Support from the Innovation Ecosystem

Access to leadership, mentoring, education, networking and funding

At the heart Catalyst Inc North West is an innovative range of programmes and support partners to aid entrepreneurial growth and help you develop your products and services.


Enabling our most experienced to help our most promising

Joining Catalyst Inc North West means benefiting from the most connected location in the North West. But we're not just talking about access to our outstanding telecommunications infrastructure. You can be connected into a high-performance community of entrepreneurs, business facilitators and finance providers, all at one site. The success of Connect, as a facilitator of business support programmes and a broker of powerful relationships, has been extended to Catalyst Inc North West.

Connect is an independent, non-profit organisation that accelerates the growth of innovative technologies and early stage companies. As a neutral, ‘honest broker’ Connect does this through a series of educational seminars, mentorship programmes, capital competitions, and public policy advocacy. In effect, Connect puts you in front of the right people and helps to close deals.

Connect focuses on:

  • research institution support
  • business creation and development
  • entrepreneurial learning
  • access to capital
  • public policy advocacy
  • awards, recognition and networking


Welcome to Northern Ireland's business angel network

Finding capital can be a huge challenge for a growing business and it is typically most needed at a time when there are plenty of other business issues to focus on. Catalyst Inc North-West offers the extension of another highly successful programme originally developed through what was NISP, to bring angel funding to the North West. Halo provides pitch training and direct access to high-wealth investors for growing companies seeking private sector “angel” investment and/or venture capital. And it's not just for early-stage business, Halo will look at companies at all stages of development, from startup to established, technical and non-technical.

A joint initiative of Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland, and delivered by the Catalyst Inc, Halo is a bit like ‘Dragon’s Den’ but without the aggression, or the egos! We have not just expanded Halo's activities into the North West – in 2014 we formed the 'Acorn Angels', a group of high-net-worth individuals from Derry~Londonderry who have pledged to invest over £1M into Northern Ireland companies, with a major focus on the North West.

To date, over £10M of investment from Halo’s Angels has gone into Northern Ireland companies.

It could be you!


The right support, right when you need it

At CoLab, not only can we put you in touch with local support networks for accessing finance and training, but we also have close ties with LYIT which facilitates many work placement schemes as part of Masters or Degree programmes. Through partnership with several agencies, access is offered to a range of business support services, including 1-to-1 startup mentoring, educational programmes and networking events.

CoLab is partnered with the following agencies for business support:

Funding and Partners

A real economic driver for the North West

Catalyst Inc North West is a collaborative cross-border project aimed at extending to the North West the successful Catalyst Inc model, currently operating in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. At the heart of the innovation ecosystem which Catalyst Inc North West will create is Connect, the leadership and mentoring platform which nurtures and protects entrepreneurs to develop their product or service.

European Union and Other Funding

The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IVA designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Catalyst Inc North West project was awarded approximately £12 million from the EU’s INTERREG IVA Programme.

Find out more

Catalyst Inc North West has locations at Fort George, Derry~Londonderry and Letterkenny.

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