How Katapult Accelerator Gets Its Startups


With over a thousand applications from startups across the globe for every program they run, Katapult’s accelerators are some of the world’s most highly regarded programs.

Katapult’s programs are sought after not only due to its valuable network of investors, mentors and partners, but also for their intense 90-day impact accelerator program delivered in a unique yet highly impactful digital format.

What makes Katapult’s programs stand out? How do they deliver value differently? What tools do they utilize to help startups scale, profit and deliver impact faster?

And why is ‘investor readiness’ module given a full 1/3 of the three-month program?


The Client 

Katapult is an investment company, focused on highly scalable impact tech startups. They currently have 50M USD under management, and have invested in 138 companies across 35 countries. 

Since 2017, Katapult has conducted 9 flagship accelerator programs and 3 corporate accelerators. Katapult’s accelerator programs are well known across the globe and is a leading player in impact tech in both the Nordics and Africa.

Building an accelerator program like no other

“When we first started, our early programs were quite similar to what was considered a 3-month accelerator program at the time,” said Program Director Marcus Hølland Eikeland. 

“We had a big focus on growth hacking and growth marketing, some training modules here and there, some KPI sessions to get the teams to increase sales – it was really like a growth program centered on marketing and sales”. 

However, Katapult’s programs have evolved over the last two years with a new way of delivering value to the companies.

“The focus is now less on growth hacking and growth marketing and more on the foundation – like strategy and management, business development and investor readiness. The top three elements delivering the most value in the program are business development, impact, and investor readiness, and of those – investor readiness is the most appreciated module in the program according to the feedback we’ve gotten from the cohorts,” Marcus revealed. 

“One of the major hurdles that startups face is understanding fundraising on a deeper level. We see that investor-readiness is extremely important for the founders and we will continue to keep the module as a vital component of the Katapult’s accelerator programs.”

The Investor Readiness module was brilliant and it was really the core of the program for us. Right after the program, we closed an investment deal and what really secured it for us was the fact that we had a pitch deck around fundraising that matched up with our business plan. It gave the investor confidence that we knew what we were doing, that we had a clear plan which we had delivered on in the past. We have a new mindset around fundraising,  we’re more confident when talking to investors, we’re clearer in our roadmap and there’s definitely a shift in investor meetings and how they’re handled.

Roisin Mc Cormack

Co-Founder & COO

Arming companies with a framework

around the scale-up journey


While there is an abundance of resources out there about the startup journey, startup founders often find it difficult to sift through all the noise and bits of info to make sense of it all.

The Investor Readiness module is built around the Scale Up! Strategy Simulation, which puts the founder’s journey into perspective and gives it a framework – a bigger picture of the entire landscape and how your company can navigate through it.

The fundamental principles of Scale Up! is built on real-world experience and insights. Every single element of the simulation draws inspiration from real life events and investors. The deeper complexities and challenges are based on hundreds of investor meetings, fundraising projects and work across the entire ecosystem.  

“I really liked the gamification aspect of the Scale Up! Simulation – and a lot of the exercises we did, like the Long-Term Funding Roadmap – are not new ideas – but it puts a framework on things you already know, which is good for clarification and getting people on the same page. This was important to me as we now have the same framework to discuss things around,” said Vijay Bopal, founder of Inclusive Energy.

“For example, we get how the funding landscape works conceptually, but when you put a common language and structure around it, you can focus on them better. We’ve basically changed our long-term funding roadmap because of our experience on the Investor Readiness module – it has fundamentally changed how we go about growing the business,” he added.


The Scale Up! Simulation accurately represents the funding landscape – it represents what you’ll be confronted with in raising money, thinking about investment decisions, identifying investors and how you onboard that finance in spite of all the complications that are associated with some deals. What was striking to me was how the simulation accurately represented the “game” of fundraising. 

Timothy Bouley


Creating a powerful learning experience through gamification

The Scale Up! Strategy Simulation experience gives the participants a realistic immersion into the challenges they will come across in the real world – the types of investors they will meet, the problems that will come their way and how they can create a stronger strategy moving forward.

