Frequently Asked Questions About Catalyst Fund

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General Information

Branding and IP

General Information

How can I apply?
Applications are not open to the public since the Catalyst Fund Investors Committee source and sponsor the ventures. However, interested startups can take and submit the expression of interest form. Our learning agenda forms a critical piece of who gets selected by the investors, as well as our assessment of the startup and its capability. Thus, the team will keep track of incoming submissions and where appropriate, share qualified profiles with the investor committee.  

When will Catalyst Fund start selecting ventures?
We opened the first cohort in Q2 in 2016. If you're already connected to one of our investors, then the mailing list below is the best way to get program announcements.  

Who are the investors in the Fund?

Catalyst Fund is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the fund also has the guidance of ANDE members, Accion, Omidyar Network, Gray Ghost Ventures; as well as that of Quona Capital.


How many companies do you accept per session?

We accept between 3-5 companies per cohort  so as to provide maximum attention to each company. Learn more by downloading our two-pager.


Is there a particular Geographic Focus?

All emerging markets and  developing countries will be considered.


Where can I learn more?

Read the latest about Catalyst Fund, such as how the fund got started, the launch mention in the NY Times, New America Weekly, the blog post by our partner Omidyar Network and press releases. 


Branding and IP

Who produces and owns the Knowledge Products from the Catalyst Fund Engagement?

BFA is the partner that produces and executes on the full learning agenda outputs (3 blog posts and 1 mini case study per startup at a minimum). As BFA and the company will be working together on the TA scope and gathering inputs and information for the Learning Agenda questions, Catalyst Fund expects the startup to provide data, inputs and other information to develop the case studies but BFA will synthesize and produce the lessons learned into a final output such as a report, publication or other format.

Anything that Catalyst Fund produces in terms of knowledge products will be Catalyst Fund branded. Catalyst Fund would therefore own the outputs of the Learning Agenda and are mandated with sharing them with the industry for charitable and educational purposes, with the only restriction being the confidentiality agreement levels, as stated in the grant agreement. Before Catalyst Fund publishes anything however, the content is shared well in advance with the company for review and approval.

Separately, if the startup and Catalyst Fund want to collaborate on other knowledge products that are co-branded, then another arrangement that is and separate from the set of deliverables listed in the grant agreement, can be explored.