The GEC Catalyst Programme

We support your commercialization journey. Validate your venture, test your assumptions, develop an investment strategy and create a personalized scale-up map designed to advance the path to full commercialization. 

Funded by the GEC and subject to European state aid. 

The GEC Catalyst programme by Think Beyond™ is an invitation only, hybrid programme designed specifically for startups who have already launched the business, dedicated time to grow it and have initial feedback on their product and market. The GEC Catalyst uses an adapted Lean Launchpad approach that integrates best practices from Silicon Valley, America’s Seed Fund SBIR programme by I-Corp and VentureWell, leading US and European accelerators and Think Beyond’s own multi-year domain expertise. Programme participants refine and test business assumptions to support their lean startup journey. Upon completion of the programme, startups will have a personalised scale-up map designed to advance them on the path to full commercialisation.

Participants who successfully complete the programme may be invited to enter the GEC Scaling Factory, where they will receive personalised, operational scaling services.

Programme Modules

The GEC Catalyst Programme takes participants through a module based curriculum (subject to change). Each cohort is unique, and the programme is tailored to their needs, including a combination of the modules below

  • Testing and validating the customer discovery

  • Testing and validating the unique value proposition

  • Developing and testing the SWOT analysis

  • Testing the business model

  • Developing strategic partnerships and co-opetition

  • Developing a successful access to capital strategy

  • Building and testing the financial models

  • IP architecture

  • Mentorship

  • GEC Impact Assessment

Programme Pillars

  • Personalized Roadmap Development​
  • Weekly Sessions​
  • Weekly Neighborhood Chat​
  • Mentorship​
  • Public Impact Day
  • Participants test assumptions and validate them through an intense customer discovery process.
  • Public Impact Day
  • Rapidly iterate product strategy to address customer’s needs. Real customer feedback to iterate (small adjustments) or pivot (substantive changes) faster. 
  • Substantive changes to business model hypotheses before spending millions of dollars and years of work. Fail faster. These changes avoid future dead-ends or costs and can be as small as changing position in the value chain to rethinking core technologies. 
  • This class is not about lectures but a hands-on experience. We fit guidance within startups’ real world: chaos, impossible deadlines, conflicting input, etc..  
  • Every team member participates in customer discovery activities. You may not delegate customer discovery. 
  • Participants prepare at home. These lectures and additional reading contain the information that is needed to complete that week’s assignment. 
  • Online lectures are often supplemented by a deep-dive, in-class socratic-type lectures and guest speakers from industry, investor groups and NGOs. 
  • Each week participants present a 10-minute summary of their assignments. 
  • The class is a learning cohort. Each participant is responsible for help each other and learn from one another’s experiences. In addition, there are weekly optional sessions (“neighborhood chats”) with team interactions to share perspective and advice. 
  • Showcase your venture in fall on the GEC Impact Days and based on individual GEC investor matchmakings. 
  • At the beginning and throughout the program the GEC performs with you your venture’s impact assessment and report on the developments.
  • At the end of the course program your developments will be assessed according to GEC’s methodology. 


Daniella Russo is the Chief Innovation Officer of the GEC. She is also the CEO and Co-founder​ of Think Beyond™ Innovation Center.

Dr. Greg Baxter is the Chief Science Officer of the GEC and also the CSO and Co-founder of Think​Beyond™ Innovation Center.

Katarzyna Dembska is the Catalyst Program Manager of the GEC.


Our commitment to you

  • Experienced methodology
  • Focus speakers and mentors
  • Focus on sustainable impact
  • Potential entry for Catalyst alumni into the
    GEC Scaling Factory

Your commitment to us

  • Biweekly virtual sessions, 
  • Approximately 8 hours of additional weekly assignments
  • Participation at GEC Forum


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