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Connect Co-founders

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by Startacus Admin

In N. Ireland and curious about building a product that customers will love with a bunch of like-minded, talented people? Read on to find out about Connect Co-founders from Catalyst Inc.


cofounders Aspiring Northern Ireland based entrepreneurs rejoice! Although it can be a tricky path to even find the starting point of your entrepreneurial journey, Connect is on hand to help you do just that.

Connect is a not-for-profit network of business professionals and entrepreneurs dedicated to the creation and scaling of innovative businesses in Northern Ireland. Connect runs intensive business development programmes and encourages the entrepreneurial spirit of NI’s young people, based on a model proven in the University of California.

Connect’s vision for Northern Ireland is to see it become ‘one of the most entrepreneurial knowledge economies in Europe by 2030’, a powerful, world-changing community of entrepreneurs and innovators. They know, however, that some people have the drive and the aspiration, but not necessarily the product, idea or skills to take an idea forward. That is where their Co-Founder programme comes in.

Co-Founder is a programme that brings together talented aspiring entrepreneurs who possess unique skills. They must also have the experience that will help them to build a product and high-potential business. It is split into two parts: Hothouse and Core.

The Hothouse component is free for individuals with or without a product idea, but with no team. Those ambitious to join a team can apply to Co-Founder Hothouse, where, over the course of a weekend, they will meet like-minded people and form teams. Those who can demonstrate that they have built a strong team will then be eligible to move into the Core component. Co-Founder Hothouse will start on September 14 at Catalyst Inc.’s Innovation Centre on Queen’s Road, Belfast. Applications are open until August 8th, 2018.

Co-Founder Core is a completely free 12-week programme that will run every Monday from October 1 to December 10 (with a mandatory introduction session on September 29) in Catalyst Inc.’s Innovation Centre on Queen’s Road, Belfast. Teams will each be assigned a coach to support them every step of the way towards validation of their idea. The coach will help you focus on the customer and solving the problem your idea is targeted at. Applications for Core are currently open until September 14th, 2018.

cic connectThose who are not a perfect fit by the end of either the Hothouse or Core programmes are eligible to become a Co-Founders Alumni. They will receive introductions to partners of Connect who are looking for co-founders for their portfolio companies; they remain eligible to take part in future Co-Founders events; and they have access to a network of entrepreneurs. Therefore it certainly isn’t an all-or-nothing programme.

So, if you would like to be part of a free programme that wants to help you to become the next big thing in Northern Ireland and does not ask for any equity in your resulting business, then Connect Co-Founder is definitely worth a look..


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Published on: 29th July 2018

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