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Catalyst and Techstart offering startup co-founders the chance to win £10k proof of concept grants

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by Startacus Admin

Techstart Catalyst 1.

Participants in Catalyst’s Co-Founders programme offered opportunity to avail of a £10,000 proof of concept grant from Techstart to help validate their business idea.

We'd recently reported on the call-out for applications for the Catalyst Co-Founders programme and now there's more good news for anyone who is thinking about applying, thanks to a collaborative new partnership between Catalyst and Techstart Ventures.

General 3They will be offering 10 entrepreneurial teams who take part in Catalyst’s Co-Founders programme the chance to each win a £10,000 proof of concept grant. Receiving a proof of concept grant will help new start-ups validate their business offering and set them on the path to commercialisation.

Co-Founders is a unique entrepreneurship programme which helps ambitious individuals in Northern Ireland to develop a new product innovation focused on science, technology or engineering. Teams are helped to validate their ideas, test them in the real world and develop their businesses.

Techstart is a leading investor of seed capital supporting early-stage businesses and also runs a proof of concept grant fund; a £4.5 million pre-commercial grant awarding fund that supports entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland with grants to explore the viability and commercial potential of an innovative concept.

The new partnership is designed to support entrepreneurs who are validating their business concept through Co-Founders. Proof of concept grants will help fund these early teams and test key aspects of their business idea.

Following a competitive pitch process, 10 teams are expected to be awarded a £10,000 proof of concept grant from Techstart.

Fiona Bennington, Head of Entrepreneurship and Growth at Catalyst said: “Catalyst and Techstart share a common vision to encourage entrepreneurship and grow the start-up ecosystem, so we’re very excited to be working in unison to support local entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of their journey.

“This combined approach, with Catalyst’s team working alongside an experienced investor who has already backed many of the innovative new businesses that were formed through Co-Founders in previous years, creates even greater potential to have a positive impact and nurture more sustainable start-ups in Northern Ireland.”

Kathleen Garrett, Head of Proof of Concept Grants ­at Techstart Ventures, said: “We are delighted to have partnered with Catalyst on their Co-Founders programme. The partnership brings together strong teams, exciting ideas, and grant funding in a supportive environment. This will provide an improved experience for entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland who are at the earliest stage of their journey and help them accelerate. We are excited to see what will emerge from this partnership”

Co-Founders provides the opportunity for anyone with an entrepreneurial spark to come together and co-found a start-up in a supportive environment. Since launching in 2017, the programme has delivered eight cohorts involving 611 people who have formed 134 teams. Over a third of the teams formed are continuing to work on their start-up and have raised £3 million in funding.

If you're interested in applying,  you’ve got until Friday 16th December 2022 to do so - best of luck to all who apply!

And if you’ve got an idea and happen to be a current student or member of staff at NWRC or recent alumni from the college, the IDEATOR Awards would be well worth a look. There’s a prize pot of £4k on offer, to help you develop that innovative business idea!



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Published on: 30th November 2022

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