The focus wasn’t on learning passively – but learning by doing.

“The overall experience is quite different from most of the other programs out there, which are usually tedious, boring lectures around fundraising. This is extremely action-oriented, concrete and demanding – all things which help to accelerate learning,” said Katapult Program Director Marcus.

“At first, people are blown away with how little they know and get a bit discouraged in Week One, but by the end of the four weeks, the teams come up with a really well thought-through fundraising strategy that they didn’t have in the beginning.” he added.

Participant in the last cohort and founder of ACUA Ocean Michael Tinmouth went though that exact journey as he worked through the Investor Readiness program.

“In the beginning, I was struggling for an hour or two trying to figure out what the value of this was. However, once it clicked – it was perhaps the most important single moment in ACUA Ocean’s history, apart from winning a million dollar grant for the business to build the prototype, because the experience had been transformational. It really changed the whole narrative and my perspective,” he said.


 “The Investor Readiness part of the program and Scale Up! Simulation really added a lot to my depth of understanding of how funding rounds can progress for a successful business. The understanding of the Funding Roadmap and the funding journey, how we can build a scale-up story and strategy and how we should interact with investors, that was the most useful and impactful for us.”

Matthew Bray

Brayfoil Technologies



The Katapult accelerator programs had always received glowing reviews but the last one which ran in the last quarter of 2021 really raised the bar.

“We’ve never received such great feedback before. We asked the companies if they would actively recommend the program – and the response was that 100% of them would. It was quite overwhelming, and we’re extremely humbled by that feedback. It is a sign that we’re providing value, not just from the program but through the overall network.” said program director Marcus Hølland Eikeland.

Many of the participating startups have now secured funding and are moving forward with a far more solid investor strategy than they had started the program with. They are also incorporating the tools and insights that they had picked up throughout the course of the program into their day-to-day processes.

“We’ve put what we’ve learned into practice with our investor meetings and it’s absolutely transformed the conversation with investors. It has helped us think strategically overall and has helped us get in a stronger position to go out for investor outreach than we would ever have been without the program. The general strategy, the networking elements and the investor outreach has been completed transformed by Katapult and by our experience with Scale Up! and the Investor Readiness program,” Michael Tinmouth reflected.

Facilitator Reflections by Christian Rangen

Working with some of the best and brightest ocean and climate startups around the world is a true privilege.

These are the companies that will build floating solar plants around the world, create next generation seafood, turn seaweed into a multi-billion industry and create the software solutions that powers the energy transition.

Historically, this has been a space where investor funding has been hard to access and unicorns have been few and far between.

This is changing.

Globally, the trend is clearly showing more investor funding flowing into impact, climate tech and ocean startups.

Yet, this also means investor expectations are on the rise. Expectations to the quality of startups, expectations to value creation and exits and overall, expectations to the ‘investor readiness’.

This is exactly why we are so thrilled to design and run this 30-day Investor Readiness Module and the 3 (very intense) day Scale Up! simulation.

As a long-time investor, advisor and faculty member, the simulation is without a doubt the best way to ‘expedite learning’ amongst the participants.

During the Scale Up! simulation we can package a wide number of elements, all of them replicating genuine, real-life challenges faced by startups raising money in the impact space.

  • What is your exit strategy?
  • What is your target investor return multiple?
  • What are key trends in your exit landscape and how do they affect your strategy today?

The challenges faced in the simulation are all designed to reflect and replicate real life challenges that early-stage companies can expect to face as they grow.

  • Analyzing term-sheets
  • Designing complex investor syndicates
  • Mastering power questions to shift the power dynamics between a founder and investor

These are just some of the topics covered.

As facilitator, scale up coach and mentor I get a chance to study founders’ grasp, understanding and mastery of these topics.

No other teaching/learning tool at our disposal gives us the same insights.

Working with the Scale Up! simulation at Katapult is both impact, learning, mastery and investor readiness; all rolled up into one.

