5S to Impact
Catalyst Fund accelerates promising, inclusive tech and fintech startups by resolving their specific capital, talent, and evidence challenges so that they can deliver accessible, affordable, and appropriate (AAA) solutions to the underserved more efficiently, more quickly, and with greater impact.
The Catalyst Fund process consists of 5S steps: Sourcing, Selection, Supporting, Sharing, and Synthesizing.
Sourcing and selecting are an important part of what distinguishes Catalyst Fund from other accelerators. Catalyst Fund depends on investors to source and sponsor promising startups, thus integrating their valuable perspective from the get-go. We look for startups in emerging markets that leverage technology, data and new business models to improve the access to quality financial solutions. Sponsored startups are then evaluated against our 7 Selection Criteria, which they must meet to be accepted into the program:
Innovative: an innovative product and business model
Inclusive: the potential to meaningfully increase the financial inclusion of excluded populations
Additionality: Catalyst Fund resources would substantially improve their ability to test and improve their product
Stage-fit: product must be at minimum viable product (MVP) stage or still need to find product market fit
Geography: emerging markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, or Latin America
Risk level: no red flags, particularly not around impact and consumer protection
Learning & knowledge: the potential to meaningfully contribute to the learning agenda for the industry
Selected startups then move to the supporting stage. Simultaneously, the BFA Catalyst Fund team synthesizes and shares knowledge via our influence activities and our CF DIY tools. The typical timeline for the process is as follows: