Basecamp Boston 2023 is the second iteration of a new programme developed by Catalyst, which has been designed to forge solid connections between Northern Ireland businesses and the US to accelerate growth.
The programme connects NI companies with established experts and experienced executives in the US market – providing the insights they need to scale their business.
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 real 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, SaaS and FinTech.
Applications for Basecamp Boston are now closed.
The programme is designed to aid NI companies with business development in North America and we are eager to support companies who have the ambition to scale to >£100M in 5 years.
This year we did not limit applications to companies working within Life Science, FinTech, or GreenTech Cluster areas.
To be eligible to apply applicants needed to have:
The cohort will consist of new companies and returning companies in 2023.
Following the open call for applicants, Catalyst is pleased to announce 11 new companies and 9 returning companies will be participating in Basecamp Boston on the 26-29 June 2023.
of companies stated they were introduced to useful business contacts and service providers that they will continue to develop relationships with
of companies stated they would participate in future iterations of Basecamp Boston if given the opportunity
companies went back to Boston to follow up on leads independently after the success of Basecamp Boston.
companies identified potential new board members
We also provided site visits relevant to the cohort, including:
From the Entrepreneur In Residence at Harvard Business School, to Advisors and Consultants from MIT, and a myriad of strategic growth experts operating in Life Science, GreenTech, and FinTech Cluster areas, Basecamp Boston provided unparalleled access to experts who were able to deliver on the specific needs of the cohort.
“Basecamp was so successful for us we have been able to see immediate benefits on sales and business development, we’re already in the process of going back out to follow up with connections forged!”
“The networking has been second to none throughout the programme. Even the dinner was useful and added value with some very challenging conversations. Things like challenging assumptions and thinking about how we approach our US journey, helping us to avoid costly mistakes.”
“The ethos of ‘paying it forward’ really came across and summarises it so well, everyone has been so welcoming, open and helpful… It’s very difficult for companies like us to get meetings with the calibre of experts made available through Basecamp Boston, the whole process was amazing.”
The programme launched with an open call encouraging applications from innovation-driven enterprises based in Northern Ireland 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.
As part of the application criteria, the ideal candidates would be operating within cluster areas consistent with the DfE ’10x Economy’ vision, specifically:
Following the open call, our selection panel identified 18 NI companies to participate in Basecamp Boston.
Subject to change depending on outcomes from the Needs Analyses. The programme will be further developed to respond to the specific needs of the participating companies.
Introduction to Boston ecosystem, networking, NI company pitches
Short intro meetings/networking with mentors
Plenary session(s) on shared challenges (e.g. Setting up in the US, recruitment, service provision etc.)
Follow-up meetings organised by cohort/free time (e.g. option to catch up with emails/company responsibilities)
Concurrent workshops on shared challenges
Service provider networking session/plenary on shared challenges
Programme Manager, Basecamp Boston
Tomas has centred his professional development on making the communities in which we live and work more enjoyable, to inspire positive social, economic, and ecological change. He is passionate about taking this ethos to an international stage and before coming to Catalyst he worked on 9 events for the Dubai Expo covering a broad range of subjects with expert speakers from all over the world.
This included specialist programming on space exploration with multiple astronauts, TV presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, and videos with the international space station. It also included wildlife conservation with Jane Goodall, climate scientists, and technology experts exploring how tech innovation is shaping our new normal in industry 4.0.
Tomas enjoys doing a deep dive into specialist subjects, finding experts who are world leaders in their field, and hosting programmes that share this knowledge with an audience who will benefit most from the content.
He brings 15 years’ worth of relevant expertise to Catalyst and oversees the Basecamp Boston programme which has been designed to connect NI companies with established experts and experienced executives in the US market – providing the insights they need to scale their business in America.
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