Best of all; in months and years after completion, I can clearly see the impact of the simulation and the tools on the Katapult founders around the world.

– Chris

“The program was very tailored to what we needed –  it was very actively collaborative and learning focused. I was really impressed by the usability of the content and how much it broadened our view of the fundraising process and our investor-readiness – beyond what the other accelerator programs had done before. It was far more interactive and usable and changed the narrative of how we spoke to investors.”

Matthew Bray

Co-Founder, Brayfoil Technologies

Featured Startups

In the research and writing of this case study, we’ve interviewed 5 startups which were part of this Katapult Accelerator cohort.


Timothy Bouley, CEO & Co-Founder of Biofeyn

Timothy is the CEO and co-founder of BioFeyn Inc, a new biotechnology company optimizing marine nutrients to improve the health and sustainability of aquaculture. He previously founded and led the climate change and health program at the World Bank, as well as programs on One Health, oceans, and infectious disease. Trained as a medical doctor and environmental scientist, he has also worked at the US National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, and the University of California, San Francisco. He holds degrees in biology, bioethics, geography, and medicine from Tufts, Harvard, Oxford, and Duke.

Check out Biofeyn.

Matthew Bray, Co-Founder of Brayfoil Technologies

Matthew is the founder and CEO of Brayfoil Technologies, a startup developing innovative new approaches to wind turbine blade design to accelerate the green transition. He has an MSc in Finance from the São Paulo School of Economics and Nova SBE, Portugal, as well as experience with Goldman Sachs and BASF. Since 2018, he and the Brayfoil Team have raised $2.3m in funding from grants, angel investors, VC funds and accelerator programs, including Katapult Ocean, one of the top 50 climate investors in the word. They are a part of Cleantech Open, Creative Destruction Lab, Hello Tomorrow and the Net Zero Technology Centre TechX program.

Check out Brayfoil Technologies.

Roisin McCormack, Co-Founder of GKinetic

Roisin heads up GKinetic’s business development, commercialisation and operations. She holds degrees in Commerce and International Sales and has led a number of applications focused on advancing the GKinetic technology, securing over €5 million in soft funding as well as equity investment. Roisin is a passionate leader that believes in unlocking the clean energy potential of free-flowing waterways all over the world. 

GKinetic develops kilowatt-scale hydrokinetic turbine systems that generate clean, predictable energy from free-flowing water, suitable for domestic and commercial distributed applications.

Check out GKinetic.

Vijay Bhopal, Co-Founder of InclusiveEnergy

Vijay has worked in renewable energy since 2010, initially in Scotland where he designed and led a range of medium sized wind, hydro and solar projects. In recent years his focus turned toward integrated local energy systems and how to utilise ICTs in energy provision.
Since 2014 Vijay has thrown himself at the energy access challenge, first spearheading Urjaa Samadhan, an Odisha, India, based social enterprise working with poor users of off-grid solar equipment in India (now part of Inclusive Energy). Having seen how local companies are disadvantaged in the energy access market, he conceptualised and has driven the development of Cloud Solar – Inclusive Energy’s first product.
Beyond day to day business, Vijay likes to research, write and get stuck into data. He has contributed to various research projects and publications, including the Poor People’s Energy Outlook in 2017 and 2018. Vijay is Non-Executive Director at Scene, one of Inclusive Energy’s founding organisations, Co-Founder of Farm-Hand, and an Unreasonable Fellow.

Check out Inclusive Energy.

Michael Tinmouth, Co-Founder of ACUA Ocean

Michael TInmouth is the COO at ACUA Ocean, a company developing a fully sustainable, zero emission uncrewed surface vessel (USV) with true over-the-horizon capabilities. Mike has spent the last decade working in, and advising high-growth tech start ups – with a focus on go-to-market strategy.

Check out ACUA Ocean

About the Strategy Tools Investor Readiness Program

The Investor Readiness Program is a highly immersive, interactive program to help startups and scale-ups successfully get investor ready.

The program is delivered 100% digitally to accelerators, incubators, ecosystems, banks, innovation agencies and governments worldwide.