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Basecamp Boston

Forging solid connections for business growth

Apply for Basecamp Boston

An innovative programme for NI companies with plans for expansion in the US

Applications have now closed for Basecamp Boston.

What is Basecamp Boston?

Basecamp Boston is an exciting new initiative developed by Catalyst with support from the Department for the Economy, which has been designed to forge solid connections between Northern Ireland businesses and the US to accelerate growth.

Independent research commissioned by Catalyst identified a supportive network of mentors as critical to accelerating NI companies’ path to scale in the US.  By supporting scaling companies and connecting them with a range of business experts who can help with their specific needs, Basecamp Boston has the potential to generate exponential economic impact.

With the signing of the Boston and Belfast Sister Cities agreement, Boston is the ideal launchpad for Northern Irish businesses as it builds on our existing relationships and the strength of Entrepreneurship, Health & Life Sciences, and FinTech.

The programme connects NI companies with established experts and experienced executives in the US market – providing the insights they need to scale their business

Who should apply?

The programme is open to innovation driven enterprises from NI who have a product ready to enter the US market, are eager to develop a go-to-market strategy and have budget to implement US expansion over the next two years.

The ideal candidates would be operating within the following cluster areas:​

  • FinTech / CyberTech / Big Data / RegTech
  • Life Sciences / MedTech / BioTech / Pharma
  • GreenTech / AgriTech / Advanced Manufacturing / Renewables

Why Apply?

We want to accelerate your progress and significantly increase your valuation.

This is a unique opportunity to accelerate your path into the US Market with the support of a bespoke set of mentors who can provide insight and connections to help you succeed. The Catalyst team will work with you to identify your needs and leverage a set of trusted business connectors to access appropriate mentors.

Participation in Basecamp Boston has the potential to address specific challenges of expanding your business in the US by exploring issues such as employment needs, market legislation, understanding distribution networks, competitors, go-to-market strategies, legal support, migration laws, and providing relevant sector insights. This programme could help you to forge new business partners, access potential investors and provide a platform for product positioning.

As part of the offering each NI Company will have the opportunity to identify US mentors who they feel will have the biggest impact on their business to travel to Belfast in early November for our follow up event Decamp Boston to Belfast. This second phase of the programme is designed to help deepen the engagement and formalise long-term US relationships.

This pilot initiative is funded by Catalyst with assistance from the Department for the Economy and travel and accommodation will be reimbursed*

*Terms and Conditions apply

How to Apply

Following the open call selection process, Catalyst will undertake a Needs Analysis with each NI company to identify key areas that will support their path to scale in the US. Working with trusted innovation partners we will then leverage a set of business connectors to access appropriate talent and US mentors. A formal invitation to participate will then be extended to US mentors with agreement from the NI companies.

Applications close on 23rd May 2022 and successful applicants will be notified by 29th May 2022

Email tomas.bamford@wearecatalyst.org for any queries

Hold These Dates!

Open Call: 16-23 May 2022 via an online submission form

Deadline for submitting signed Agreement of Participation: 31 May 2022

Basecamp Boston: 20-23 September 2022

Decamp Boston to Belfast: 6-9 November 2022

Basecamp Boston

Provisional schedule of Activities

  • Day 1: Tues 20th Sept

    Catalyst Staff, NI & US mentors travel to Boston

  • Day 2: Wed 21st Sept

    Afternoon of pitches from NI companies to US mentors to a give clear overview of remit, scope, and plans to scale. This will be followed by a dinner with facilitated networking and entertainment.

  • Day 3: Thurs 22nd Sept

    Morning of one-on-one surgeries exploring synergy and opportunities for cooperation followed by roundtables/world café style event broadening out the conversations instigated during the one-on-one surgeries. The event will finish with a review of the connections forged and thematically relevant panel discussion.

  • Day 4: Fri 23rd Sept

    Optional additional day exploring “Why Boston” showcasing the benefits of basing your US presence in Boston. This final day can also be used to schedule further meetings and explore possible workspaces at Cambridge Innovation Centre.

Decamp Boston to Belfast

Provisional Schedule of Activities

  • Format and Content

    The format and content of proposed activities will be further developed in conjunction with the participating NI companies and selected US delegates attending Basecamp Boston. The first day of programmed activities will be hosted by Catalyst followed by an evening social event for all participants, this will be followed by two days of bespoke content whereby each NI company will host their invited US delegates to strategize and develop clear identifiable goals and a plan of action to access new US markets and scale their business.

    NI companies are encouraged to organise board meetings and workshops to facilitate the input of the US mentors, ensuring all senior executives and appropriate board members benefit from engaging with the programme.

  • Day 1: Sun 6th Nov


  • Day 2: Mon 7th Nov

    Catalyst site visit with thematically relevant programmed content, exploring connections forged and strategies being developed to achieve the long-term goal of reaching a valuation of £100M+. This will be followed by social event / dinner.

  • Day 3: Tues 8th Nov

    Company engagement activities.

  • Day 4: Wed 8th Nov

    Company engagement activities & travel back to Boston/US.

Meet Your Project Manager

Tomas Bamford

Tomas Bamford

Project Manager

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