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


  • Personalized Roadmap Development​
  • Weekly Sessions​
  • Weekly Neighborhood Chat​​
  • GEC Forum
  • Mentorship

Programme Pillars

  • Participants test assumptions and validate them through an intense customer discovery process.
  • Rapidly iterate product strategy to address customer’s needs. Obtain 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 sessions (“neighborhood chats”) with team interactions to share perspective and advice. 
  • Showcase your venture in fall at the GEC Forum 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. 

Our commitment to you

  • Proven methodology
  • Experienced 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 the GEC Forum

Catalyst Mentors and Speakers

Sven Greulich

Partner at Orrick

Hannah Lester

Head of Regulatory @Gourmey

Roman Lobas

Venture Partnerships at Deel

Daniel Grisar

M&A Lawyer at PXR

Claudia Meinken

Founder of MZPatent

Michael Laskowski

Head of Energy at GAIA-X, E.ON SE

Rob van der Meij

Partner at Capricorn Partners

Udo Bublitz

Managing Partner At B & S Insurance Agency

Martin Giese

Advisor and Investor Orbem

Laetitia Gazagnes

CEO at Impuls'Innov

Dr. Andreas Hutarew

Managing Partner DR. HUTAREW & PARTNER | Engineering Beyond

Catalyst Fall Cohort 2022

Our aim is to improve health in the mass market by making microbiome science and technology more accessible to the everyday shopper.

A foodtech startup with the mission to create a plant-based seafood alternative product, for tuna and salmon sashimi.

Maximum Protein, Minimum Footprint!

Sustainable creaminess for the plant-based transition that is necessary to feed the future 10 billion inhabitants of the planet.

Autonomous - modular - decentral, vertical windturbines.

AquaBattery aims to commercialise the world’s most sustainable, safe and low-cost long duration energy storage to enable a net-zero grid.

We are enabling a data driven battery ecosystem to unleash the sustainable future of energy storage in mobility!

Low-cost, grid-scale long duration energy storage batteries using patent-granted rechargeable Copper-Zinc technology.

Our materials change sunlight to help plants produce 20% more crop and help fight world hunger.

We make sustainable refrigeration accessible to all.

Catalyst Spring Alumni 2022

is a fully bio-based polymer commodity manufacturer.

a waste and carbon utilization company unlocking a new frontier of circular materials.

developed a chemical upcycling process for textile/cotton wastes.

developed a new technology that can cost-effectively convert waste into clean energy and chemicals.

In their Shared Factory, only what someone has ordered is produced - locally, without waste and discounts.

A healthier and more sustainable diaper solution that is easy to use, highly performant and comfortable for children.

is optimizing production processes in the garment industry by digitizing the optical quality control.

developed a proprietary polymer for the bio-cycles, which perform like polyester yarns, but degrade like natural fiber.


Daniella Russo

Chief Innovation Officer

Daniella is also the CEO and Co-founder​ of Think Beyond™ Innovation Center.

Dr. Greg Baxter

Chief Science Officer

Greg is also the CSO and Co-founder of Think​Beyond™ Innovation Center.



Catalyst Programme Manager