Experienced product designer and entrepreneur Fiona Bennington has been appointed as Catalyst’s new Director of Entrepreneurship.
Fiona joined Catalyst in 2021 as Head of Entrepreneurship and Growth and has played a leading role in many of Catalyst’s programmes that focus on supporting start-ups and early-stage businesses, including Generation Innovation, Co-Founders and INVENT.
In her new position, she will oversee the growth and development of Catalyst’s core initiatives, continue to build a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs and champion Northern Ireland as a destination for investment.
She will also continue to lead Catalyst’s 100 Role Models initiative, which over the next five years will identify and support the development of 100 prominent role model entrepreneurs to work with founders of innovative, sustainable start-ups from diverse gender and socio-economic backgrounds
Prior to joining Catalyst, Fiona ran her own design consultancy, Nuli Design, and was a mentor on the Co-Founders programme, helping potential company founders build on their ideas.
As a founder herself, Fiona created the wearable heat pack start-up HUG, which produces products that help relieve common ailments such as back and period pain.
She was also the director of HeroShield, a cross-border consortium of companies and designers formed in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic to create and distribute Personal Protective Equipment to frontline workers.
Steve Orr, CEO of Catalyst said: “Fiona is the leader we need to expand Catalyst’s entrepreneurship support to become more inclusive and to help Northern Ireland’s scaleup companies to achieve their ambitions internationally.”
Fiona Bennington said: “I look forward to continuing to work very closely on the Catalyst programmes but also to expand my responsibilities further and help the innovation community across Northern Ireland to thrive.
“I’m particularly excited to explore the further implementation of our vision through our entrepreneurship support activity, working to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone who would like to walk that path and raise awareness of the positive impact entrepreneurs of all kinds have on their communities and their country.”
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