Accelerator programme for tech entrepreneurs open for applications

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Workshop

Technology entrepreneurs and start-ups can now apply for Oxford Brookes University’s Catalyst Accelerator - a fully funded intensive ten-week programme to strengthen new businesses and help their founders use new technologies. As well as weekly training and mentoring, the programme gives those involved a chance to win a share of £40,000 grant funding.

Learning and funding opportunities for entrepreneurs

Now in its third year, the Catalyst Accelerator begins on 17 May and runs until 19 July with weekly training days covering topics such as pitching, IP, branding and investment readiness. The 2021 guest speakers include Maria Axente, Responsible AI and AI for Good lead at PwC, Muhannad Alomari, European AI Hub Lead at Rolls-Royce, and the National Director for AI at Microsoft, Tom Lawry.  The Catalyst Accelerator culminates with an Investor Showcase event where the entrepreneurs can connect with other investors, gain support for developing their products and services, and pitch for a share of £40,000 funding.

Director of Enterprise Support at Oxford Brookes University, Lydiah Igweh, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for any entrepreneur to soak up expertise and insight from established business leaders, investors and experts from the tech sector, helping them take their business idea to the next level. As well as developing their business, the programme will help them develop their own personal skills, and new connections with like-minded entrepreneurs from the region.” 

Catalyst Accelerator brought success to 2020 participant

Good Boost - a social enterprise providing therapeutic exercise programmes using technology - was part of the 2020 cohort, and won £10,000 funding from the Catalyst Accelerator. Since then, the company has won multiple awards and secured funding from Innovate UK and Pfizer. Founder, Ben Wilkins, said: “Catalyst gave us the skills we needed to go out and get that application. The support and learning from the programme played a big part in our success in gaining this funding.”

The programme is open to Oxford Brookes students, staff, alumni and entrepreneurs operating in Oxfordshire, and is delivered by Brookes Enterprise Support with the Institute for Ethical AI. For more information and to apply head to brookes.ac.uk/catalyst. Applications close on April 9th 2021.