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Catalyst

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Get serious and turn an idea into a live venture through fortnightly sessions September to December. Suitable for all types of innovations, this program will help you refine your vision, improve the business model, and deliver a plan and pitch to investors.

Catalyst is a proven program for growing ventures. Catalyst leverages in the expertise, experience and tools that enable growth and development. Each fortnightly Catalyst session features guest presenters, mentors, peer action-learning discussions and allocated time for you to immediately apply your learning to your venture. This is all supported by an online platform for sharing questions, tips and tools.

Apply for Catalyst now

Express Interest or ask Questions – contact learning@pollinators.org.au or call (08) 9965 5371

Catalyst is in it’s fourth year, and in 2016 is sponsored by: Regional Development Australia Mid West Gascoyne and Mid West Development Commission

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Who is Catalyst for?

Catalyst is for organisations, ventures or projects teams based in Geraldton or the Mid West who are committed to growth and development. Catalyst focuses on early-stage ventures and startups. See our GUIDE to see how Catalyst fits with other programs and services.

If you have an ‘idea’ and want to join Catalyst, then you must be prepared to devote significant time to turning it into a viable venture: this is not about abstract learning. By the final Catalyst session in December, you will have a business plan and ready to ‘pitch’ to potential investors and partners about the direction, potential and actions needed to grow your venture.

Here are the types of statements that may resonate with you, and mean you are ready for Catalyst:

I know there is potential and demand for my idea, but I don’t have have the resources, team and skills required to execute.

Our growth has been ‘organic’, but we want to take it to the next level. That means: structure, planning, and probably some more partners and investment.

I suspect there are peers and experts out there who could guide me, but I just haven’t accessed them yet.

Catalyst will create the conditions for your venture to grow through a unique ‘action-learning’ environment that is confidential, collaborative and value-packed.

 

What types of people and organisations is Catalyst for?

Catalyst is suitable for all types of organisations. You can read more about Catalyst in the context of growth stage and our other programs here.

You can read profiles of past participants on our blog, and watch the video.

Catalyst participants tend to share the following characteristics:

  • DRIVEN — the people and organisation behind the ventures are motivated, and there is a significant issue, market demand or opportunity they must address,
  • INNOVATIVE — there is a sense of novelty, newness or there is a creative ‘leap’ about what is being done, and how,
  • SOCIAL — there is a willingness to engage with others, the community to learn and develop,
  • SUSTAINABLE — there is a desire and opportunity for the venture, project or enterprise to not just be a ‘one off’, but to persist over time.

Catalyst has previously supported:

  • Solo entrepreneurs growing their venture through expanding their team and taking on investment,
  • Social enterprises or sustainable projects being developed by NFPs and community groups,
  • Creative industries including artists, arts organisations,,
  • Digital or Tech “startups” where there is a clear demand, solution, but not yet the business model to realise the potential,
  • Government initiatives that are proposed as sustainable ventures, and need some ‘incubation’ and ‘piloting’ before launch.

 

What are the benefits of participating in Catalyst?

  • Insights and expertise through guests, mentors and peers,
  • Structure and commitment through whole day sessions each fortnight to devote to your venture,
  • Solid foundations for growth with each session resulting in a concrete outcome – marketing strategy, cashflow forecast or product design,
  • Build momentum through involving your team, stakeholders, peers and investors in creating and delivering the vision,
  • Learn fast in a safe environment where questions are welcome, and you can learn from people with
  • Access resources whether it’s mentors, investment, software, networks, or insights and information.

 

What are the features of the Catalyst program?

  • 6 sessions of support from peers and experts,
  • Guides, tools and resources tailored to your needs,
  • Online forum for sharing and discussion,
  • Facilitated action-learning approach to ensure relevant to your needs,
  • Feedback and coaching to enable your learning and success,
  • Business planning to design and communicate the next steps for your venture.

 

What’s the timing?

Catalyst will consist of 6 sessions of 8 hours duration, every second week. There are also additional sessions and opportunities that we will recommend.

Each day-long session will typically include:

  • Check-in and review of learning from last session,
  • Guest presenters who are expert in their field, and in supporting early-stage ventures,
  • Practical exercises, tools, templates and guidance from mentors,
  • Action-learning sessions with small groups of other participants,
  • Time to work on your plans and venture, solo or with a peer, coach or mentor.

Planned program dates are:

  1. Thursday 29th September
  2. Thursday 13th October
  3. Thursday 27th October
  4. Thursday 10th November
  5. Thursday 24th November
  6. Friday 9th December

There will be one additional one-on-one session scheduled with each participant during that time

 

What does it cost?

Catalyst is amazing value to get benefits in weeks that may otherwise take you years, or cost thousands in consulting fees, training courses or resources.

$1250 + GST for Pollinators members

$1500 + GST for non-members

There are several additional options for paying:

  1. You can pay in instalments,
  2. You can crowdfund – Pollinators and our partners will support your efforts,
  3. You can apply for a grant – Pollinators can give you details of local and state funding options.

Limited in-kind and financial support is available to overcome significant barriers to participation, and you can request that support when completing the application form.

 

Apply for Catalyst now

Express Interest or ask Questions – contact learning@pollinators.org.au or call (08) 9965 5371

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