The idea of Silicon Valley Catalyst is to provide to intensive support tailored to the specific needs of high potential emerging technology companies from the Nordics. The teams will be coached by experienced Silicon Valley and Nordic venture players, who will be sharing their know-how and networks with the companies.
“Not another accelerator or incubator program”
As the concentration of Catalyst is in customized training, coaching and support tailored to meet the companies’ specific needs, the founders describe it as “not another accelerator or incubator program”. The main goal of the program is to help startups to implement the strategies and processes required for successful growth and scale.
“In an increasingly competitive landscape, startups must find new and smarter ways to grow their business. Our overall ambition is to help startups fast-track their development by focusing on getting their first global customers, partners and financing,” says Tor Bækkelund, a partner at StartupLab.
The primary elements of Catalyst are in supporting the companies with business model validation, organization development, operational execution and financing. Companies are selected from broad range of different fields, but the main focus is in information technology, communications and software startups.
Also the timeframe of the program is customized for each company. The length of the intensive program is three months, but there’s no batches of companies selected due to a certain deadline. The timeline for each company is planned according to their specific needs.
“As we have learned throughout the years, each great company follows a unique path, and so we have designed our training and coaching accordingly, based on our experience investing in over 100 companies. We want Catalyst to be customized so that each participant gets useful support in the areas where they need it most.”
All qualified companies will be offered seed funding of $100 000 alongside tailored support for their launch in US. While each company receives funding from the Catalyst partnership, they’ll pay a modest fee of the program based on their required amount of support.
Partnering for growth
While Silicon Valley Catalyst wants to concentrate on customized supporting of Nordic startups expanding their operations to Silicon Valley, they emphasize that they’re not intending to compete with other accelerators and incubators.
“We work with incubators, accelerators and investors to help them take their most promising companies to the next level – specifically to launch and grow their companies in the U.S.,” says Reichert.
The partners in Catalyst are Garage Technology Ventures in Silicon Valley, StartupLab in Norway, and MAD-Partners in Silicon Valley. Nordic One, the tech incubators alliance in the Nordics, is also supporting the program.
The initial partners are now looking for additional partners – Especially venture firms and incubators in Northern Europe.