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?
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 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.
“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.”
Co-Founder, Brayfoil Technologies