So what is the Catalyst Centre?
The Catalyst Centre is an initiative developed by Southampton Science Park which provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs, visionaries, and the science and technology stars of the future. Mentoring, business support, and 6 months free space are on offer - all you need is a great business idea, and the drive and determination to succeed. Pitch your idea to a panel of seasoned experts, and you could be the next Catalyst Centre success story.
The Catalyst opportunity is open to any individuals or early stage companies with a science or technology based business proposition; the selection panel will be looking for entrepreneurial flair and a degree of commercial awareness. Businesses accepted into the Catalyst process will be resident in the Innovation Centre at Southampton Science Park and will benefit from being part of the Park’s entrepreneurial community.
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University of Southampton Science Park initiative in association with SETsquared
LIKE TO KNOW WHO'LL BE JUDGING YOU?
Chief Executive, USSP
I came to Southampton Science Park after founding a simulator manufacturing company as a venture of defence technology company, QinetiQ. At the time, I was working as part of the Ventures Team and was involved in assessing technology ideas for their commercial potential. At the Science Park, I am passionate about providing an environment where innovative high-tech businesses can flourish and academic excellence can fuse with commercial know-how to generate innovative new businesses. I am looking forward to being part of the selection process that will see exciting new talent take up residence at the Science Park.
CEO, SEaB Energy Ltd
It’s not just about a really good idea (although that’s a vital part!). Commercial acumen, a committed team of people, and the support and nurturing that helped transform an innovative idea into a commercially successful business have all been hugely important factors in the success of SEAB. My strength as a judge is partly my track record in identifying submissions that have potential to become viable commercial propositions, but also my ability to empathise with the entrants. I've been through everything a Catalyst winner will experience to transform their idea into a vibrant business, and I'm looking forward to sharing my experience with them.
Centre Director, SETsquared
My work with SETsquared involves helping early stage businesses to develop a business plan, supporting them through the process of gaining funding and helping them develop the commercial skills to drive the business forward. It's absolutely key to the development of a first-rate high tech business to have an understanding of the commercial landscape, as well as the technological excellence that drives innovative ideas. Most entrepreneurial people are either business minded, or technically focused but I'm lucky enough to come from a background where equal importance was attached to both. These skills were what got me involved with SETsquared, and are what will help me to identify suitable candidates for the Catalyst Centre programme.
Strategy, Ventures and Portfolio Support Director, QinetiQ
For the last 15 years I have been involved in the commercial exploitation of technology for QinetiQ, developing a portfolio of early stage businesses and ventures spanning a wide range of physical sciences. As Proposition Development Director of the business acceleration team at QinetiQ, I focused on innovation, proposition development, coaching, business mentoring, growth strategy, funding (including AIM flotation), private equity and trade sale exit. Mentoring early stage businesses and facilitating their success has been my passion for many years, and I look forward to lending my experience and expertise to this fantastic Science Park initiative.
CEO of the Serocor Group
Joining the judging panel for the next round of the Catalyst Centre competition is Mike Gawthorne, CEO of the Serocor Group. After graduating in 1997, with a BEng (Hons) in Electronics and Engineering, Mike embarked on a career in technical recruitment. Steady career progression has given him first-hand experience of the challenges of planning and implementing business strategy to achieve success. A passionate advocate of professional operational governance, best practice and investment in people, Mike brings to the Catalyst Centre judging panel his solid business experience, proven success in managing career development, and great enthusiasm for working with entrepreneurs.