The Catalyst Centre Experience 

The Catalyst Centre is open once more for applications! If you’re wondering whether this could be an exciting opportunity to kick-start your fledgling business, what better way to make up your mind than to read about another entrepreneur’s journey. So, we spoke to Gareth Bristow, Founder of RocPro, who graduated from the Catalyst Centre in 2014 to find out how the guidance he received helped his business.

In a nutshell, what did the Catalyst Centre do for your business? 

The experience helped us to focus on the aims of the company but also to hone the brand into a valuable business proposition. During our time at the Catalyst Centre we made many vital business connections that, at the time, may not have seemed as important as they later turned out to be! Even some of the potential investors that we met that didn’t come on board still ended up being great contacts for us purely because of the number of connections they make on a daily basis!  

Where do you think you would be if you hadn’t applied and been successful?

The Catalyst Centre certainly aided in the development of some of our security products which in turn have helped us to create the brand. The product idea that will hopefully give us our first major injection of funding only came about after being questioned and challenged by Catalyst Centre mentor Phil Sharpe. The fact that we had six months to focus solely on developing the business meant that we have moved faster – I believe we would be at least three products shorter than we are now and without a defined brand if it wasn’t for this concentrated effort. You can see the range of products being developed here http://www.rocpumps.com/.

Was it hard to stay motivated as a ‘one man band’?

Not at all! When you are in the Catalyst Centre and surrounded by other companies, it creates such a great atmosphere to work in that you don’t feel like you are working on your own. It also wasn’t too long before I was getting more interest in my business and had people wanting to join me.

Inspired? Then enter your business idea into the 2015 Catalyst Centre competition now! It could catapult your concept into a successful start-up. Find out more at http://www.usspcatalystcentre.org.uk/