Catalyst start-up incubator opens for 2016 applicants

The University of Southampton incubator is looking for the next wave of entrepreneurs

Catalyst, the science and technology start-up incubator created by the University of Southampton Science Park, is calling for its next group of early-stage companies to apply.

Now in its fifth year, successful applicants get six months of free business coaching, seminars and residency at the Catalyst Centre. They will also have access to the scheme's entrepreneurial network, receive a 1,000 cash injection and links to further funding. No equity is taken from start-ups.

Peter Birkett, CEO of the University of Southampton Science Park and founder of Catalyst, said: "We have come a long way since our initial idea for Catalyst back in 2012. Such is its success that we have invested in a new brand, designed to cement Catalyst's position as a world-class business support programme.

"My team and I look forward to welcoming the next set of inspirational entrepreneurs to the Science Park later this year and I would encourage all those with a science or technology-led business idea to get involved."

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The six 2015 graduates of the Catalyst Programme went on to raise over 700,000 in funding between them, Birkett added. Earlier this month John Lewis launched its own accelerator scheme, offering five start-ups up to 100,000 funding.

"Being part of the Catalyst Programme has propelled my business forward in a way I couldn't have previously anticipated," said Adam Kingdon, 2015 Catalyst winner and founder of Utonomy.

"Spending over six months embedded in a community of determined start-ups, all with very different ideas but very similar goals, has been absolutely brilliant.

"This, alongside the coaching I've received from mentor Phil Sharpe, the support of Peter Birkett and the relationships I've built with the wider Catalyst community, has proved invaluable. I came into Catalyst with an idea that was just a few months old; I now have a solid value proposition, a great team and 400,000 worth of funding to push it to the next level. I'd encourage anyone thinking of taking the leap into entrepreneurship to apply to the Catalyst Programme today."

Companies can begin their application here, and they do not need to have a 'fully-fledged' business to do so. Instead, they must have a "unique value proposition and the determination and business acumen to see it to fruition."

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