Who We Are
The Catalysts Guild is a Registered Benefit Corporation, a type of business entity which focuses on making a material difference in the world at every step of the decision-making process. We differ from traditional corporations in our persistent pursuit of higher standards of purpose, accountability, and transparency.
Our Mission – What We Believe
If your dream is to start and run a company, then you know it won’t be easy. Getting the best team together, finding the right idea, identifying a viable business model, building your product or service, bringing it to market, then sustaining your company’s growth are all filled with challenges, unknowns, risks, and surprises.
Running a company can be a lonely endeavor. Believers are scarce while criticism, empty ideas, and detractors are many. Operating a business is more rewarding when there is meaningful forward momentum.
All businesses, new and established, experience roadblocks, setbacks, and unique challenges. Addressing issues early, quickly, and effectively will vastly raise the probability of success. The right Catalyst at the right time makes all the difference. A Catalyst can be a business connection, mentor, additional team member, effective distribution channel or revised strategy.
You have a great business idea and a great team, but what catalysts are required for you to scale the way you want?
The Catalysts Guild helps you think Operationally and focus on Distribution to get things done.
Qualified, dedicated, and compelling business ideas, founders and company teams are not just in Silicon Valley. They are all over the world. Thriving markets, customers, opportunities and business partners are all over the world, too.
That’s why the Catalysts Guild works with companies no matter where they are located.
Capital to fund companies is always available. There is an abundant amount of money chasing just a few innovative ideas. What is difficult to find is a great team and a solid leader.
You supply the team, leadership, and promising business model… The Catalysts Guild will help you find the connections, mentors, and money to launch, grow, and harvest your company.
Markets, customers, opportunities and business partners are all over the world. That’s why the Catalysts Guild works with companies no matter where they are located.
Our Method – What Makes Us Different
Starting and operating a successful company is like creating a hit song. The music, lyrics, and performance all need to be perfect and in sync. You might have a great company team, but not the right business idea. That’s why The Catalysts Guild has a Startup Idea Bank with business idea seeds provided by potential investors so the right quality team can focus their efforts on a company concept with a potentially higher success probability.
The business concepts in The Startup Idea Bank range from the detailed to the more general. Some ideas are “paint-by-numbers” with web site URLs and Intellectual Property already reserved while others are basic customer problem statements designed to serve as idea generators for the right company team.
Your partnership with The Catalysts Guild could be the most important factor for the development, launch, and growth of your business. We will work with your team to help make it the best it can be. We will spend many hours together. That’s why before you make your final decision to be part of our pre-accelerator program, you and your team will go through a rigorous thirty-day multi-phase qualification process designed to help us all decide if we want to work together.
No matter where your company team is located, you can be a candidate for The Catalysts Guild Business Pre-Accelerator. The Catalysts Guild has no desire to disrupt your team’s current working environment, lifestyle or personal support system. We live in a connected world with a variety of ways to communicate. The Catalysts Guild will leverage all communication methods available.
The Catalysts Guild has a Global point-of-view. There are many viable markets all over the world so we look for businesses offering services, products and solutions designed to address the needs of customers wherever they are located and help them make the jump to the best markets possible.
The Catalysts Guild pre-acceleration process works with company teams to identify and fix business elements (catalysts) needed to maximize the potential for a successful outcome. Distribution, accounting, legal, web service hosting, software development, manufacturing, and more… can be sourced from all over the world to develop and incubate your company in the most efficient, economical, and high-quality way possible. We call on essential resources where ever they are located with the goal of identifying the best catalyst to accelerate your company quickly and economically.
The Catalysts Guild is Operationally focused. We help build your organization while generating revenues through effective distribution, Business-to-Business product/service synergies, global sourcing and strategic alliances. Great logos, T-shirts, and demo day presentations are important, but The Catalysts Guild focuses on getting each company on the road to sustainable and growing profits.
The Catalysts Guild does not use a one-size-fits-all model. Each company’s needs are different. We use various funding models to match each company’s requirements and determine what type of catalysts are needed at what time based on the individual and unique stage the company is navigating. We use consistent guidelines to select companies then use a flexible funding/valuation criterion along with a flexible development plan tailored to each company.
Ideally every company will be self-sustaining after the initial Catalysts Guild pre-acceleration period but for those that may need to seek additional financing rounds, strategic partners, or acquisition, we will use The Global Startup Marketplace to ensure the maximum number of potential investors, partners, and possible acquirers know about your company when the time is right.
