Catalyst is an intensive 10-week programme delivered in partnership with The Institute for Ethical AI. It is especially for businesses with a strong tech element.

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About Catalyst

Delivered over an intensive 10-week programme in partnership with The Institute for Ethical AI, this tech accelerator is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs. 

Catalyst runs over the summer months on alternate years. Entrepreneurs are selected to join the programme through an assessed application. Once on the programme, they receive weekly training and regular mentoring to help strengthen the foundation of their business, so they become investment ready. 

Please note that to be eligible, the business must be registered with Companies House and should be led by a Brookes student, staff member, graduate or alumni. Ideally the business should also be based in, or operating from, Oxfordshire. 

2021 Speakers

This programme runs every two years. Past speakers included: 

Tom Lawry

AI for Good in Healthcare - with Microsoft

Tom Lawry, National Director for Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft, talked about AI for Good in Healthcare. 

Dr. Muhannad Alomari

Artificial Intelligence helping people with motor neurone disease – with Rolls-Royce

Dr. Muhannad Alomari talked about Tech for Good initiatives at Rolls Royce, specifically on their Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that helps people with motor neurone disease (MND).

Maria Luciana Axente

The importance of Responsible AI - with PWC

Maria Luciana Axente, AI for Good lead at PWC talked about responsible AI, the relation between ethical AI and good business outcomes and how this can impact every one of us. 

Dr Kush R. Varshney

IBM: Science for Social Good 

Dr Kush R. Varshney, talked about the past 5 years of progress in Tech for Good initiatives at IBM, including tackling poverty and evaluating cancer treatments. 

Victoria Rege

Developing Strategic Partnerships - Graphcore

Victoria Rege heads up Strategic Partnerships at Graphcore, working with key customers and leading Research & Universities AI engagements. Graphcore is a Unicorn in the UK tech world, with a $2.77 Billion valuation. Victoria talked about developing strategic partnerships and advised our cohort on their next strategic step.

Natasha Lytton

Market positioning and developing clear branding with Seedcamp

Natasha Lytton heads up brand, marketing, and network strategy at Seedcamp. Natasha presented the 3rd module in Catalyst, focused on developing clear branding and market positioning. 

Darren Thompson

Sales Masterclass with Spotify

Darren Thompson, Director of Sales at Spotify, joined the programme to provide a Sales Masterclass to our cohort. It was a closed session with the opportunity to ask questions at the end.

Arevinth V. Sarma

Pitching practice with Rolls Royce 

Arevinth V. Sarma, Venturing & Incubation Lead at Rolls Royce R2 Data Labs conducted a pitching masterclass session and provided feedback on the cohort’s pitch decks. 

Jessica Rogers

12 Month Action Plan

Jessica Rogers, business and executive coach, joined the programme in its penultimate week to talk about developing a 12- month action plan after Catalyst. She provided tips and tricks, and answered questions. 

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