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
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
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.
Provisional schedule of Activities
Catalyst Staff, NI & US mentors travel to Boston
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.
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.
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.
Provisional Schedule of Activities
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.
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.
Company engagement activities.
Company engagement activities & travel back to Boston/US.
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