating companies are designated an Air Force liaison, a Boulder SBDC entrepreneurial mentor and a Colorado PTAC government contracting mentor who will take the time to ensure your success throughout the program milestones.
Why did other Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses join the Catalyst Accelerator?
“We joined the Catalyst Accelerator to get a crash course on dual-technology (commercial and government) business development strategies and learn as much as possible about Air Force customer needs. We were not disappointed! The accelerator content and discussions with the other cohort companies created a fantastic synergy and environment for our growth.” – Gareth Block, CEO and Founder, Third Insight, Inc., Austin, TX
“We recognized that access to the defense market would complement our commercial activities and substantially accelerate development, but had struggled to make in-roads. The insight and connections into this space that Catalyst Accelerator has provided have been invaluable!” – Markus Novak, President and Founder, Novaa, Columbus, OH
Who should apply to the Catalyst Accelerator?
The Catalyst Accelerator is a defense and national security industry accelerator, headquartered on the Catalyst Campus for Technology and Innovation in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each Catalyst Accelerator Cohort has unique and specific focus areas determined by our partner organizations. Startups and Small Businesses that match the focus areas for that specific cohort should apply to the accelerator.
If you have funding or not, the key component is your ability to provide a solution that creates technology for the designated problem statement for the specific accelerator cohort. The selection process is focused around determining the best strategic and technological fit between the applicant, Space Capital Colorado and our government stakeholder. Only United States small business concerns are eligible to submit applications to the Catalyst Accelerator.
How to apply?
Applicants should apply through the application form on our website here.
Each Startup or Small Business will submit an application through our website. Applicants who pass the initial screening will be invited to a 30–minute phone call with members of the Catalyst Accelerator Investment and Program team. After the phone call, applicants that meet basic technical, financial and team requirements will be invited to participate in a Pitch Event hosted at Catalyst Campus. If your team is for some reason is unable to participate in the pitch event in person, we can plan to conduct your pitch by Video Teleconference. After the pitch event, Space Capital Colorado will select the applicants that have the best strategic and technological fit for our program and invite those teams to join the Catalyst Accelerator program.
What are the benefits of the Catalyst Accelerator?
Collaborate with both Government and Commercial Stakeholders
Work hand-in-hand in a collaborative environment where participants will have access to Government and Commercial Stakeholders in the Catalyst Campus ecosystem.
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.
No Equity Requirements
The Catalyst Accelerator does not take equity from Startups and Small Businesses. The Catalyst Accelerator uses a “Success Fee” investment model.
What are the Minimum Requirements for Start-Ups, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses?
- Startup or Small Business focused on technology relevant to the NewSpace Industry
- Seed Startups to established Small Businesses
- Ability to travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado every other week to attend residential curriculum
What is the Catalyst Space Accelerator Program timeline?
The Catalyst Accelerator is a tailored 12-week accelerator program where they get access to education, mentorship, and workspace to develop, test and improve their businesses. At the culmination of the program, we will facilitate a Demo Day and invite Government and Commercial investors, NewSpace champions, industry experts, venture capitalists, angel investors and the media to attend.
Do we need to be in person at the Catalyst Campus for the Duration of the Program?
Yes. The Catalyst Accelerator is a semi-residential program which does not require participants to be in–person during the entire duration of the program. Participants will travel to Catalyst Campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado every other week for workshops, mentoring and in–person customer engagement. On the virtual weeks, participants will continue to conduct customer engagement and attend virtual meetings and workshops.
What is the cost to attend the Catalyst Accelerator?
Participation in the Catalyst Accelerator is free, and we do not require any equity. All participating companies must cover their transportation and accommodation costs to attend the residential curriculum weeks.
Catalyst Accelerator Investment: Our program has standardized funding terms. Each participating company receives $15,000 for 5% success fee up to $50,000 for three years after the completion of the program on contracts awarded as a direct result of participating in the Catalyst Accelerator program. Many of our participating companies use this to cover the transportation and accommodation costs to attend the residential curriculum weeks. At the conclusion of the accelerator program, Space Capital Colorado, a Catalyst-endowed accelerator fund may further invest in any of the accelerator companies if they show potential. Additionally, the Catalyst Accelerator provides access to approximately $25,000 worth in services through mentorship, curriculum, tools, and office space.
Cohort Size: The Catalyst Space Accelerator accepts eight companies in each cohort.
Education Program: The Catalyst Space Accelerator program provides participating companies with the opportunity to be mentored on both business topics and technology-specific topics relevant to the NewSpace vertical. We have partnered with Boulder SBDC to bring an Economic Gardening based curriculum to each accelerator cohort. The curriculum supports Founders with strategic planning and customized market research to overcome market and growth barriers. The program is not a series of instructional courses, but conversations with subject matter experts.
Office Space: The Catalyst Space Accelerator provides participating companies office space, collaborative workspace, and meeting areas within the Catalyst Campus ecosystem during the 12–week program. The Collaborative Workspace at Catalyst Campus allows companies to easily learn from each other and engage with stakeholders in our Entrepreneurial EcoSystem.
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!