Frequently asked questions

What does the Catalyst Fund acceleration process look like? 

The acceleration journey for Catalyst Fund startups lasts about 6 months and includes a combination of bespoke in-person and remote support from our venture building team. The exact support provided depends on the needs of each company we work with, but it can include everything from technical and data analytics support, to finance and investment readiness, talent development, marketing and communications, and more. You can learn more here

How can I apply? 

Catalyst Fund does not make calls for applications, host challenge competitions, or solicit direct applications. Our startups are sourced and nominated through our Investor Advisory Committee (IAC), in accordance with our Investment Criteria. Startups can, however, express interest to be considered by the IAC. Here’s how

Do startups receive funding if they are selected? 

Yes, Catalyst Fund offers quick and flexible innovation grants of up to £80,000 to help startups test and iterate their solutions and find product-market fit. Catalyst Fund does not take equity in the companies it accelerates.

Do founders need to travel to be a part of the program? 

No, our team travels to where your startup is based, to provide hands-on venture building support. However, there are regular opportunities for Catalyst Fund founders to attend global meetups and relevant events should they choose.

Are there any fixed dates for the application? 

We work with 6 startups in each cohort and accelerate two cohorts per year. If you have expressed your interest in becoming a Catalyst Fund startup, your interest form will be reviewed on a rolling basis. You can subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates and announcements when we’re launching a new cohort. 

How do I know if my startup is the right fit for the program? 

We’re looking for inclusive fintech startups operating in India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, or South Africa. Our companies are early-stage (with an existing MVP), have at least one customer, and are creating inclusive products. We define inclusive as ‘products that are accessible, affordable, and appropriate for lower-income customers’. 

Will details of my company or product be kept confidential?

Information submitted via the expression of interest form may be shared with the Catalyst Fund team, our investor committee, and the program funders.  For companies accepted to Catalyst Fund, information or data gathered during the acceleration process is kept confidential and shared only with consent from company founders.

Who supports the Catalyst Fund?

Catalyst Fund is managed by BFA Global, supported by The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The fund also receives guidance from leading investors in fintech, who form our Investor Advisory Committee: Accion Venture Lab, Flourish Ventures, Gray Ghost Ventures, 500 Startups, Quona Capital, and Anthemis.

What if I still have questions?

For any further questions, reach out to us at catalyst@bfaglobal.com.