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Pathfinder: Ireland NW to Boston GoToMarket Lab

Applications for Pathfinder have now closed.

What is Pathfinder?

Pathfinder: Ireland NW to Boston GoToMarket Lab is a new initiative designed to coincide with Golden Bridges 2023. Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council working in collaboration with Catalyst, have developed a new programme informed by the successful Basecamp Boston initiative. 

Basecamp Boston connects NI companies with established experts and experienced executives in the US market – providing the insights they need to scale their business. It was designed for innovation-driven enterprises who are at the scaling phase of their development. Participating companies needed to have a product ready to enter the US market, they needed to demonstrate steady growth in the last 3 years, have a requirement to develop their GTM Strategy for the US, and have the budget for US expansion. 

Who is Pathfinder for?

Pathfinder: Ireland NW to Boston GoToMarket Lab has been designed to provide similar opportunities to earlier stage innovation driven enterprises from the North West City Region of Ireland.  The Pathfinder programme is for entrepreneurs with ambitions to scale their start-up, develop their GTM strategy, explore how to become investor ready, and gain the opportunity to have their business model stress-tested from US experts.  

Pathfinder is designed for business founders and CEOs who have either developed or are in the process of developing a product or solution while actively interacting with customers. Our goal is to assist you in developing your value proposition, so you are more appealing to new customers and investors, and to help you develop a robust GoToMarket plan. The programme is inclusive of all sectors and welcomes passionate, ambitious, and receptive entrepreneurs. 

What you need to know

There is no programme fee for participating companies and 50% of your flight and accommodation costs will be reimbursed by the Derry & Strabane District Council or Donegal County Council depending on where you are based, terms and conditions apply*. 

Companies will be asked to complete a self-assessment questionnaire to provide additional information about their business, the maturity level of the technology, existing obstacles, and areas where you believe you require assistance. This information will guide the selection of US experts who can offer tailored insights into your GoToMarket (GTM) Strategy. 

We will leverage our network of ‘been there done that’ US experts to advise and guide you on navigating the complexities of your business challenges, providing invaluable insights and proven strategies for success. 

Terms and Conditions

  • Travel & Accommodation costs
    1. Eligible companies can claim up to 50% towards flight costs (economy fares only). Extra luggage or preferred seat choices are not eligible for reimbursement.
    2. Eligible companies can claim up to 50% towards Hotel accommodation costs.
    3. Combined Flight and accommodation cost reimbursement is capped at £2,500/€2,500  per company.
    4. Travel Insurance and sickness cost are not eligible for reimbursement. Mission members are strongly advised to take out adequate travel and sickness insurance for their trip.
    5. The cost of ESTA admin fees is eligible for reimbursement.
    6. Cash payments cannot be reimbursed without supporting receipts.


    Documentation required for Proof of Purchase and Payment for the above claims is required and includes:

    1. Copy of flight confirmation
    2. Copy of hotel bill
    3. Copy of ESTA payment
    4. Copy of redacted credit card/bank statement with details of payment and evidence of exchange rate, if applicable.

Key Dates

  • Friday 20th October: Deadline for applications

    12pm deadline for applications & final shortlisting with an analysis of Company Challenges.

  • w/c Monday 23rd October

    Cohort kick off & pitch preparation webinar. 

  • Monday 13th November

    Travel to Boston

  • Tuesday 14th November

    Programme Day 1:

    • Intro to the ecosystem
    • Pitch practice
    • Expert panel discussions on topics themed around the needs of the participating companies 
  • Wednesday 15th November

    Programme Day 2:

    • Expert roundtables with CEOs, investors, and industry execs, followed by company pitches to a panel of experts for feedback and recommendations 
  • Thursday 16th November

    Programme Day 3:

    • One-day GTM Workshop on market entry and expansion, launching new products/services, and growing revenue through innovative sales and marketing. The workshop will be followed by a networking event at the Venture Café  
  • Friday 17th November

    Golden Bridges Attendance 

  • Return journey on Friday 17th in the evening or Saturday 18th

    Depending on preference

2023 Participating Companies

Life Science Cluster

Dominic Holmes eXRt Intelligent Healthcare
Christina McAlinden Laniveen
Susan Kelly Aflo Analytics
Sian Farrell StimOxyGen

SaaS/AI Cluster

Paul Chada DoozerAI
Rachel Craig EU Remote
Clare Ryan ITUS Secure Technologies / Cybrisc
Avril McMonagle MOSAIC Digital Solutions for Early Education
Anthony Hutton Subterranean Software Innovations
Paul O’Neill NolijWork Ltd

In conjunction with and supported by The Executive Office and The Irish Government.

Meet Your Programme Manager

Tomas Bamford

Tomas Bamford

Programme Manager, Basecamp Boston

Tomas has centred his professional development on making the communities in which we live ... read more
Tomas Bamford

Tomas Bamford

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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