Most important of all… We only work with company leaders and founders who are Catalysts themselves. Both our experience and much scholarly research has shown that a company with a Catalyst in the lead will always succeed. The key traits of a Catalyst are: many years of experience, ability to think outside the box and look for new solutions, an open attitude about working with others to solve problems, unique insights into market needs, and an ability to get things done fast… Just to name a few.
Our Process – What We Do
Since we do not use a one-size-fits-all approach, what we do will be different for each company team. That said, we start with three key priorities when looking at founders and companies to include in our pre-accelerator program:
1) The Team – Your team is the most important contributor to the success of your business. We help you assemble, nurture and manage your team of diverse individuals with a variety of skills, attitudes, and points of view.
2) The Leader – Your team will need a solid leader. A Catalyst. The leader will be someone the team will trust and follow throughout the trying business phases that will unfold over the coming weeks, months, and years.
3) The Idea – Your business service or product idea should be targeted to a viable group of target customers. Your desired customers may be individuals, other businesses, or government agencies but your idea should solve a problem that makes them money, saves them money or is just plain fun.
After the initial 30-day prequalification, each company team should have a solid product/service idea, team structure, leader, potential customer shortlist, lead mentor, and a basic business model concept that shows how the company will generate revenues.
Since the Catalysts Guild takes no fees, we make money based on a small ownership of your company. The exact ownership percentage we receive it totally dependent on your company valuation and the amount of effort and resources we will need to devote to developing you company concept. We only make money if you make money!
For the next three to six months, The Catalysts Guild will work with your company to systematically identify and fix business elements needed to maximize the potential for a successful outcome. You will start with an initial plan of action, but the real difference is how you will work with the Catalysts Guild to modify and improve that plan on a daily basis to better address target customer needs and the realities of the desired market.
The Catalysts Guild will match your team with a lead mentor with many years of experience related to your business. Your lead mentor will help you during your period in our program and call on other mentors when other specific talents and experience are needed.
The Catalysts Guild will work with you to identify your business processes elements that can be outsourced so your team can focus on the unique items where you bring the most value. Why spend time and money on tasks that do not leverage your true value proposition when those tasks can be easily done by others faster and at a fraction of the cost?
Your business idea will be put through a thorough intellectual property audit. If you have important business components that can be trademarked or patented, those legal tasks will be started so your business has the best protection possible and a higher valuation.
At the Catalysts Guild, we Think Operationally. That means we will work with you to strategically focus your priorities, time, and efforts on tasks that will get your product or service to market as quickly as possible. We do this by identifying the timing and type of catalysts required to push companies to the next level. The simplified Operational Thinking formula is:
Team Synergy+ Great Technology + Solid Business Model +
Provable Cash Generation Potential + Viable Distribution Channel +
Clear Future Growth Plan = Success
Then… When your initial Catalysts Guild pre-acceleration period ends, if your company is not self-sufficient and able to fund the next growth phase with its own revenues, we will use one of our funding kits and The Global Startup Marketplace to inform the maximum number of potential investors, partners, and possible acquirers to help you negotiate the arrangements for the next phase of your company’s growth.
Or… Maybe your company will be right for one of the many dedicated full accelerators like TechStars, Y-Combinator, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, DreamIt, and Capital Innovators. These programs put great value on more developed companies with unique offerings that show traction. We can help with your full accelerator application to be sure your acceptance probability is as high as possible.
After you have completed your term with The Catalysts Guild, we offer post-participation support and guidance tailored to your company’s unique needs. Our goal is to be sure you have what is required to achieve the goals you have established for your business.
“In the movies, you want a good story and characters that are honest, but you are also looking for a good director who can lead the ship. That’s how we look at business. Everybody has a great idea for a start-up, and so do their relatives, and they tell me, ‘You gotta build it.’ I say, ‘I have to believe in it.”ACTOR, INVESTOR, ENTREPRENUER
“It’s really rare for people to have a successful start-up in this industry without a breakthrough product. I’ll take it a step further. It has to be a radical product. It has to be something where, when people look at it, at first they say, ‘I don’t get it, I don’t understand it. I think it’s too weird, I think it’s too unusual.”INNOVATOR, SOFTWARE ENGINEER, VENTURE CAPITALIST
“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R & D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.”INNOVATOR, COLLEGE DROPOUT, APPLE COMPUTER CO-FOUNDER
“Software innovation, like almost every other kind of innovation, requires the ability to collaborate and share ideas with other people, and to sit down and talk with customers and get their feedback and understand their needs.”COMPUTER PROGRAMMER, HARVARD DROPOUT, MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER
“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”ENTREPRENEUR, INNOVATOR, AMAZON.COM FOUNDER
“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT, EDUCATOR, PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM RECIPIENT